For Immediate Release

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Vesna Jaksic media@aclu.org

ACLU Reacts to Office of Inspector General’s Reports on Secure Communities Program

WASHINGTON - The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector-General (OIG) today released two reports regarding the Secure Communities federal immigration enforcement program.

“Today's reports do nothing to address the well-founded criticisms of S-Comm that have been coming from all corners of the country for the past four years,” said Kate Desormeau, staff attorney with the ACLU Immigrants’ Rights Project. “The reports ignore the reality that this misguided program has led to unwarranted detention, arrests and deportations of victims, witnesses and other innocent people, including U.S. citizens. If the Department of Homeland Security is serious about resolving the widespread civil rights abuses this flawed program is causing and the mistrust it is creating in our communities, it would end the program now.”

The reports indicate that since 2008, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has spent about $750 million on S-Comm. The reports also acknowledge that since the program’s implementation began, S-Comm “continues to face opposition, criticism, and resistance in some locations.”

S-Comm is run by ICE, a part of DHS. Today’s reports come following a task force report on the program issued in September, which revealed many problems with the program, namely that it has led to the deportation of thousands of immigrants with no criminal records and undermines community policing efforts. The ACLU has long been critical of S-Comm, arguing that it encourages racial profiling, undermines equal protection and due process rights and threatens public safety.

To read more about S-Comm, go to: www.aclu.org/blog/tag/secure-communities

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