If you haven’t seen the news lately, well, it looks like state and local law enforcement agencies are telling President Obama and ICE that they will no longer be a part of his premier deportation program, Secure Communities. Over the President’s tenure, around 2,000,000 people have been deported–the vast majority because of low-grade crimes or no crime at all.
Today, the city of Philadelphia announced they were out. Maryland Gov. (and some say 2016 hopeful) Martin O’Malley announced the same earlier this week. Some counties in Oregon, too. All of this while the Obama Administration has announced it is considering changes to its deportation policies; ground activists demand deportation reform; and warehoused humans are on hunger strikes because of how private prisons treat them.
Secure Communities and other programs like 287(g) were developed for the purpose of capturing and deporting major criminals. A demand for increases in deportations from Republicans and President Obama’s flawed thinking that increasing deportations and human warehousing in private prisons would earn him Republican support for comprehensive immigration reform has made a deeply flawed program even worse. People with usually undeportable crimes or no crime record at all have fallen into the deportation net, families have been separated, tax dollars have been wasted on human warehousing, and for the President, his promise to pass “CIR” in Term 1, Year 1 (and now Term 2 Year 5) has been a complete failure.
All of this said, Reuters reported that President Obama is just about set to announce the results of a review of ICE’s deportation policies.
In the coming weeks, an Obama-ordered review of deportation enforcement at the Department of Homeland Security is expected to conclude that certain steps should be taken to ensure that some immigrants who have not committed serious crimes should be allowed to remain in the United States, according to several sources familiar with the review.
Those steps could include shortening the time period an immigrant is considered “new” and therefore under increased scrutiny for deportation, deeper background checks of detainees in considering whether they should be deported, and protecting immigrants serving in the U.S. military from deportation.
That would fall short of demands from immigration advocates who have asked Obama, among other things, to expand his deferred action program that currently protects children brought to the country by their undocumented parents.
Whatever President Obama announces will certainly be attacked by Republicans, so, why not go further than this? Of course, this is just what is heard from insiders. I guess we should wait for the actual announcement. For now, I’m glad local law enforcement agencies are ridding themselves of the burden and flaws offered by Secure Communities.