ICE Reorganizes To Promote Criminal Investigation Over Deportation Or Is This Just A Cover For Another “Secure Communities” Program?
In the wake of the problems raised in Arizona and now other states, Assistant Secretary John Morton is seeking to improve reporting and structure management by reorganizing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) into three directorates that should improve and prioritizing criminal investigation over deportation. Hopefully this does not become just another “Secure Communities” (S-Comm) program such as was quietly initiated in March 2008!
Supposedly this program was to identify and remove the most dangerous “Level 1” alien offenders but instead the fates of Level 2 and Level 3 offenders were left to the “discretion” of ICE officials.
The statistics show that the majority of offenders that were deported under S-COMM were committing non- violent crimes most of which were simply illegal overstays. Although this program had as a stated purpose to increase public safety by removing the most dangerous criminal aliens from the United States, in reality it made communities less safe by weakening the relations between the community and law enforcement. As a result there are as of May 25, 2010 over 197 jurisdictions in 20 states that deploy a biometric sharing capacity to quickly identify aliens. You can check below if you are in one of these jurisdictions.
Now, ICE comes up with yet another proposal to assign EAD (Executive Associate Directors) to HIS ( Homeland Security Investigations); ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operations); and Management/ Administration.
In particular ERO is designed to align current DRO (Detention and Removal Operations) with Secure Communities program.
Targeted goals of this new reorganization according to Daniel Ragsdale are performance, organizational effectiveness, and efficiency to:
1) prevent terrorism and enhance national security
2) secure and manage borders
3) enforce and administer immigration laws
4) investigate gross border related cyber crime
Another new program supposedly designed to streamline DHS functions and increase reporting. One wonders if this is just another façade intended to increase the record high 54% federal immigration deportations focused largely on non-violent crimes of 2009.
In this time of severe economic concern immigrants have injected new life and strength into our communities and although this is recognized by the media it is often forgotten.
What Have Politicians And Media Said About Immigrants?
“Immigrants have always been an essential part of America’s economic strength,” said Mayor Bloomberg. “This coalition was formed to change our current immigration policy, which is undermining our economy and threatening our status as the world’s leading power. Too many innovative new companies, and the jobs they create, are being formed overseas because entrepreneurs can’t get a green card to start them here. We need to break the legislative stalemate that has taken over Congress if we want the U.S. to remain competitive in the 21st century.”
“American ingenuity is a product of the openness and diversity of this society,” said Rupert Murdoch. “Immigrants have made America great as the world leader in business, science, higher education and innovation. As an immigrant myself, I believe that this country can and must enact new immigration policies that fulfill our employment needs, provide a careful pathway to legal status for undocumented residents, and end illegal immigration.”