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The Huffington Post
September 11, 2013

Secure Communities Criticized For Deporting Non-Criminals In California

California State Sen. Kevin de Leon (D-Los Angeles) praised the Trust Act Tuesday, saying that the federal program known as Secure Communities has led to the deportation of people without criminal offenses. Neither Immigration and Customs Enforcement nor de Leon’s office immediately returned calls to verify the statistic, but immigration authorities have long faced similar criticism. S-Comm, as its opponents refer to the program, aims to deport a higher proportion of hardened criminals by allowing ICE to share fingerprint data with local law enforcement to identify undocumented immigrants. ICE places the number of convicted criminals deported last fiscal year at 225,390, or 55 percent of the total -- the highest in the agency’s history. But a study by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse of nearly 1 million immigration holds requested by ICE from 2008 to 2012 found that only 22.6 percent had criminal records. Of them, only 8.6 percent faced charges that would qualify as Level 1 offenses. For the purposes of Secure Communities, ICE defines Level 1 offenses as major drug crimes, national security crimes and violent crimes like rape, murder and kidnapping.

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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