Inspector General to Investigate Secure Communities Program


The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General will investigate the Secure Communities program, which purports to target “serious convicted felons” for deportation but has ensnared many illegal immigrants who were arrested but not subsequently convicted of crimes or who committed minor offenses, the Los Angeles Times reports. Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency launched the program in 2008 with plans for mandatory nationwide participation by 2013.

The review aims to “determine the extent to which ICE uses the program to identify and remove dangerous criminal aliens from the United States.” It will also examine cost, “the accuracy of ICE’s data collection,” whether the program is being applied equitably across communities, and the way ICE officials portrayed the program to states and counties, which were initially told they could opt out but were later informed that participation has always been mandatory. Under the program, fingerprints routinely sent by local jails to the FBI for criminal background checks are shared with ICE.

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