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California Mulls Opt-Out of ICE Program

United Press International

May 31, 2011

California lawmakers are mulling opting out of a federal immigration enforcement program critics say hurts public safety and undercuts local law enforcement.

Under the Secure Communities program, begun in 2008, fingerprints of people booked into local jails and cross-checked with the FBI’s criminal database are sent to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for screening. Officials said the system is meant to identify and deport illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes, but California Democrats say it has a chilling effect on immigrant crime victims and witnesses, the Los Angeles Times reported Tuesday.

Since the program began through March, 55 percent of people flagged for deportation nationwide committed misdemeanors and infractions or were arrested but not convicted of crimes, ICE data indicated. About 30 percent of those flagged for deportation had been convicted of serious crimes.

An ICE spokeswoman said the program found 78,000 “deportable aliens” in California and the agency is developing a policy to protect crime victims and witnesses.

The bill would allow counties to opt out of the program and ensure participants enact protective measures for domestic violence victims and juveniles, and would require counties opting out to develop safeguards against racial profiling and share fingerprints of only convicted felons, the Times said.

During debate in the California Assembly last week, Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, a Democrat, called Secure Communities a “farce.”

Republicans argued the bill would undermine federal law, saying allowing individual counties to opt out would allow criminals to move across the state.

“People will go where they will not get caught,” said Republican Assemblyman Stephen Knight.

The Assembly moved the bill to the Senate on a 47-to-26, party-line vote. Gov. Jerry Brown declined to comment on the legislation, but the newspaper noted he supported Secure Communities when he was state attorney general.

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  • 20552_1343137337912_1215571721_31006460_5991340_n_max50

    TrafficCop28

    about 3 years ago

    1424 Comments

    Bunch of flaming liberals. It's so unfair that we expect someone to be in our country LEGALLY! Why not stop enforcing all laws?

  • Blade_runner_4_max50

    BR_260354

    about 3 years ago

    338 Comments

    In my county, when an illegal alien gets convicted of a misdemeanor in County Court, with in 48 hours they're on an ICE transport to a detention facility and from there back to there country of origin. I am glad to be out of California and in Texas.

  • Thumbnailcadtx9dg_max50

    GypsyHunter

    about 3 years ago

    2984 Comments

    It is times like this that I am embarassed as hell to admit that I am a native Californian. I suspect that most of the support for this asanine bill comes from the liberal bed wetting southern California and southern central valley citizens who would have to mow their own lawns and harvest their own crops [or pay a decent wage to those they employ] or take care of their mansions themselves. There are too many decent people who seeking to immigrate to the USA and are waiting in the long lines at our consulates for their visas. I say not only deport the illegals but fine the hell out of those 'gentry' who turn their heads and employ them. California is truly a beautiful state...It used to be a great state. There are many folks there who feel the same way I do about this mess and the cesspool that passes for the legislature in the capitol building in Sacramento... Sadly we are now in the minority. I guess we will see if Gov. "Moonbeam" has enough spine to veto this ludicrious bill if it passes the senate and hold true to his commitments of Secure Communities. I won't hold my breath. And people wonder why I tell them I would never return to live in the state when I retire. Politics and economics! Phew, OK, I am off the soapbox now.

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    anahills

    about 3 years ago

    2 Comments

    The post is very informative. It is a pleasure reading it. I have also bookmarked you for checking out new posts.

    Vishal Mittal Architect

  • Att2307142_max50

    Magee88

    about 3 years ago

    2688 Comments

    i was born and raised in california. it is a great state.

  • Bald-eagle-in-flight_860_max50

    GrayPanther

    about 3 years ago

    1272 Comments

    Bump to all. I really shouldn't be surprised....like Nick said, it's California. I swear, that state has about as much in common with the rest of the country as the Moon.

  • Pug_max600_max50

    DALLASCRANE

    about 3 years ago

    19382 Comments

    California will take the least expensive route. It's what they do.

  • Cruise_2014_max50

    BigNTS

    about 3 years ago

    6840 Comments

    This doesn't surprise me. After all, it is California.

  • New-patch_max50

    SMW4747

    about 3 years ago

    1168 Comments

    You come into this country illegally, I don't care if you are arrested for spitting g in public, you should be deported. This is such a joke, people who illegally enter this country are afforded more rights and protections than natural born citizens and immigrants that follow the rules to enter this country.

  • Globe_eagle_anchor_max50

    gammyland

    about 3 years ago

    438 Comments

    All these different numbers and statistics do nothing...... if your here illegally, who cares what crime you commited...ON TOP of the crime of comming here illegally...

  • Photo_user_blank_big

    jlandreth

    about 3 years ago

    106 Comments

    I am not against immigration, let people come to America if they want. So long as they do it legally

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