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The Crime Report
December 5, 2010

How Secure is "Secure Communites"?

During the last three months of fiscal year 2010, courts rejected nearly one out of every three cases, according to a report released by The Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse (TRAC), a non-partisan research and data distribution organization at Syracuse University. In some of the busiest courts–New York, Los Angeles, Miami, Oregon and Philadelphia–more than half the cases were judged to be without merit. The data suggests that ICE is either not screening cases before they enter the legal system, or is failing to present compelling cases in court, according to Syracuse University professor Susan Long, co-director of TRAC. How much of this is tied to Secure Communities is impossible to know, Long said, because ICE refuses to release that data. “There are hard choices here, whether we think about it from our tax dollars and efficiency, cheating security, or we think about it from the perspective of how people are being treated and the adverse impacts on people’s lives,” says Long. “If we really want to have a reasoned debate here, which I think the vast majority of people do, we need to have the government release the data so that the facts will be on the table.”

Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Syracuse University
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