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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Maryland now 100% I.C.E. Secure Communities

    Posted at 11:45 AM ET, 02/16/2012

    Federal illegal immigration program expands in Md.

    By Dan Morse

    Federal immigration officials next week are set to start an illegal immigration enforcement program for Montgomery County and the city of Baltimore, making the “Secure Communities” initiative complete across Maryland. The program — which helps track fingerprints of arrestees who may be in the country illegally — has spread to about 71 percent of jurisdictions nationwide.

    Lots of local police officials like it, because they say it effectively keeps them out of the immigration enforcement business. Critics have said it can led to deportations of people picked up for the most minor of offenses.

    In a notice to officials in Montgomery and Baltimore this week, the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said Secure Communities will be deployed on Wednesday for those two jurisdictions. The notice stressed that jail officials won’t have to do anything differently. Indeed, in Montgomery County, correctional officers already send inmate fingerprints to a state collection system, according to Arthur Wallenstein, head of corrections in the county. Those prints are sent to the FBI, according to ICE. Under the Security Communities program, the fingerprints go one step farther — to federal immigration officials.

    If immigration officials match the prints with the types of people they are targeting, they will move to have them detained and possibly deported. “ICE places a high priority on the removal of aliens convicted of crimes, recent illegal border crossers, immigration fugitives, and repeat immigration law violators,” the notice said.

    An ICE spokesperson declined to confirm the Wednesday start date in Montgomery and Baltimore, but said in a statement: “ICE continues to work with its law enforcement partners in Montgomery and Baltimore City counties and across the country to responsibly and effectively implement this federal information sharing capability and plans to reach complete nationwide activation by the end of 2013.”

    Patrick Lacefield, a spokesman for Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett (D) said the Secure Communities notice from the federal government will compel the county to not do anything to impede the program. “We certainly don’t believe we have a choice in the matter,” he said.

    Nancy Navarro, a Montgomery County Council member who has raised questions about Secure Communities in the past, said she will meet next week with Montgomery police and jail officials to make sure the program isn’t abused.

    Navarro said both departments have worked hard to develop trust within the county’s immigrant community, and she doesn’t want to see it jeopardized. Federal officials appear to be making efforts not to use Secure Communities to deport people who have been in the U.S. a long time and get caught on minor charges, she said. “But the jury is still out on that,” Navarro added.

    Federal illegal immigration program expands in Md. - Crime Scene - The Washington Post
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    MW
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    If immigration officials match the prints with the types of people they are targeting, they will move to have them detained and possibly deported. “ICE places a high priority on the removal of aliens convicted of crimes, recent illegal border crossers, immigration fugitives, and repeat immigration law violators,” the notice said.
    The so-called "types of people they are targeting" is a narrow list that fails to include illegals that are pregnant, attending school, families with children born in the U.S., have family members that have served in the military, etc. Heck, from what I understand even those without fingerprints on file get a free pass because those folks without prints on file have not been arrested for a crime. The fact of the matter is, Secure Communities basically ignores the vast majority of illegals currently residing in this country. As it stands, and the program evolves as DHS and the Obama administration envision it, Secure Communities will be giving most illegal aliens defacto amnesty! Secure Communities is a watered down version of the much tougher 287(g) program that is, for the most part, being phased out ...... or so it would seem.

    Is the program better than nothing, absolutely, but it will not do the job that most Americans expect and demand!
    "Too bad ninety percent of the politicians give the other ten percent a bad reputation." Henry Kissinger

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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Maryland Secure Communities

    December 22, 2009
    Prince George’s

    April 6, 2010
    Frederick
    Queen Anne’s
    St. Mary’s

    December 14, 2010
    Baltimore County

    December 21, 2010
    Carroll

    December 28, 2010
    Anne Arundel

    February 1, 2011
    Dorchester
    Talbot

    February 8, 2011
    Caroline

    February 15, 2011
    Kent
    Somerset

    February 15, 2011
    Worcester

    March 22, 2011
    Calvert
    Cecil
    Charles
    Harford
    Howard

    April 12, 2011
    Allegany

    April 12, 2011
    Garrett
    Washington

    April 19, 2011
    Wicomico

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Montgomery to Join Jail-Based Deportation Program

    Immigration officials set to deploy "Secure Communities" in Montgomery County and Baltimore City on Feb. 22.

    By Sebastian Montes
    Email the author
    6:00 am

    After more than two years of public outcry, political wrangling and postponement, a controversial jail-based deportation program will take effect next week in Montgomery County and Baltimore City, the final two Maryland jurisdictions not already taking part.

    U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement notified Montgomery County officials earlier this week of the Feb. 22 launch for the “Secure Communities” program, which aims to more quickly and accurately identify the deportable immigrants among everyone arrested and fingerprinted in Montgomery County jails.

    With a simultaneous launch in Baltimore City, all of Maryland will have joined in since the program arrived in Prince George's County at the end of 2009.

    Under Secure Communities, the fingerprints of all arrestees are checked against a federal database of known illegal immigrants and legal immigrants who have committed deportable offenses.

    Created in 2008, the program now includes roughly 1,500 jurisdictions across the country, with nationwide coverage planned by next year.

    Montgomery County was supposed to be among the first Maryland jurisdictions with Secure Communities, but ICE rolled it out in Prince George’s County in December 2009 then Frederick, Queen Anne’s and St. Mary’s counties in April 2010. Montgomery County and Baltimore City became Maryland's final two holdouts when Allegany, Garrett, Washington and Wicomico counties joined in April 2011.

    Last spring, ICE set Montgomery's launch for Sept. 27, but pushed that back indefinitely to revise its deployment schedule.

    On Tuesday, the coordinator of ICE’s Baltimore field office notified Montgomery County Sheriff Darren Popkin, who then circulated the email to police, prosecutors and other top county officials.

    “Exactly as expected,” said Art Wallenstein, director of the Montgomery County Department of Correction and Rehabilitation. “ICE always told us that at some point in 2012 this would be rolled out to all counties.”

    In 2010, Montgomery County Executive Isiah Leggett explored the possibility of abstaining from Secure Communities. After months of analysis, Leggett decided the county could not hold out. Leggett (D) has since said that the county was ready for Secure Communities whenever ICE was.

    “The county has no choice. We will comply,” Leggett spokesman Patrick Lacefield wrote in an email to Patch on Thursday.

    Immigrant advocates and members of the County Council members pushed Leggett in April to refuse the program, as Washington, D.C. has done. In May, the council passed a watered-down resolution asking that ICE focus on serious criminals.

    County Council President Roger Berliner declined to comment on Thursday afternoon. Councilwoman Nancy Navarro—who led the push against the program and drafted the resolution—could not be immediately reached.

    Secure Communities will not alter the county’s arrest procedures “in any way,” wrote John Alderman, director of ICE's Baltimore field office, wrote in this week's message to Montgomery officials. The sole difference is that the FBI will forward the fingerprints to the Department of Homeland Security to search in an immigration database called the Automated Biometric Identification System (IDENT) System.

    When the fingerprints match IDENT records, ICE agents make a case-by-case determination whether to flag the arrestee for deportation. Relevant factors include family ties, how long they’ve been in the U.S., significant medical and mental health issues, criminal record, previous deportation and outstanding removal orders, Alderman wrote.

    Critics have blasted Secure Communities for too often straying from its stated goal of identifying only the most dangerous criminals. President Barack Obama directed ICE to reform the program last year to prevent the deportation of victims and witnesses and to hone in on the most serious offenders.

    “High priority” cases include: immigrants with criminal convictions, “recent illegal border crossers, immigration fugitives, and repeat immigration law violators,” Alderman wrote.

    “This prioritization, however, does not mean ICE will decline to remove other aliens identified through Secure Communities who are present in the United States without lawful authority.”

    Montgomery to Join Jail-Based Deportation Program - Montgomery Village, MD Patch
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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