CAPAC Calls on the Department of Homeland Security to End the Secure Communities Program

Nov 30, 2011

WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Congresswoman Judy Chu (CA-32), Chair of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC), and Congressman Mike Honda (CA-15), CAPAC Immigration Taskforce Chair, sent a letter to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano expressing CAPAC’s concern over Secure Communities and urging the Secretary to immediately end the program.  The letter coincided with a hearing in the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement entitled, "Is Secure Communities Keeping Our Communities Secure?"

 “The Secure Communities Program is deeply flawed and fails to uphold many of its original goals,” said Congresswoman Judy Chu. “Rather than make our communities safer, it funnels people towards deportation without due process and promotes a sense of mistrust between local police and immigrant communities that makes our communities less safe. We cannot continue to support the expansion of a program that jeopardizes public safety, wrongfully arrests U.S. citizens, promotes racial profiling, and encourages a lack of discretion in the detention process.  I urge Secretary Napolitano and the Obama Administration to immediately put an end to this failed program.” 

“I am deeply concerned about the goals and implementation of the Secure Communities Program,” said Congressman Mike Honda. “Under the program, individual due process rights have been denied leading to an increased mistrust of law enforcement, which makes our communities less safe. Just this past week my office listened to the concerns of law enforcement professionals who stated that the program has wrecked their relationship with the community they protect and serve. I urge Secretary Napolitano to terminate the program immediately.”

Secure Communities relies on integrated databases and partnerships with local and state jailers to build domestic deportation capacity.  Under Secure Communities, local police are required to share the fingerprints of all arrestees with federal immigration authorities.  Although the program claims to prioritize dangerous criminals, in practice it indiscriminately provides immigrants’ information to ICE, including those of crime victims.

The Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus (CAPAC) is comprised of Members of Congress of Asian and Pacific Islander descent and members who have a strong dedication to promoting the well-being of the Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) community. Currently Chaired by Congresswoman Judy Chu, CAPAC has been addressing the needs of the AAPI community in all areas of American life since it was founded in 1994.