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States Pulling Out of “Secure Communities” Program

Written By The Shapiro Law Group on June 27, 2011

Illinois is one of three states that have now withdrawn from the “Secure Communities” program, under which states are sharing information and resources with the federal government to screen jail inmates and detainees for prior criminal histories pertinent to immigration policy.

New York and Massachusetts have followed the lead of Illinois, with each state’s governor noting that data from the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (“ICE”) pertinent to criminal records and immigration violations is frequently inaccurate.

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn reportedly stated that “by ICE’s own measure, less than 20 percent of those who have been deported from Illinois under the program have ever been convicted of a serious crime.”

Quinn previously sent a letter to the federal government, complaining that three in 10 people deported from Illinois under the program have never been convicted of any crime at all.

Many police officials and prosecutors have reportedly spoken out against the program as well, creating speculation that the “Secure Communities” program may need to be reformed or even completely abandoned until the data systems supporting it can be improved.

If you need advice about deportation risks and possible ways of applying for citizenship or legal resident status, you can call our offices at (847) 564-0712. Feel free to check out the pertinent section of our Website as well.