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Immigration: Should California suspend participation in Secure Communities?

Secure Communities Opposition to the federal government's controversial Secure Communities immigration program appears to be growing, at least among some elected officials.

A group of seven congressional members are asking Gov. Jerry Brown to suspend participation in the program that requires the fingerprints of all arrestees to be shared with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Secure Communities has drawn fire from civil and immigrant rights' groups, and some law enforcement officials, who say it has failed to meet its stated goal of targeting immigrants convicted  of violent crimes and instead led to the deportation of thousands of undocumented immigrants with no criminal history.

Secure communities It will be interesting to see if Brown follows the lead of governors in Massachusetts, New York and Illinois; all three states have said they want to stop sharing information with the Department of Homeland Security. The Obama administration has pushed back, insisting state's can't back out of the program.

Moreover, Brown signed on to Secure Communities during his tenure as state attorney general. Brown could sidestep the issue by simply waiting to see if a bill making its way through the Legislature is passed. The bill, known as the Trust Act, would put limits on how much information is shared with federal officials and require those counties that want to take part in Secure Communities to opt in, instead of the current system that automatically requires enrollment.

The letter asking Brown to end the state’s participation in Secure Communities was signed by Reps.  Xavier Becerra (D-Los Angeles), Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-East Los Angeles) Judy Chu (D-Monterey Park), Maxine Waters (D-Los Angeles), Linda T. Sanchez (D-Lakewood), Grace F. Napolitano (D-Norwalk) and Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles).


A flawed deportation tool

Immigration: What the U.S. does right

California's colleges and illegal immigrants

Helping fund illegal immigrants through college

Secure Communities and California's push to limit its impact

--Sandra Hernandez

Photos: The Secure Communities program runs the fingerprints of everyone who is booked into jail against FBI criminal history records and Department of Homeland Security immigration records to determine who is in the country illegally and whether they've been arrested before. Credit: Chris Schneider / Associated Press. Below, U.S. Rep Xavier Becerra, middle, Vice Chair of the House Democratic Caucus, Rep. Judy Chu, second from right, and Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard, far right, release a letter asking Gov. Brown to suspend its participation in Secure Communities. Credit: Damian Dovarganes / Associated Press


Comments () | Archives (25)

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e-verify is the best thing to come along since sliced bread...secure communities would rid california of all the illegal undesirables and send them back home to Mexico....I certainly don't want their vermin in my country.


Of course! Just send them the $$$ they want and leave them alone unless there is a service you can perform for them.


I worked in the public sector for years. There was a time when law enforcement's Dream was to have a sharable database for fingerprint sharing. We worked to secure the funding for this wonderful new resource in law enforcement. It seems that "secure communities" (read criminals) do not want this wonderful new tool and have the political clout to demand changes in our laws to suit them.

Pasquino Marforio

I think it's time for white America to take back it's country. The people we're loaning it out too aren't treating it very well.

Gretchen Broom

America is great at correcting other countries problems and securing their borders, but when it comes to defending America's borders it becomes a legal wrangle between what is fitting and morally and judiciously proper. How safe are Americans supposed to feel when people are in this country illegally, without proper documentation, we don't know what crimes they people are capable of. When American citizens break laws they are immediately put in jails and prisons; Americans walk a fine line, while illegals break all the rules and manage to get away with it. Everything is at a standstill now; and when it's time to go to the polls politicians will tell you what they intend on doing about illegal immigration but there will be no changes. America citizens must do what is necessary to defend themselves and their families, because honestly I don't believe things will ever go back to the way they were, so you can forget about that.


This is just a classic State vs. Federal laws or pushing state's rights.

I have to say that I am liberal/progressive, but breaking the law is breaking the law. We don't have to put up with trying to protect those that come to the US illegally. We need to come up with a rational solution. One point that they make is illegal immigrants without a criminal history, but isn't coming here illegally a crime?

Otherwise, suspend any actions against citizens that are considered to be in violation of the law.

Jasper Singletary

Absolutely not, It seems that the only programs America has implemented that work, some want to do away with. both are designed with the best interest of Americans at heart. e-verify has been proven to be more effective than social security, and no one wants to touch social security.

Secure communities does not discriminate, it simply connects local state and federal databases to weed out criminals.

It doesn't matter rather the criminal is a criminal by sheer crossing the border to being wanted on interpol. Its still breaking the law.

We hear advocates for illegal immigrants talk about minor crime, well stealing someone else ID is not a minor crime, defrauding the federal government is not a minor crime, DUI where someone else is victimized is not a minor crime. There is not an American that can drive a car without a license, rather forgotten at home, revoked, or suspended, who can call someone up from home to pick the car and the driver up?

There is not one American that can evade taxes, and not have the IRS running them down, there is not one American that can sign a federal document with fraudulent information on it passing it off as fact, and not have the fed kicking down the door, there is not one American that can find themselves being booked into detention, and not have their prints sent to the feds for a cross reference.

There is not one American that have elected officials, advocating for law enforcement to look the other way when minor crimes are committed. With that being said.

Keep secure communities, mandate e-verify, ramp up going after individuals that break the law, secure the borders north and south, if you want to show favor for anyone it should be AMERICANS.


Do you really think that Calif. or the rest of the states in this country can absorb an ENTIRE country(Mexico)??? The United States seem to care about every country except our own. My hearts go out to people but, AMERICANS that were born here are suffering. The greedy businesses here only care about bringing in cheap labor. Our children and grand-children CAN NOT find jobs because there are so many "illegals" taking them. When do we take care of us??


If our elected officials do not want to participate in "Secure Communities', is there any immigration enforcement program that they would want to particpate in? Does the Chamber of Commerce have that much of a strangle hold on our legislators? Incredible.


Take note of the line, "led to the deportation of thousands of undocumented immigrants with NO criminal history.
The police in Los Angeles are against this. People who are witnesses to or victims of crime are afraid to come forward out of fear of deportation.
If you were robbed at gunpoint would you want a witness to come forward ?. What if the witness was an illegal and not willing to testify in your case ?.

Mitchell Young


Hundreds of thousands, maybe millions of illegal immigrants who are caught crossing the border illegal are deported with no evidence of criminal history (other than illegal entry). Do you want us to disband the border patrol also? And frankly, mere presence in the US without proper documents (i.e. a passport and visa stamped at an entry port) is evidence of criminal activity. To even be 'in the system', the 'undocumented immigrant' would have had to have been caught and deported previously. Illegal entry is a misdemeanor crime, multiple attempts after deportation or voluntary departure is, I believe, a felony.

As for witnesses -- in the rare event that an illegal might be of use to a police investigation involving a citizen, there is no reason that a mere witness would have their fingerprints run through the system. Just wouldn't happen.

It would be very easy for the LA Times editorial board to simply advocate what they really want -- totally open boarders where everyone is allowed to enter and stay as long as they don't kill or maim or rape someone. Likewise for these 'lawmakers'. But instead of being honest about their intentions, they try to hinder every single effort to enforce immigration law -- from kicking out illegal immigrant petty criminals to forcing businesses to use E-verify. Why don't these people man up and be honest about their position?


What characteristic do these politicians share? LOSERS!!!

Joel Wischkaemper

It would be illegal to ..not.. participate. California has a huge agricultural lobby group and while they might dearly love to see it gone, I think Americans very much support it, want it, and will object if California breaks this law. And it is the law.. it will be enforced.


I think this program should be mandatory for every state, county, and city to be in. The more data we have on illegals the better.


WHY is there any question about upholding this law?? Illegal by it's very definition can never be legal. If you come to this country illegally, expect action. Period. At the very least, you will be sent right back to your country. At the worst, you committed crimes here and will be held to the fullest extent of the law. It really is that simple. Everyone who signed that request to Brown should be in fear of re-election. You have no business making laws if you cannot uphold the ones that are already in place and PROTECT our borders!!!


"If you were robbed at gunpoint would you want a witness to come forward ?. What if the witness was an illegal and not willing to testify in your case ?"

This has got to be the prize winner for these comments. Oh gosh, let them stay and up the $113 Billion to give them more. I might get robbed and need an illegal for a witness.

titania jones

I have had my drivers license stolen and my birth certificate stolen 3 times now in the past ten years.

immigrants often have false documents, or use the documents belonging to a family member or friend. using fingerprint matching instead of relying on the names that are given catches immigrants using fraudulent documents.

Secure Communities is only used on people who are accused of commiting a crime.

I agree we shouldn't be deporting people who have only committed a misdemeanor, however we need to run the fingerprints to see if they are using the correct identification.

maybe nepolitano needs to change it to only deport felons instead of misdemeanors. in any case, this could change without us ending secure communities in california.

secondly, while not all local law enforcement police stations use secure communities 100% of state and federal jails use the fingerprint matching system of secure communities. so the program in the jails and prisons needs to stay the same whether or not the police stations use it.


Have the laws changed? Are Native Americans AKA Latinos gaining back Rights to this country that nobody told American citizens about? Are these people National escaping drug wars and poverty in Mexico? Is America just now adhering to a Treaty that was signed? Americans need not be afraid or hostile because America has changed for the better in regards to accepting and contributing to their New Residency in America. Whether you people know it or not the Borders are coming down-ask your elected politicians they will tell you; only if they are honest. Reparations for the way they made them leave America after the Spanish-American War; now America is giving the indigenous peoples the right to come and live all over this country the land of their ancestors.

Dave Francis

AMNESTY or as the Pro-illegal immigration groups prefer to label it, Immigration Reform. The truth is not ever going to happen? The 1986 IRCA was a utter calamity and costly for taxpayers.The 1986 (IRCA) Immigration Control and Reform Act that was a mass amnesty, which became the prime deception, played on the American taxpayer of all time. Because of despicably fraud and supreme neglect, the 2 million farmer’s laborers and other illegal workers who were provided a legal course to citizenship, that ultimately turned into 6 million. Even inexplicable those people, who received this pardon, vanished from their usual places of employment and turned up in the job force around the country that Americans citizens had to compete with. Future wise, Congress proposed the I-9 Form (Employment Eligibility Verification Form.) to ensure that all employees presented documentary proof of their legal eligibility, to accept employment in the United States. If the employee has a hiring issue, and chooses to contest an irregularity notice, the employer prints out the “Referral Letter” from the E-Verify program.

The letter contains information about resolving the problem, as well as the contact information for the (SSA) Social security Administration) or (USCIS) US Citizenship and Immigration Service, depending on which bureau was the source of the non-authorization to resolve the problem? As constantly the open border zealots, US Chamber of Commerce, ACLU and a radical mix of anti American organizations, have used the Liberal Press as a fulcrum to regrettably try to suppress the implementation of E-Verify. Using the media these groups have also brought pressure on the administration not to espouse the Secure Communities law, which identifies criminal aliens through fingerprints by informing ICE. Then Subsequently E-Verify that is increasingly more popular each day by business owners. They are now cautiously aware that an I-9 audit puts their business license in jeopardy, as upheld by the Supreme Court.

As with the 1986 (IRCA) bill those who advocate against the laws are profiteers for more wealth, or to accumulate more votes or just to prepare America (according to the WikiLeaks group founder Julian Assange in secret documents) for merging with some kind of traitorous program, with Canada and Mexico with one currency. This stealth agenda was collusion between the Canadian and American Ambassadors.

Whether we are coming out this miserable recession or not, we cannot afford any immigration amnesty. The first Amnesty in 1986 Ronald Reagan's term of office, cost--$76 BILLION DOLLARS--by the time it was fulfilled. In today money it’s expected to cost $2.6 TRILLION DOLLARS as stated the Heritage Foundation. So taxpayers would be expected to cover that bill, lending most of it from China again? Are we not in the poorhouse with China, as it is? But this is no firm binder, because millions more people will strive to reach here, before that ominous inauguration day of a new Immigration Reform bill. If Congress is unable to cut spending in this recent of 14 .5 Trillion dollars US Treasury deficit, can anybody in the right frame of mind, tell us where we intend to get another $2.5 trillion dollars, to subsidize those illegal immigrants already living here? These dollars are inconceivable and even if there was another. It's outrageous that Washington politicians would expect to bled even more money from traumaticTaxpayers, when we are confronted by rejuvenating two nations abroad, in millions of dollars a day.

Amnesty, it will only further multitudes of people to come here? Washington legislators come and go, author bills, but are never held accountable for the financial wrecks they leave behind? Only Secure Communities, E-Verify can mitigate some of the pressure that will make foreign nationals think twice before crossing the border, or entering America by other means. This isn’t about any particular race, a person’s politics, religion as we are all suffering. It’s not even about the legal Hispanic population, as they are under the same pain of finding a job, stagnant wages and some type of exploitation. We are all the same boat and without stringent restrictions on immigration and its costs, that boat is heading towards rough waters and could easily sink. The TEA PARTY will slow down this process by confronting Washington aggressively on birthright citizenship to rescind it, which will sever the bond of 300.000 babies from foreign nation getting instant citizenship; cutting down on the annual monolithic cost to subsidize these offspring and families.

It will also bring to a halt, which it attributed to this wrongly conferred law, saving taxpayers hundreds of billions of dollars a year? The TEA PARTY will examine these unfair taxes placed on Americans, by Liberal oriented courts, to appoint obligations to educate, provide health care that comes with the never ending tide of illegal aliens skirting our laws. The TEA PARTY will created bills to up the penalty, for entering America as a felony. This should have been the law of the land, decades ago? Personally, it has always translated to prove there was no serious intention to enforce these laws. It’s in the vein of a conspirator’s reason, why the Southern border fences completion remains a fiasco. The Tea Party will enforce the 1986 (IRCA) law as was planned, with no complicity of government agencies to stifle those laws, such as the business influence.

The TEA PARTY in 2012 will remove the Liberal influence and even have the empowerment to construct the real border fence, and mandating with no exemptions E-Verify and Secure Communities. As the Tea Party grows against the powerful influences in Washington, these Representatives like TEA PARTY Rep. Michele Bachmann of Minnesota will retire those pro-illegal immigrant politicians, Governors, mayors and all those who have adversely affected strong laws that have been introduced. The American People should not be forced by law, to pay for the impoverished people that trespass into America from other countries. The time is ripe to contact their federal and State Representatives to insist they enact mandatory E-Verify, Secure Communities for every State, at the Senate—202-224–3121/ House—202-225–3121.

Attn: Be observant on probably the most important election to come, that illegal aliens don't vote as they have previously and most incidents concealed in different States.

Jim B

I think it is too late for California and it does not really matter what they do.
Crime, gangs and illegal immigration forced our family to relocate and there are millions of other families that will leave in order to provide a secure childhood for their kids. Soon California will belong to Mexico and not the US.


Delaware Bob

The 287(g) is a good program to help rid this country of the illrgal aliens, you know, the ones who have NO RIGHT to be in this country. Ask yourself this. Why do they call them illegal aliens? They violated our laws and our borders. We have the border patrol there doing their best to prevent their entry into this country. Some have made it through because of a porous border. Yes, they just snub their nose at out laws and take jobs with stolen identities or forged documents. The illegal aliens not taking our using the country as a welfare country at our expense. You have to be a real fool to want to accept this.

When we get rid of all the illegal aliens, we will get rid of all the problems that go with them. THAT IS A FACT!

Maybe California should get a state law like Arizona, Georgia or Alabama. It's no wonder you are in such debt. 3 million illegal aliens and it costs you $23 BILLION to keep them. Is every Legislator in California a first call FOOL?


@veshti, LOL You are sooooooooooooooooooo funny. I give it two political cycles before some major enforcement efforts take place. America is in reset right now. If advocates for illegal immigration were smart, they would pull back on the negotiation table.

If you ever purchased a car, and you sat across the table with a seller that wasn't willing to negotiate in good faith, as a buyer you know that there are other options to buy a car.

That is the scenario advocates are facing, they are selling a product that is over valued. And, while there are millions of people standing in line to come legally, is like another dealership down the block, willing to negotiate better terms, at a lower price, with less risk.

You see the take it or leave it didn't work, the may day bully pulpit didn't work, the chamber of commerce didn't work, the ACLU didn't work, the Unions didn't work, the Democrats didn't work, the republicans didn't work, comprehensive immigration didn't work, the documentaries didn't work, MALDEF didn't work, the 9th circuit didn't work, Mayor V. didn't work, Charlie Beck didn't work. the indigenous people argument didn't work, History lessons didn't work. At some point advocates have to realize like blacks did during the 50s-60s. It takes more than a few million in a nation of 360+ million to change policy, and bullying has never worked, it only turns people against you.

Better get a clue, or call it a day.


'Charlie', you ought to look yourself in the mirror for a vermin.

And this isn't 'your' country . You're no more than a repugnant citizen of it, no matter what your racist mind keeps telling you.

But also, this goes to show how hatred for the punished explains impassioned outbursts of cheers and praise for their punishment. Undocumented status on its own simply doesn't explain such people hatred. But that's obviously obvious with the obvious racist below. But it's also obvious with many others. Being essential bullies of below average interpersonal levels of conscience, they don't hesitate to try to lie about otherwise thou.


I personally do not agree with the Secure Communities program but i asked myself if a state can boicot a federal law like that, (i expressed all my doubts here, still waiting for someone to clarify the legality of this for me, you are all welcome: http://www.whitehousevoice.com/Kazmarek/Proposals/Security-Communities-Program-States-vs-Government-1133)

What if all states start rebelling against the central government all the time? Lets face it, its a federal law, backed by Congress and the Administration.

Joel Wischkaemper

Isn't it cute. Mexican Nationals think they have a choice. California doesn't have a choice. While Obama and his people are pick and choose on what they will enforce, and they want Arizona to obey the orders of the President which have NOTHING at all to do with the laws, California is a Democratic State.

California has so much to loose if it does not accept the provisions of the Secure Communities it is sickening. And almost every inch of the way to this very ugly place, we had people who shucked and jived the Immigration Law. Bad, bad move.



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