Immigrant rights groups file injunction for Secure Communities opt-out info

Immigrant rights groups file injunction for Secure Communities opt-out info
By Marcos Restrepo 10/28/10 4:45 PM

The National Day Laborer Organization Network, the Center for Constitutional Rights and the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic of the Cardozo School of Law announced today that they filed “an injunction in federal court to require Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to turn over documents that would explain how communities could opt out” of Secure Communities a fingerprint-sharing, immigration enforcement program.

Hannah Weinstein, of the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic, said during the press conference, “We still don’t know how communities can opt out of Secure Communities.

“Plaintiffs need information to have a meaningful debate requesting opt-out records now, as communities discuss the breadth of Secure Communities.”

The press release states that “so far, at least, San Francisco and Santa Clara, California, and Arlington, Virginia, have formally requested to opt-out of S-Comm. The emergency injunction is being filed before those municipalities who have voted to opt-out are scheduled to meet with ICE in early November.”

Esteban Garces, of Arlington-based Tenant and Workers United, tells The Florida Independent, “Residents of Buckingham Community live in fear, do not want to cooperate with the police. We have even noticed an 80 percent drop in English class registration.”

Pablo Alvarado of the National Day Laborer Organization Network, who spoke at the press conference, said,

We [day laborers] have become symbols of the contentious and divisive debate on broken the immigration system and have been targeted by Minutemen and white supremacists.

We have seen racial profiling firsthand. It is surprising to us that the Obama Administration is giving local law enforcement tools to profile Latinos.

Secure Communities not only encourages racial profiling it also diverts funds and erodes trust between communities and local law enforcement and it works under the flawed assumption that deporting record numbers makes us safe.

Sunita Patel of the Center for Constitutional Rights said during the press conference, “Secure Communities operates in jails and prisons across the nation and currently operates in 746 jurisdictions in 34 states.”

According to ICE, “Secure Communities has resulted in the arrest of more than 59,000 convicted criminal aliens, including more than 21,000 convicted of major violent offenses like murder, rape, and the sexual abuse of children.”

In February, the three groups involved filed a FOIA request about how Secure Communities works. Released during the summer, those documents showed that 66 percent of Secure Communities deportations are of non-criminals.