From the Times Ledger:
Secure Communities, which ICE’s website says will remove criminal aliens from the United States, runs an automatic check of a person’s criminal history and immigration status through systems kept by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. The program has already been enacted in jurisdictions in 33 states and ICE’s website tells stories of individuals identified through the system who had previously been deported for assault or drug convictions who were able to be quickly deported again.
Epstein said that while no jurisdictions in New York use Secure Communities yet, Gov. David Paterson had signed a memorandum of understanding to bring the program to New York.
Representatives from local groups, including New Immigrant Community Empowerment, the New York Civic Participation Project, the Immigration Defense Project and the Queens Community House, said those they knew of people or family members who had had negative experiences with ICE and were deported from the country or kept in a detention cell in another state for much lesser convictions.
“We are afraid that Secure Communities would cause more instances like these in our communities and cause more fear in our communities,” said Rozina Abduo, a Bangladeshi immigrant from Queens Community House.
Walter Sinche, a member of Alianza Ecuatoriana Internacional, cited one case in which an Asian man and a Mexican man in New Jersey had been fighting outside a business where one of them worked. The manager called police to the house of the Mexican man and, despite their not being involved in the fight, most of the other people in the house were either deported or are going through the process of being deported.
City Councilman Daniel Dromm (D-Jackson Heights), who was arrested in June along with Councilwoman Julissa Ferreras (D-East Elmhurst) for protesting Arizona’s immigration law, said the initiative represents an attack on America’s immigrant communities.
“We must gather together politically to fight against it,” he said.