San Francisco Sheriff Wants Out of Secure Communities Program
Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 15, 2011 – San Francisco Sheriff Michael Hennessey has announced that he will release illegal immigrants who are believed to have committed low-level crimes instead of jailing them and turning them over to federal authorities.
Hennessey declared his distaste for the Secure Communities program run by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement in an op-ed piece in the San Francisco Chronicle last month. Local law enforcement, which use the Secure Communities program, send the fingerprints of arrested criminal suspects to ICE to check them against federal immigration databases. A match can result in commencement of removal proceedings.
Critics have long argued that Secure Communities actually undermines public safety, and that immigrants will stop reporting crimes they see because they are afraid of deportation.
“ICE’s Secure Communities program puts local police in a bind. How can local police provide a ‘secure community’ if various members of that community will not report crimes nor offer to testify out of fear of federal action against the victims or witnesses? Some local police see their hard work in building community trust evaporate,” says Dallas immigration attorney Stewart Rabinowitz of the firm of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C.
Hennessey stated that any illegal immigrants arrested for low-level crimes – such as shoplifting or public drunkenness – will not be held in jail, even if federal immigration agents request their detainment. He said that he would still report suspected felons to ICE, as he has been for years.
“Reports of persons removed for non-criminal conduct, such as visa overstays, who were stopped for minor traffic infractions are not what ICE had in mind in portraying the Secure Communities program as designed to remove dangerous criminal aliens from our streets,” Rabinowitz says.
“San Francisco has always been a city of immigrants,” Hennessey said. “We are proud of our diversity. We value the contributions of immigrants to our community. Law enforcement and other civic leaders work hard to serve all of our residents in an effort to promote the health and safety of our neighborhoods. Unfortunately, Immigration and Customs Enforcement's controversial Secure Communities program violates this hard-earned trust with immigrant residents.”
Under federal law, other law enforcement officers can still choose to report immigration status to ICE. Several have already declared their intent to do so.
Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C.
14901 Quorum Drive, Suite 580
Dallas, Texas 75254
- Predicted Visa Bulletin Progress for the Beginning of Fiscal Year 2017
On August 12, 2016, the Department of State’s Chief of Visa Control and Reporting Division, Charles Oppenheim, provided his predictions for visa availability for the beginning of upcoming fiscal year 2017 when he recently spoke with the American immigration Lawyers Association. Here are highlights of his predicted visa availability: EB-1 China and India: This category ...
- DHS Secretary Discusses Border Security and Enforcement Priorities
Jeh C. Johnson, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, issued a statement on border security and immigration enforcement priorities in July, 2016. Johnson said that DHS is enforcing immigration laws consistent with priorities set by President Obama in November 2014, including public safety and border security. According to Johnson, more than 99 percent of ...
- USCIS Issues Updated EB-5 Processing Report for August, 2016
In its report issued in August, 2016, USCIS advises that it is processing initial EB-5 investor petitions within 16.7 months of petition filing, petitions to remove conditions on residence on EB-5 immigrant investors within 21.5 months of filing, and applications for new regional centers within 10.2 months of application filing. These times are slightly longer ...