A Virginia Congressman asked the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to provide local law enforcement agencies with access to digital fingerprints for all criminal, illegal aliens. Rep. Frank Wolf (R-VA) announced that funding to digitize the fingerprints of all criminal, illegal immigrants be included in the DHS 2012 spending bill.
Wolf is asking Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to improve its Secure Communities database after a criminal illegal alien was arrested for public drunkenness, but later released when his fingerprints were not identified by law enforcement computers.
Salvador Portillo-Saravia, a known MS-13 gang member, was rearrested just four weeks later for raping an 8-year-old girl in Virginia. Last October, Portillo-Saravia pled guilty on two felony charges of rape of a victim under 13, as well as sodomy. Courts will sentence Portillo-Saravia next month.
“This tragic incident identified a critical shortcoming in the Secure Communities program: immigration fingerprints taken on paper prior to 2005 were often not included in the database,” Wolf said in a statement. “Unfortunately, many local law enforcement agencies were unaware of this gap in the system and that manual searches were still necessary.”
The House Appropriations Committee promptly responded to Rep. Wolf’s request to ensure criminal illegal aliens fingerprints are properly digitized and added the necessary funding to update the database.
“The Secure Communities database is an important resource for state and local law enforcement,” Wolf said. “I will continue to work to ensure this system is operating as it was intended (in order) to help protect our communities.”
The following is the illegal alien digitized fingerprint language included in the FY 2012 bill;
Improving Immigration Enforcement Activities
A total of $12,000,000 above the request is provided to improve immigration enforcement
activities, of which $5,000,000 is included in Secure Communities for digitization of paper fingerprint cards from legacy immigration files. Both the House and Senate reports outlined areas for focus (such as) developing a comprehensive strategy to address the visa overstay problem, modernizing the Alien Criminal Response Information Management System (ACRIMe) to support the identification of criminal aliens and individuals attempting to overstay a visa, enhancing ICE capabilities for law enforcement support for immigration- related inquiries from State and local law enforcement, and digitizing old fingerprint records. ICE is directed to brief the Committees, with US-VISIT and other DHS components as appropriate, on its plan for utilization of these funds, no later than 60 days after the date of enactment of this Act. ICE is also directed, in conjunction with US-VISIT and United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), to report to the Committees no later than 120 days e ate of enactment of this Act on the methodology of prioritizing files for the digitization effort as well as the overall projected cost of the project to ensure electronic availability of appropriate biometrics in IDENT.
USCIS, ICE, and the Executive Office of Immigration Review are directed to brief the Committees on use of digitized records, as required in the House report, no later than March I, 2012. USCIS is also directed to provide no less than $29,000,000 to continue conversion of immigration records to digital format.
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© Copyright 2012 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Now that the GOP presidential candidates opened the proverbial immigration can of worms, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) decided to reexamine a Warren Institute study that is being touted on both sides of the political aisle.
Looking at ICE’s Secure Communities program, CIS found the Warren Institute report (located at the University of California, Berkeley Law School) is misleading. CIS released its first in a three-part series report using the identical database that the Warren Institute’s analyzed.
After obtaining the documents from a Freedom of Information Act request, CIS concluded the Institute report contained factual flaws.
CIS contends that the Warren Institute obtained the ICE records and those documents reveal a disturbing pattern of abuse of authority by Immigration Customs and Enforcement (ICE). The Warren Institute further claims ICE participated in numerous unlawful actions including; wrongful arrests of thousands of U.S. citizens, a pattern of racial profiling against Latinos, and denial of due process for aliens in removal proceedings.
The allegations made by the Warren Institute has since made main-stream media headlines as well as captured many Congressional members attention.
While the Center for Immigration Studies agrees “the ICE database does provide an interesting and relatively rare snapshot of the actual Secure Communities caseload,” they found that the records they reexamined didn’t support any allegations that ICE abused their authority.
Some of the results from the CIS study include;
* The database contains no records of U.S. citizens who were detained by or for ICE. It is impossible to assert based on this data, as the critics have, that thousands of U.S. citizens, or any number of U.S. citizens, have been arrested by ICE through Secure Communities.
* The Warren Institute report contains serious methodological and interpretive errors that lead its authors to unsubstantiated conclusions and cast doubt on the credibility of the entire analysis. For example, the authors analyzed only 23 percent of the original random sample requested from ICE.
* ICE’s failure to counter the report’s misleading statements is contributing to the spread of misconceptions about Secure Communities among the media, state and local leaders, and the public. This raises doubts as to the agency leaders’ commitment to full and effective implementation of the program.
* We agree with the Warren Institute authors on the issue of the need for improved transparency at ICE and its parent Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
The first set of findings can be found online at http://cis.org/SC-by-the-numbers-critique-part1.
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
All council members present decided the city’s 1.6 million immigrants that make up 40 percent of the population deserved to be recognized.
The resolution deems Los Angeles a “global city” that represents many cultures and languages. In the past, the city has also voiced its disapproval of Arizona’s adoption of SB1070 as well as other copycat illegal immigration laws springing up in many other states.
“Anti-immigrant legislation like SB 1070 in Arizona and other ‘copy-cat’ measures now circulating across the nation inherently cause racial profiling and discrimination against certain ethno-racial groups that ‘look and sound’ like immigrant populations,” the resolution reads.
Los Angeles Council members have recognized several pro-immigrant advocates in California who are actively engaged to repeal Arizona’s anti-immigrant laws, as well as prevent anti-immigrant legislation from passing in other states as a reason to adopt the resolution.
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The council clearly indicated they supported the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM) Act even though it failed at the federal level last year during the lame-duck session in Congress.
“In 2011 important efforts are unfolding in California, New York, Illinois, Massachusetts and other states to enact pro-immigrant policies, as well as withdraw from ineffective and/or heavy-handed federal enforcement polices like Secure Communities.”
However, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) just announced they are rescinding the Memorandums of Agreement (MOAs) on Secure Communities with states like California, Illinois, New York and Massachusetts that want to withdraw from the program. DHS maintains that the Secure Communities program is mandated by federal law and said it will implement the program nationwide by 2013.
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Continue reading on Examiner.com Los Angeles City Council votes to make August “Immigrant Pride Month” – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/los-angeles-city-council-votes-to-make-august-immigrant-pride-month#ixzz1Uey6EKF5
The Los Angeles City Council voted 11-1 yesterday to support state legislation allowing the city to opt out of Department of Homeland Security’s “Secure Communities’” program that requires law enforcement officers to submit fingerprints of arrested people to immigration officials.
In an effort to crackdown on illegal immigration and comply with federal deportation orders, DHS created the program in 2008 in order to cross-check fingerprints of arrestees with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Former Los Angeles police chief, Bernard Parks who is now a LA City Councilman, introduced the motion supporting the state legislation. Parks said the program targeted illegal immigrants convicted of violent crimes but the federal law has gone astray from its original purpose.
“One of the most significant issues of ‘Secure Communities’ is that it impedes victims (from) making crime reports,” Parks said. “That is a 40-year journey in the city of Los Angeles for the LAPD … finding ways through language skills and also breaking down barriers to allow victims to come in, unimpeded to report crimes.”
Parks went on to say that anti-immigration activists will accuse the city of being a sanctuary city that harbors criminals, “but the large issue for me is that this is a home-rule issue. The city of Los Angeles should set policies as it regards how they conduct business with the community in which they serve.”
LAPD Assistant Chief Michel Moore explained that Los Angeles’ Special Order 40, which prevents police officers from considering immigration status when initiating a police action, has kept the city safe since it was established in 1979 under former LA Police Chief Daryl Gates.
“The perception alone undermines our ability to maintain and build upon trust with these (immigrant) communities, trust that’s vital to our ability to maintain the safety for those communities and all Angelenos,” Moore said.
Other states across the country have already suspended the enforcement of the ‘Secure Communities” program. Some of these states include New York, Massachusetts and Illinois.
© Copyright 2011 Kimberly Dvorak All Rights Reserved.
Continue reading on Examiner.com Los Angeles to opt out of Secure Communities arrested illegals won’t be reported – San Diego County Political Buzz | Examiner.com http://www.examiner.com/county-political-buzz-in-san-diego/los-angeles-to-opt-out-of-secure-communities-arrested-illegals-won-t-be-reported#ixzz1OiXmyvlh
The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) along with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the Secure Communities initiative nabbed more than 111,000 criminal illegal aliens since its inception one year ago.
The debut program is a partnership between ICE and local law enforcement agencies that uses biometrics to identify and remove criminal aliens.
Secure Communities operates jointly between DHS, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and participating law enforcement agencies to check the digital fingerprints of illegals arrested and booked into local level against DHS “biometrics-based immigration records in addition to FBI databases.” This process allows ICE to take appropriate action to ensure that dangerous criminal aliens are not released back into communities.
The new law enforcement tool classifies illegal immigrants into three categories; level one crime includes murder, rape and kidnapping; level two and three include burglary and property type of crimes.
The first year of Secure Communities netted approximately 11,000 undocumented aliens with level one crimes, DHS also claims 1,900 of those criminals have already been deported.
“Secure Communities is one of the programs that enhance our efforts to keep the peace in the largest urban area in Texas,” said Harris County Sheriff Adrian Garcia. “My department was the first local law enforcement agency in the country to adopt the program.”
Now, a year later, the Sheriff’s department continues to use the program as a ‘safety net’ to help identify inmates who, have been placed in custody for allegedly committing a crime under state law.
In a statement from DHS, Secretary Janet Napolitano said, “Secure Communities provides our local partners with an effective tool to identify and remove dangerous criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety. We will continue to expand these partnerships to provide a force multiplier for ICE’s immigration enforcement efforts across the country.”
Due to the success of the new program, DHS projected that every state will have these tools to combat undocumented aliens who commit crimes by 2011. Each county across the country will be categorized into jurisdictions with the highest volume of dangerous criminals, those counties will receive assistance from DHS first.
For more information on the program; http://www.ice.gov
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