Immigration Law Associates, PC


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This past Tuesday, the dreaded Secure Communities program went into effect in Washington D.C., despite local resistance.  Under this program, the local criminal records that are submitted to the FBI are crosschecked against Immigration and Customs Enforcement immigration databases.

The D.C. Council filed for D.C. to be opted out of this program, but the Federal Government’s response was that this is not an option.  The only way to opt out would be if the local security forces never check criminal records against FBI databases, and this is unrealistic.  Yet Mayor Gray refused to give in and has ordered the D.C. police not to question people about their immigration status when they pull them over for routine stops and minor violations.  There is also legislation that is currently underway that would allow D.C. to turn over suspected illegal immigrants to ICE only if they’re wanted for violent crimes that were performed in the last decade.  Even then, the suspected illegals would only be held for twenty- four hours and with expectation of reimbursement.

Washington D.C.’s resistance to Secure Communities has earned it the title of “sanctuary city”, and we hope that it will remain so.

The problems with this are multiple such as arrests of US citizens; less reporting on crimes for fear of arrest; rounding up of persons who have minor infractions such as traffic violations; clogging up an already backlogged immigration court system and causing potential harm to US children of illegal parents as they would be abandoned and sent into guardianships or deported with the parents.

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Filed under: Immigration Issues