Secure communities will continue despite states across the country saying NO!

9 Aug

Deal to Share Fingerprints Is Dropped, Not Program, New York Times, 8/6/2011

The nightmare with Secure Communities has erupted. In a surprise move that has angered immigrant rights activists, ICE officials terminated the joint agreements with state and local governments over the Secure Communities Program. Now, a program that was once promoted as “voluntary” has become a federal mandate. The “official” reason given was to “eliminate widespread confusion.” It is no surprise that this announcement comes on the heel of Boston withdrawing its involvement – Boston was supposed to be the “pilot” city. Other states, including New York and Illinois, had also withdrawn from the flawed program.

It is a demoralizing move. Instead of fixing the problems and working with states and local governments, ICE reveals it’s true plan all along. SCOMM was a larger net that caught more people, who may not have been the most dangerous, but contributed to ICE’s goal of 400,000 deportations a year. Even if you don’t care about immigration, you should feel outraged. Forcing local jurisdictions and states to join a broken and flawed program against their will goes directly against our democratic principles.

ICE plans to implement the program nationwide by 2013. I urge President Obama, who in the same week also challenged the Alabama anti-immigration law, to stop this. It’s not only the logical thing to do, but the one that is fair and just.  We should not be forced to engage in a program that violates basic human rights and that many of us reject. What kind of precedent does that give us? If we allow this to happen, what else will we be forced to do next?

In other news
Immigration status a pre-existing condition under healthcare reform? Healthy Cal.org, 8/4/2011
Journalist Chris Richard terms immigration status as an existing pre-condition that is preventing vulnerable children from accessing health care services. Undocumented immigrants are currently barred from health care programs like Medicaid and will not even be able to use their own money to buy into the state-run health exchanges that will take effect in 2014.

Mexican government: Alabama law could promote racial profiling, CNN, 8/5/2011
Mexico and 15 additional countries sue Alabama over its anti-immigrant law, which is planned to be implemented by September 1st. The law has been called one of the harshest against immigrants. As the New York Times reported, the Obama administration is also challenging Alabama’s law, stating that immigration is a federal issue.

What Changes in Mexico Mean for U.S. Immigration Policy, Center for American Progress, August 8, 2011
The Center for American Progress explores some of the reasons why immigration from Mexico is declining. Some of these include aging population in Mexico, impact of immigration policy, and economic improvements in Mexico.

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