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Immigration: Illinois backs out of controversial program intended to deport dangerous immigrants

Pat Quinn Homeland Security Department officials got some bad news Wednesday when Illinois officials announced they are dropping out of Secure Communities, a controversial program created in 2008 to track and deport dangerous criminals.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn said he had decided to terminate the state's agreement with the department because of concern that the program wasn't meeting its stated goal of going after dangerous immigrants with serious criminal convictions. Instead, he said,  more than 30% of those caught and deported in Illinois under Secure Communities had never been convicted of a crime.

Secure Communities allows state and local police to check the immigration status of people who were arrested and booked in local jails by matching fingerprints against federal databases for criminal convictions and deportation orders.

Under federal law, being in the U.S. without a visa or permit is not a criminal offense but a civil violation.

Like Quinn, local officials have repeatedly sought to opt out of participating in Secure Communities only to learn they can’t. 

In California, several counties, including  San Francisco and Santa Clara, attempted to opt out of the program only to be told they couldn't. 

Assemblyman Tom Ammiano (D-San Francisco) is sponsoring a bill that would require California to modify its agreement with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of the Homeland Security Department, so that only fingerprints of convicted felons are run through the immigration database. The bill also contains protections for domestic-violence victims and juveniles and would make the program optional for counties.

Homeland Security Department officials appear to be scrambling to prevent more problems. Officials have ordered a review of data for signs of racial profiling and to search for ways to ensure the program targets immigrants with criminal convictions. But that may not be enough. Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) and Sen. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.) are asking for a probe into whether ICE intentionally misled the public and local authorities to get them to enlist in Secure Communities.

It seems that the Homeland Security Department has a knack for rolling out programs that promise to go after dangerous criminal immigrants and fail to deliver.

In 2009, the agency revamped another controversial program that was designed to go after illegal immigrants with outstanding deportation orders when it was revealed many of the individuals detained were under no prior order to leave the country.

RELATED:

Will state attorney general support limiting Secure Communities?

Review of jail fingerprint-sharing program underway

-- Alexandra Le Tellier

Photo: Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn. Credit: Seth Perlman / Associated Press

 

Comments () | Archives (17)

The comments to this entry are closed.

Halibut

They can't "back out" of the program because when an arrest occurs fingerprints will be taken and routed to the FBI, which is a federal agency after which ICE has access to the information. ICE will know of the arrest in any case. The only thing Illinois authorities can do is refuse to hold the person in custody. So if they arrest an illegal, turn him lose without notifying ICE and the guy kills someone, it will be on the heads of Illinois.

Aj

Why do ignorant people think that all the immigrants are dangerous criminals or that they are a burden to society?

I agree deporting violent criminals , but the majority of them are hard working people that could get arrested for a expired or non existent DL and get eventually deported under this "secure communities "program.

Wake up people ! Do some research and dont let conservatives wash your brain with their neonazi ideas!!!

Mitchell Young

*Being* in the US without a valid visa might be a civil matter, but the US code seems to this non-lawyer to make *entering* the US illegal a crime.
===
8 U.S.C. § 1325 : US Code - Section 1325: Improper entry by alien

(a) Improper time or place; avoidance of examination or inspection;
misrepresentation and concealment of facts
Any alien who (1) enters or attempts to enter the United States
at any time or place other than as designated by immigration
officers, or (2) eludes examination or inspection by immigration
officers, or (3) attempts to enter or obtains entry to the United
States by a willfully false or misleading representation or the
willful concealment of a material fact, shall, for the first
commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18 or
imprisoned not more than 6 months, or both, and, for a subsequent
commission of any such offense, be fined under title 18, or
imprisoned not more than 2 years, or both.
(b) Improper time or place; civil penalties
Any alien who is apprehended while entering (or attempting to
enter) the United States at a time or place other than as
designated by immigration officers shall be subject to a civil
penalty of -
(1) at least $50 and not more than $250 for each such entry (or
attempted entry); or
(2) twice the amount specified in paragraph (1) in the case of
an alien who has been previously subject to a civil penalty under
this subsection.
Civil penalties under this subsection are in addition to, and not
in lieu of, any criminal or other civil penalties that may be
imposed.
(c) Marriage fraud
Any individual who knowingly enters into a marriage for the
purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws shall be
imprisoned for not more than 5 years, or fined not more than
$250,000, or both.
(d) Immigration-related entrepreneurship fraud
Any individual who knowingly establishes a commercial enterprise
for the purpose of evading any provision of the immigration laws
shall be imprisoned for not more than 5 years, fined in accordance
with title 18, or both.
===
Notice that the civil penalties are * in addition to, not in lieu of* any other *criminal* or civil penalties. Notice also that misleading immigration and customs officials, even at a legal port of entry, appears to be a crime punishable by up to two years in lockup . Therefore someone who came with a valid visa, but with the intention of overstaying would be committing a crime.

FreeTexan

Entering the country illegally is a crime. Entering with children is child endangerment. A child that becomes an adult and doesn't take steps to be here legally is a crime again. Stop whining and follow the law. Citizens of the US are required to follow the law. Why not an illegal alien?

Mitchell Young

@Aj

We think they are a burden to society because they are. Here, for example, are the figures on welfare use by immigrant-headed households.

http://cis.org/immigrant-welfare-use-2011

---
In 2009 (based on data collected in 2010), 57 percent of households headed by an immigrant (legal and illegal) with children (under 18) used at least one welfare program, compared to 39 percent for native households with children.
...
Households with children with the highest welfare use rates are those headed by immigrants from the Dominican Republic (82 percent), *Mexico and Guatemala (75 percent[!])*, and Ecuador (70 percent). Those with the lowest use rates are from the United Kingdom (7 percent), India (19 percent), Canada (23 percent), and Korea (25 percent).
...
[And while they may have a good work ethic, the fact is that immigrant households from the major sending countries just aren't a good fit for an advance industrial economy]

An unwillingness to work is not the reason immigrant welfare use is high. The vast majority (95 percent) of immigrant households with children had at least one worker in 2009. But their low education levels mean that more than half of these working immigrant households with children still accessed the welfare system during 2009.
---
Look, during the great immigration cut off in mid-20th century, burgers still got flipped, lawns mowed, hedges trimmed, hotel beds made, cars washed, houses framed, roofs tarred. We will always have enough folks to do those things, though perhaps not at the wages business wants to pay. Importing people to do those jobs just hurts those at the lower rung directly, and the middle classes by adding to the tax burder.

Mitchell Young

Even taking Quinn's word that 30% are not *convicted* criminals (I'll willing to bet that a large fraction are people given a choice to be deported versus standing trial) , that means to governor is willing to allow back on American streets the 70% have have been convicted of a crime.

Okay, I'm done.

Michael N

I want to know how race is determined when finger prints are passed on to ICE.

Brittanicus

Remember who your Political adversaries are in coming elections, whose main concern is more votes and additional amounts of illegal cheap labor.


PLEASE TAKE AN ACCOUNTING OF WHICH POLITICIAN IS WORKING FOR YOU THE TAXPAYER? ARIZONA WAS JUSTIFIED AS A FRONTIER STATE, TO STOP THE FINANCIAL DEGRADATION BY ILLEGAL ALIENS SETTLING THERE. THE ARIZONA GOVERNOR JAN BREWER AND STATE SENATOR PIERCE ARE STILL FIGHTING OVERWHELMING ODDS IN THE MILITANT COURTS AND THE LIBERAL CZARS IN OUR FEDERAL CAPITOL. AMERICA IS A LAND OF LAWS, WHICH LEFTISTS AND SOME OF THE RIGHT TEND TO FORGET? THE STATE OF ILLINOIS WILL SOON ENOUGH LEARN OF THEIR ERROR FOR NOT LISTENING TO ITS PEOPLE. UNKNOWN NUMBERS OF FRESH ECONOMIC MIGRANTS WILL ATTACH THEMSELVES TO THE COMMUNITIES, EXHAUSTING EVEN MORE TAXPAYER DOLLARS. ILLINOIS WILL BECOME ANOTHER CALIFORNIA OR NEVADA, WITH INCREASING CRIME AND A WELFARE TROUGH FOR EVERY FOREIGN NATIONAL TO DRINK FROM?


Our lawmakers must be persuaded by the threat of being voted out of office, that they must mandate such logical laws as mandating E-Verify, Secure communities and the 287 G. These people are not just the Senators or Congressmen-Women in Washington, but it’s also a mixed bag of Governors, Mayors, Police Chiefs and a wide range of city managers. Many of these Liberal-Democrats are in Congress to feather their own nests from special interest groups; there are no mitigating circumstances for hard line, wealthy Republicans either. Good Righteous Americans have come to the end of their tether, that's why "THE PEOPLE'S" TEA PARTY was born?

The Obama government of today and yesteryear administration has seen fit, to cater to the illegal immigration invaders, and now years of disgusting failures and complete incompetence is driving federal and State treasuries into bankruptcy. How many Trillions of dollars could America have packed into infrastructure, welfare nets, balancing federal State and local government, if that deceased Lib-Democrat Ted Kennedy hadn't rescinded the nationality "Quota System?." If the previous President LBJ' Immigration law had remained steadfast? But today with have nothing but economic illegal aliens threading their way across a poorly funded border; undermanned with no troops present to stop this incursion. Now America is going through a huge crime wave, as the sewers of South America have opened spilling there offal and bringing with it unfettered death and destruction to the American people.

To ensure America's future and your children, we must bring to a halt this invasion of our sovereign nation. The Liberal progressives and their philosophy have no respect for people’s freedom and self determination. We cannot afford to feed the world or allow activist judges to supersede laws such as illegal alien schooling or free health care. Our only real choice is to unseat the factions of "Tax and Spend" We have massive US deficit through entitlement programs that is partially caused by the 300.000 annual Birthright baby citizenship law illegal parents to settle with expenditures in the billions of taxpayer dollars. The TEA PARTY has an unparalleled growth membership that is threatening the two party system of government, which is totally destroying this country through partisan economics. But the TEA PARTY is rapidly moving ahead with the assurance, that the illegal immigration occupation will be halted.

All new members are welcome as long as you entered this country legally, without any prejudiced to your previous skin color, religion or allegiance to a foreign nation. This is a firm commitment to honest legal immigrants, who have assimilated into the American culture. America can no longer support the impoverished peoples in our country or across the Earth. COME! Join us today! Join your local chapter or national TEA PARTY, and make your single voice join tens of millions more against the corruption in Washington. Call and raise hell with your local and federal lawmaker at Senate—202-224–3121/ House—202-225–3121 or locate the in your phone directory blue pages. Learn the immigration grades of those amongst lawmakers at NumbersUSA.

okaydokay2

Hew Times moron what with the water boarding shot for illinois not bothering illegals?

Hello Hello

Warren

Illegal mean that they are in the country illegally. It shouldn't matter if the have a criminal record or not. If they do anything that puts them in the system, they should be deported!

The Searcher

What is wrong with deporting illegals? There are laws agaist being in this country illegally just like in every other country on Earth.

Marlena

COWARDS - an illegal alien deported is a good thing whether he/she is a dangerous criminal or not - still a criminal and a tax taker.

UNCLE BERNIE

they need to ship them all to California where we can feed, cloth, educate. and support them for life. And maybe a free LA Times subscription.

Beast

ICE Director John Morton as well as Janet Napolitano made it clear that this program is not voluntary, and will be implemented nationwide by 2013.

Also, San Francisco wants to "opt out" as well, to maintain their sanctuary city law (which violates Federal law.)

People kept crying about immigration being a Federal issue, then when the Feds come in to initiate their program, it's "racist and xenophobic."

You people better wake up and realize, that these illegals will make ANY excuse to stay.

DEPORT ALL ILLEGALS.

Ross

Impeach Tom Ammiano, He swore to uphold the Constitution and protect the citizens. Citizens, citizens that pay taxes, vote, create jobs, that want protection from the invasion that is happening here in CA.
An illegal doesn't pay rent, gets an EBT (food stamp card), can enter your hospital emergency ward and has to be "checked-out" at your cost, drop an anchor and now it's free breakfast, lunch and education at your cost. When are you going to wake up face the nightmare?

4th generation Ca native

Get real LA Times - you don't want ANY illegals deported. PERIOD!

Joel Wischkaemper

So far, all the supporters of the illegal aliens can do is thug us, and then force us, to accept the illegal aliens. At some point we are going to vote. The element the Democrats have is the Secure Elections Program and if they jigger that, I can tell you how it will go right now. Anyone familiar with Acorn knows the intention to defraud is still high, and they will do it to us.


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