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
- Congress Set to Pass H.R. 2028 Which Extends the EB-5 Program Through April 28, 2016
On December 8, 2016, by voice vote the House passed HR 2028 which funds the federal government through April 28, 2016. The measure extends the EB-5 program unchanged, as well as other sunsetting programs such as the Conrad 30 and E-Verify. The Senate is expected to take up the measure on December 9, 2016, and ...
- New I-9 is Now Available On Line
On November 16, 2016, USCIS advised that its new Form I-9 can now be downloaded and used by employers. The current I-9 version issued on March 8, 2013 can be used until January 17, 2017. After that date, the new I-9 must be used. Highlights on the newly revised I-9 include drop-down lists and calendars ...
- Land Port of Entry Nonimmigrants Can Make an Advance, Online Application
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) has made its Form I-94, Arrival and Departure Record, available online for travelers prior to their arrival at a land port of entry. This document is to be completed by foreign nationals entering the United States with nonimmigrant visas. Travelers entering the United States by land may now save ...