Lofgren: Feds Lied About “Secure Communities” Opt-Out


Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) is accusing federal immigration officials of lying about whether counties and states had the right to opt out of Secure Communities, a controversial nationwide enforcement program that screens for illegal immigrants in local jails, the Los Angeles Times reports. Started in 2008, Secure Communities was promoted to local and state leaders as a way to focus enforcement efforts on “serious convicted criminals.”

The program, which uses fingerprint data, has ensnared a high proportion of immigrants who have never been charged with a crime or who have been charged with minor infractions. Critics say it discourages illegal immigrants from reporting crimes and opens the door to racial profiling. A number of local jurisdictions have asked that their fingerprint data not be sent to federal officials, who now say the program “is not voluntarily and never has been.”

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