Jews boarding German trains during WWII
ICE has begun it's Operation Secure Communities. What a misnomer, the project is called Secure Communities, but what it really brings is terror.
An ICE spokesman tells us "Removing hundreds of thousands of criminals from the country is sure to have a positive impact on community safety." This is an interesting comment since most of the people that will be deported never committed a serious crime - all they did was live in this country without a valid visa.
Sometimes it seems to me that the people from ICE carry the most of the negative, cynical, and depressing views of the world - and we are letting them.
Unfortunately as long as we let Dick Cheney growl at us, he will get his way and ICE will continue to function with him as a role model. Thank goodness he will only be around a 9 more months. Let's hope this next baby doesn't turn out to be Rosemary's Baby again.
One last thought --- what other country in recent history has initiated "mass deportations?"
April 10, 2008, 12:41AM
Mass deportations coming for jailed illegal immigrants
By JAMES PINKERTON
Copyright 2008 Houston Chronicle
The U.S. Homeland Security department has launched an ambitious nationwide effort that would cost $2 billion to $3 billion a year to identify and deport the estimated 300,000 to 450,000 illegal immigrants locked up each year in jails and prisons.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement operation was denounced by immigrant rights groups and received cautiously by those favoring tighter enforcement.
''We can do something few law enforcement agencies can do: Not only ensure criminals are off the streets, but ensure they are removed from the country," said ICE spokesman Tim Counts. ''Removing hundreds of thousands of criminals from the country is sure to have a positive impact on community safety."
ICE has a presence in only 10 percent of the nation's 3,100 local lockups. Last year, it filed deportation charges against 164,000 illegal immigrants in jail, and removed 95,000, Counts said.
''It's a broad-stroke outline for a plan to locate more of the illegal aliens located in jails and prisons throughout the country," Counts said.
The recently announced ICE effort, known as "Secure Communities," will upgrade computer technology in jails and allow local jailers to access ICE's fingerprint database to quickly identify prisoners with immigration violations as they are booked. The $200 million in funding already allocated for the program this year would also add an unspecified number of ICE detention and removal officers, Counts confirmed.
The program would also:
• Prioritize removal of criminal immigrants based on their danger to the community.
• Expand an early parole program for non-violent immigrants who agree to deportation.
• Add staff in field offices so ICE detention officers are available around-the-clock to assist local jailers in deportation.
• Increase the 287 (g) program, which trains state and local law enforcement officers to perform immigration duties.
Counts said the first priority would be removing "level one" immigrants, those convicted of major drug offenses and violent crimes including murder, manslaughter, rape and armed robbery. Removing those offenders would cost around $1 billion a year. ICE estimates the cost to remove all convicted criminal immigrants in custody would be $2 billion to $3 billion annually.
"We estimate it will take approximately three and a half years to remove all level one criminal aliens, and to test the program's effectiveness," Counts said.
Sheriff's office interested
Harris County sheriff's officials, who are awaiting approval for ICE training for a dozen jail deputies, said they would be interested in access to the ICE database.
''I would assume that as the nature of our relationship with ICE expands, it would be made available to us," said Maj. Don McWilliams, commander of the department's public services bureau. ''As we get our people trained to assist ICE, we certainly would like access to any and all databases ICE has access to."
The Secure Communities initiative expands ICE's Criminal Alien Program, which focuses on identifying deportable immigrants incarcerated in federal, state and local facilities.
The Harris County Sheriff's Office participates in the program by asking county jail inmates if they are in the country legally. Jail officials then refer illegal immigrants to ICE, which can place detainers on them to prevent their release and subject them to deportation.
The same program ignited protests last year in Irving, the Dallas suburb where ICE agents worked closely with city jailers to deport hundreds of illegal immigrants. Activists there complained Irving police were targeting immigrants in raids.
Fire from both sides
The new multiyear ICE operation has raised questions from groups on both sides of the immigration debate.
Curtis Collier, president of the U.S. Border Watch in Houston, said illegal immigrants should only be deported after completing their sentences.
''Deportation is not punishment. We are adamantly opposed to removing people prior to their serving their sentence, because it's basically early release," Collier said. ''And once they deport them, they'll be right back in this country."
Arnoldo Garcia, program coordinator for the National Network of Immigrant Refugee Rights, said the ICE effort could result in profiling of immigrants.
''They're wasting resources," said Garcia, whose group is based in California. ''And how are they going to verify the rights of those individuals who are jailed?"
for link to HC article click the title of this post