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    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Names of illegal aliens withheld, citing privacy rights

    EXCLUSIVE: Names of illegal immigrants withheld, citing privacy rights

    Agency asserts broad privacy rights for illegal immigrants

    2012-07-14T17:00:00Z2012-07-14T16:46:33Z
    By EDWARD SIFUENTES esifuentes@nctimes.com
    North County Times

    EXCLUSIVE ICE denies release of names of Operation Joint Effort deportees

    An ICE federal law enforcement agent, left, works with a Escondido Police Department gang enforcement officer, right, at a traffic stop in Escondido on Saturday evening. BILL WECHTER | bwechter@nctimes.com

    Citing privacy rights of illegal immigrants, federal officials have declined to release the names and other information about hundreds of people arrested and deported under a 2-year-old partnership between the Escondido Police Department and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    The stance drew sharp criticism from Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee.

    "It's indefensible that criminal illegal aliens are being given privacy rights that arrested U.S. citizens might not receive," Issa said in a written statement. "The Department of Homeland Security's FOIA operation has been plagued with interference from Obama administration political appointees, and I am concerned that their involvement may have contributed to the inadequate response to this legitimate request for information."

    The program, called Operation Joint Effort, started in May 2010 as a pilot program partnering immigration agents and Escondido police officers to arrest and deport criminal illegal immigrants, according to officials.

    Law enforcement officials from both agencies have praised the partnership, saying it has helped rid the city of hundreds of illegal immigrants who had previous criminal convictions or who had been ordered deported by an immigration judge.

    Critics, including local immigrant and civil rights groups, have said the program creates distrust between the city's immigrant community and the Police Department.

    The North County Times filed a federal Freedom of Information Act request with ICE in October 2011 asking for the names, dates of birth and the charges filed against each of those individuals.

    That kind of information is readily available to the public under state law for any individual who is arrested by a local police department.
    ICE denied the North County Times' request in a July 3 letter that said under federal law, the names of individuals detained for immigration violations is generally not considered public information for law enforcement and privacy reasons.

    "The (Freedom of Information Act) protects records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes that could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy," according to the letter. "This exemption takes particular note of the strong interests of individuals, whether they are suspects, witnesses, or investigators in not being unwarrantably associated with alleged criminal activity."

    The North County Times previously requested the same information from the Escondido Police Department. The city responded that the Police Department did not keep the information.

    Police Chief Jim Maher said the department does not keep track of those arrested under Operation Joint Effort. He said the department relies on ICE to keep that data and that he receives routine reports to review the operation.

    Maher said Thursday that he is not opposed to releasing the names and other information, but added that he would consult with ICE officials and the city attorney before agreeing to release it.
    "I don't want to jeopardize the program," Maher said.

    David Loy, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties, said the names and other identifying information of people deported by federal authorities are protected under the Freedom of Information Act.

    But the charges and other information about the program that doesn't reveal people's identity should be released, Loy said.
    Moreover, Loy said the Escondido Police Department should be keeping its own of information related to the program.

    "They need to keep records of what they say they are doing so that the public and the press can verify what they say they are doing," Loy said. "If they are not keeping records, we have no reason to believe anything that they say."

    Maher has said that Operation Joint Effort does not target illegal immigrants who have done nothing wrong beyond entering the country illegally. He said police do not arrest illegal immigrants who are victims or witnesses of crime.

    However, officers will contact immigration agents whenever a person who is arrested is suspected of being in the country illegally, according to the department's immigration policy.

    Since the Operation Joint Effort began May 10, 2010, the program has been credited with helping deport 819 people as of June 2012, according to ICE officials in San Diego.

    The program, which started with three ICE officers, now has nearly a dozen immigration officers working out of the Escondido Police Department's headquarters.

    Last year, the department received an award from ICE for outstanding collaboration between the two agencies.

    The Police Department has previously released statistical information about the program, including the number of arrests for convictions in crimes related to gang, drugs, sex and theft.

    As of Nov. 14, 2011, the latest breakdown provided by the Police Department, 650 people were arrested under the program. Of those, 175 were arrested for drunken driving, 100 in connection with drug-related crimes and 59 for thefts. The second-largest category, 115 arrests, was listed as "other" crimes and 88 had no previous criminal convictions but had prior deportation orders.

    The department did not provide information about each individual arrest.

    EXCLUSIVE: Names of illegal immigrants withheld, citing privacy rights : Escondido
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    MW
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    Quote Originally Posted by JohnDoe2 View Post
    EXCLUSIVE: Names of illegal immigrants withheld, citing privacy rights

    Agency asserts broad privacy rights for illegal immigrants

    2012-07-14T17:00:00Z2012-07-14T16:46:33Z
    By EDWARD SIFUENTES esifuentes@nctimes.com
    North County Times

    EXCLUSIVE ICE denies release of names of Operation Joint Effort deportees

    An ICE federal law enforcement agent, left, works with a Escondido Police Department gang enforcement officer, right, at a traffic stop in Escondido on Saturday evening. BILL WECHTER | bwechter@nctimes.com

    Citing privacy rights of illegal immigrants, federal officials have declined to release the names and other information about hundreds of people arrested and deported under a 2-year-old partnership between the Escondido Police Department and the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

    The stance drew sharp criticism from Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Vista, chairman of the House Oversight & Government Reform Committee.

    "It's indefensible that criminal illegal aliens are being given privacy rights that arrested U.S. citizens might not receive," Issa said in a written statement. "The Department of Homeland Security's FOIA operation has been plagued with interference from Obama administration political appointees, and I am concerned that their involvement may have contributed to the inadequate response to this legitimate request for information."

    The program, called Operation Joint Effort, started in May 2010 as a pilot program partnering immigration agents and Escondido police officers to arrest and deport criminal illegal immigrants, according to officials.

    Law enforcement officials from both agencies have praised the partnership, saying it has helped rid the city of hundreds of illegal immigrants who had previous criminal convictions or who had been ordered deported by an immigration judge.

    Critics, including local immigrant and civil rights groups, have said the program creates distrust between the city's immigrant community and the Police Department.

    The North County Times filed a federal Freedom of Information Act request with ICE in October 2011 asking for the names, dates of birth and the charges filed against each of those individuals.

    That kind of information is readily available to the public under state law for any individual who is arrested by a local police department.
    ICE denied the North County Times' request in a July 3 letter that said under federal law, the names of individuals detained for immigration violations is generally not considered public information for law enforcement and privacy reasons.

    "The (Freedom of Information Act) protects records or information compiled for law enforcement purposes that could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy," according to the letter. "This exemption takes particular note of the strong interests of individuals, whether they are suspects, witnesses, or investigators in not being unwarrantably associated with alleged criminal activity."

    The North County Times previously requested the same information from the Escondido Police Department. The city responded that the Police Department did not keep the information.

    Police Chief Jim Maher said the department does not keep track of those arrested under Operation Joint Effort. He said the department relies on ICE to keep that data and that he receives routine reports to review the operation.

    Maher said Thursday that he is not opposed to releasing the names and other information, but added that he would consult with ICE officials and the city attorney before agreeing to release it.
    "I don't want to jeopardize the program," Maher said.

    David Loy, legal director for the American Civil Liberties Union of San Diego and Imperial Counties, said the names and other identifying information of people deported by federal authorities are protected under the Freedom of Information Act.

    But the charges and other information about the program that doesn't reveal people's identity should be released, Loy said.
    Moreover, Loy said the Escondido Police Department should be keeping its own of information related to the program.

    "They need to keep records of what they say they are doing so that the public and the press can verify what they say they are doing," Loy said. "If they are not keeping records, we have no reason to believe anything that they say."

    Maher has said that Operation Joint Effort does not target illegal immigrants who have done nothing wrong beyond entering the country illegally. He said police do not arrest illegal immigrants who are victims or witnesses of crime.

    However, officers will contact immigration agents whenever a person who is arrested is suspected of being in the country illegally, according to the department's immigration policy.

    Since the Operation Joint Effort began May 10, 2010, the program has been credited with helping deport 819 people as of June 2012, according to ICE officials in San Diego.

    The program, which started with three ICE officers, now has nearly a dozen immigration officers working out of the Escondido Police Department's headquarters.

    Last year, the department received an award from ICE for outstanding collaboration between the two agencies.

    The Police Department has previously released statistical information about the program, including the number of arrests for convictions in crimes related to gang, drugs, sex and theft.

    As of Nov. 14, 2011, the latest breakdown provided by the Police Department, 650 people were arrested under the program. Of those, 175 were arrested for drunken driving, 100 in connection with drug-related crimes and 59 for thefts. The second-largest category, 115 arrests, was listed as "other" crimes and 88 had no previous criminal convictions but had prior deportation orders.

    The department did not provide information about each individual arrest.

    EXCLUSIVE: Names of illegal immigrants withheld, citing privacy rights : Escondido
    Something about this has a rather pungent smell about it. How is it that an American citizens arrested for a DUI is public information but an illegal alien arrested and convicted of rape isn't?
    Kiara and kevinssdad like this.

    "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing" ** Edmund Burke**

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