DHS makes Secure Communities nationwide, no opt-out (so far). Lofgren, ACLU, NAKASEC, FIRM, CHIRLA, ICIRR, MIRA, Frank Sharry, NIF outraged.
From this comes some good news for a change:
The Department of Homeland Security notified 39 governors Friday that the fingerprint-sharing program did not need their approval to operate in their states, and said it had voided agreements they had signed to authorize their states' participation, according to a copy of the letter.
"This change will have no effect on the operation of Secure Communities in your state," read the letter, which was signed by John Morton, director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Governors in the other 11 states had not signed agreements.
What that means is that Secure Communities will be a nationwide program, with no chance to opt-out as various localities have tried to do via the agreements ("Memorandums of Agreement", MOAs) mentioned above.
Needless to say, this has provoked outrage by those who want to profit electorally from illegal immigration. U.S. Rep. Zoe Lofgren called it "astonishing". And:
The decision is "an insult" to the governors and "the latest in a long line of deceptive DHS theatrics," said Laura W. Murphy, director of the American Civil Liberties Union legislative office in Washington.
The National Korean American Service and Education Consortium weighs in (nakasec.org/blog/2674):
NAKASEC and its affiliates the Korean American Resource & Cultural Center in Chicago and the Korean Resource Center in Los Angeles are appalled and outraged by this announcement to keep the flawed program in practice. DHS is continuing to disregard the concerns of communities and local governments and is going down a spiraling path that is ripping apart families and terrorizing immigrant communities.
And, other quotes are provided at
Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM):
[This] announcement [is] yet another example of the Obama administration’s turning a deaf ear to the extraordinary pain being caused in immigrant communities by their “enforcement only” policies.
California and Los Angeles is the home of immigrants and ICE has no business introducing this toxic organism into the Golden State. Rather than truly reforming S-Comm, ICE is busy spinning wool to put over the eyes of the community.
Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (led by someone with a series of links to the Mexican government):
DHS has yet to provide clear legal authority to support its claim that “Secure Communities” is federally mandated. ICIRR questions whether any such legal authority exists, and believes that the program is vulnerable to legal challenge.
It is clear that DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement have been misleading the public and state and local officials about this program from the start. Now they are continuing to force a program onto states that recognize its fundamental flaws. This is a situation which cannot and should not be tolerated.
UPDATE: Frank Sharry of America's Voice is likewise, of course, outraged
S-COMM has never worked as promised or intended. Instead of focusing on convicted serious criminals, the program's dragnet has led to the record-breaking deportations of ordinary undocumented immigrants. Instead of fixing it, the Department of Homeland Security has decided to double-down on it, while dismissing the growing chorus of legitimate concerns being raised by elected officials and law enforcement professionals.
UPDATE 2: The National Immigration Forum is also outraged
We are deeply disturbed by today’s announcement in the wake of the recent actions by states and other jurisdictions to withdraw from the program. This unilateral decision contradicts the initially-stated intent to make this program optional for cities and states... For ICE to act with such disregard for local leadership, community policing, and fiscal prudence is an act of bad faith and bad policy.
NIF and several others belong to the Task Force on Secure Communities