What does it mean that the President is going to end the secure communities program?
– The secure communities program gave police the power to control immigration
– Police can stop and question suspected illegal immigrants
– This sowed fear among undocumented immigrants
– Governors and mayors refused to cooperate with the federal government
– The Executive Action announced the creation of Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) which will focus on apprehending individuals who are actually convicted of crimes (criminals who are not supposed to be here)
Introduction: You ask we answer your immigration questions. Simple. And now your host immigration lawyer Jacob Sapochnick.
Jacob: Hello everybody, welcome to another episode of Ask An Immigration Lawyer.
One of the questions that we got this week was, again, related to President Obama’s executive action announcement is what does it mean that the president is going to end the Secure Communities Program. Well, some of you that know what Security Communities Program that has been highly criticized. It was created several years ago with the purpose of giving the police and other agencies the power to control immigration.
So if a police officer suspects that somebody is undocumented they can detain them, they can stop them and question them and ultimately turn them over to ICE. What that has created is a fear. Fear from people … immigrants, document, undocumented from reporting crimes to police. It became very dangerous. If somebody knows if somebody’s undocumented they can hurt them, rape them or whatever knowing that they are going to be scared to report this. So the police [form fear 00:01:26] of being removed.
And so a lot of criticism on this program in fact DHS noted that Governors, Mayors and state local enforcement officials around the country refused to cooperate with the government, with the program because they felt that it doesn’t help. They don’t want to be the linchpins of secure communities in other ICE enforcement agencies, why would they.
And so part of the announcement is securing a community’s memo issued on November 20th that this program is really not good, has a lot of issues, a lot of problems and they’re going to be launching the new program called the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) that focuses on apprehending individuals that are actually convicted of crimes, undocumented immigrants that are criminals that shouldn’t be here and focusing on those people as oppose to focusing on people that are working hard here, they want to stay in the country.
DHS will retain its ability together, fingerprints information by booking people from the FBI but it will definitely change what it does with its data. It’s not going to be looking for people that are just here undocumented, it’s actually going to focus on criminals and we’re really excited about it.
So this is really what it’s about. For those of you that are wondering, getting rid of this program were now … if you are in the state of Arizona for example where the police there will detain you if you look illegal, those things are not going to be authorized anymore. We welcome that elimination of secure communities which was not an efficient program at all. So that’s what it is. It’s going to go away.
Thank you for listening. Keep sending your questions. This is Jacob Sapochnick at Ask An Immigration Lawyer. You ask, we answer, simple. See you next time.
Closing: Thank you for listening to the Ask My Immigration Lawyer Podcast, the show that’s dedicated to answering your immigration questions. Simple as that. See you next week for another round of questions and much needed answers.