Friday, May 6, 2011

Hispanic Caucus calls on Obama to freeze controversial immigration enforcement program

Hispanic Caucus calls on Obama to freeze controversial immigration enforcement program L.A. NOW Los Angeles Times

The Congressional Hispanic Caucus on Thursday asked President Obama to freeze the controversial immigration enforcement program known as Secure Communities -- one day after the state of Illinois attempted to terminate its participation agreement and pull out altogether.

The actions are the latest in mounting attempts to pressure Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security, its parent, to examine the program. Launched in 2008, Secure Communities purports to target “convicted serious criminals” here illegally for deportation but has ensnared many undocumented immigrants who were arrested but never charged with a crime or charged with minor offenses.

Meanwhile, a California bill is moving through the Legislature that would demand that the state modify its agreement and, if ICE refuses, withdraw altogether as Illinois did. But questions remain over whether federal officials will allow either Illinois or California to end their participation.

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