After Arizona Immigration Law, Activists See Local Problem (City Limits)

A week after Arizona enacted a law permitting local police to stop people they suspect are undocumented immigrants, advocates across the country are drawing attention to a related issue: the federal government’s ongoing efforts to nudge other police and sheriff’s departments policies closer to Arizona’s.

By 2013, the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) expects to enroll every jail in America in a network that allows the agency to find and detain undocumented immigrants who have been arrested.

Nearly 150 jails (including New York City’s jail system) are already in enrolled in the program. And now, advocates allege in a lawsuit filed today, federal authorities are refusing to release information needed to protect arrestees’ civil rights. Since 2008, the program—Secure Communities—has misidentified more than 5,800 arrested U.S. citizens as undocumented workers, the lawsuit says.

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