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DHS Terminates Secure Communities Agreements with States; Says States Must Comply Regardless

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DHS Terminates Secure Communities Agreements with States; Says States Must Comply Regardless

 For Immediate Release
Contact: Jacki Esposito Phone: 646-258-8414 Email: jesposito@thenyic.org

*Press Statement*
DHS Terminates Secure Communities Agreements with States
Says States Must Comply Regardless


In the wake of decisions by the governors of Illinois, New York and Massachusetts to reject the controversial Secure Communities program, the Obama Administration has disregarded the concerns they, as well as other public officials and law enforcement officers across the nation, raised by today announcing that DHS will continue its rapid rollout of the program - without state authorization - and is terminating all Memoranda Of Agreement (MOAs) with states that have implemented the program. The MOAs contained provisions stating that states could terminate or suspend their participation in the program, as New York Governor Andrew Cuomo had done on June 1. The effect of the announcement is to continue the program even in those states that have opted out while invalidating the provisions in existing MOAs that would have allowed additional states to opt out.

Secure Communities essentially uses local law enforcement officers as a vehicle for ICE to identify individuals for deportation. Though ostensibly aimed at those who pose a threat to public safety, a substantial number of those ultimately deported have no criminal record at all, or were simply detained for a minor offense. The enforcement program has contributed to the deportation of over 1 million immigrants under the Obama Administration.

The following is a statement from Jacqueline Esposito, Director of Immigration Advocacy for the New York Immigration Coalition:

“Today’s announcement by DHS that it is terminating the memoranda of agreement (MOAs) with states and proceeding with Secure Communities without state authorization has made it increasingly clear that the Obama Administration’s signature enforcement program was botched from the beginning. DHS has yet to explain to the public why state officials were initially told that they could opt out of the MOA, then told the MOAs were mandatory, and now today, that the MOAs are meaningless. This sudden reversal of the MOAs came in response to Illinois, New York and Massachusetts’ rejection of the program and is in blatant disregard of the strong and growing opposition by state officials and local law enforcement.”

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