From the National Immigrant Justice Center:
“The Obama administration confirmed today that it will force all local law enforcement agencies in the United States to participate in the controversial Secure Communities immigration enforcement program and announced it had unilaterally terminated all existing memoranda of understanding (MOUs) previously signed by state governments, stating the agreements are unnecessary to establish local law enforcement participation in the federally mandated program.”
Although the Secure Communities program claims to target dangerous criminals who are eligible for deportation, the reality is that anyone who encounters the police for any reason (cracked windshield, broken blinker, even someone who CALLS the police for protection from domestic violence) can be run through the immigration database. The database technology is also flawed, and sorting out who is really eligible for deportation and who is not can take months.
I am still learning about Secure Communities and immigration reform, but the implementation of this program violates, in my opinion, two of the Unitarian Universalist principles we have covenanted to affirm and promote: justice, equity, and compassion in human relations; and the goal of world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all.
On Wednesday, August 21 at 5:30 p.m., I will be attending an immigrant rights vigil outside the Richmond Detention Facility, joining the East Bay Interfaith Immigration Coalition. I hope you will join me in bearing witness to the pain, suffering, and loneliness caused by our broken immigration system.