The allure of 'secure'

A year after Secure Communities, a controversial immigration enforcement program at the center of President Barack Obama’s immigration policies, was launched, Janet Napolitano, then-secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, described the program as an “effective tool to identify and remove dangerous criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety.”

But the cover story from the new issue of The Chicago Reporter found that many immigrants who were booked into immigration custody under Secure Communities had not been charged with, or convicted of, any crime.

The Reporter found:

  • 46 percent of 3,023 people who were booked into immigration custody under Secure Communities between Nov. 24, 2009, and July 25, 2011, were never charged with, or convicted of, the crimes for which they were arrested,
  • Another 29 percent were charged with one misdemeanor, which in many cases stemmed from a traffic violation before being taken into immigration custody, the analysis shows.
  • 41 percent of the deportation cases in Illinois were triggered by a traffic related offense.

Read more from our new issue here.

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