The Associated Press has reported that approximately 47,000 people have been deported after the Obama administration reviewed 3 million sets of fingerprints taken from bookings at local jails. This is being done under a fingerprint-sharing program known as Secure Communities.
ICE spokesman Richard Rocca explains that the program has been designed to get rid of the "worst of the worst" criminal immigrants from the country. He characterizes the program as "a beneficial partnership tool for ICE and state and local law enforcement agencies helping to identify, prioritize and remove convicted criminal aliens not only from the communities, but also from the country."
The numbers tell a different story. From October 2008 through June 2010, 12,293 of the 46,929 people identified through Secure Communities were were considered non-criminals and were subsequently deported.
Peter Markowitz, director of the Immigration Justice Clinic at Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law in New York, has sifted through the numbers. Mr. Markowitz explains that ICE has "pulled a bait and switch" allocating more time and resources effectuating the deportation of low level or noncriminal aliens than serious criminals. He explains that this has resulted in a waste of government resources, and detracts from law enforcements real job: to keep us all safe.
The Obama administration intends to expand Secure Communities throughout the United States by 2013. The AP reports that as of Aug. 3, 2010, 494 counties and local and state agencies in 27 states were participating in the program.
More "Change" you can believe in.