Crackdown on illegal immigrants worries NYPD Commissioner Kelly

Crackdown on illegal immigrants worries NYPD Commissioner Kelly

By Adam Lisberg
Tuesday, December 21st 2010

A new federal program to hunt down and deport illegal immigrants arrested in New York could cause problems for the NYPD, Police Commissioner Raymond Kelly said Monday.

The Secure Communities fingerprint-matching program could discourage immigrant victims and witnesses from talking with cops, the commissioner said.

“We want people to feel free to contact the police, to walk into police stations; communicate with the police,” he said. “To the extent that that act [Secure Communities] may have some effect on that, that’s problematic.”

The national Secure Communities program checks the fingerprints of everyone arrested against immigration databases.

Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents can decide whether to deport the offenders.

Immigrant advocates say Secure Communities flies in the face of Mayor Bloomberg’s executive order to treat all New Yorkers the same regardless of immigration status.

The mayor has declined to give an opinion on the federal program.