Last month, Gov. Pat Quinn´s General Counsel, John Morton, said that the “Secure Communities” program of the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) would not make communities safer, but would instead cause fewer immigrants to reach out to law enforcement authorities with information about crimes for fear of deportation.
Homeland Security Chief, Janet Napolitano, reiterated the Obama administration’s desire to focus on deportation of violent criminals only under the program, which authorizes fingerprint and information sharing while encouraging local authorities to hold immigrant criminal suspects indefinitely for deportation.
But Morton reportedly said in a letter that the voluntary participation of 26 Illinois counties in the “Secure Communities” program should be confirmed after full and fair disclosure about the ramifications of the program.
Then Cook County passed a local ordinance that essentially made clear to local law enforcement that they were under no obligation to hold immigrant criminal suspects indefinitely for ICE due to community policing and cost concerns.
Reportedly, Illinois state legislators, Chicago aldermen, state religious leaders, and law enforcement officials have also denounced ICE’s decision to override states that want to drop out of the Secure Communities program because of concerns over how it is working.
We will keep an eye on this situation and inform readers of any significant legal developments. Meanwhile, if you have legal concerns about the immigration status of you or your family, do not hesitate to call us for an appointment at (847) 564-0712 and/or check out our Website for more information on how we might help you.