Tuesday, November 29, 2011

C-U Immigration Forum Releases Champaign County InSecure Communities Report


InSecure Communities: Borders at Our Doors How “Secure Communities” Brings the Fear of the Border to Champaign County

Since the initial release of Immigration Enforcement: The Dangerous Reality Behind “Secure Communities” by the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) in early 2011, a growing number of communities and states have sought to withdraw or limit the impact of this controversial deportation program.

In May of 2011, Illinois Governor Pat Quinn announced that Illinois would withdraw from the “Secure Communities” program and stated that “ICE's statistics on the Secure Communities program... reveal that the implementation of the Secure Communities program in Illinois is contrary to the stated purpose of the MOA [Memorandum of Agreement]: … by ICE's own measure, less than 20% of those who have been deported from Illinois under the program have ever been convicted of a serious crime.” 

After Illinois became the first state to opt‐out of the program, New York and Massachusetts followed suit. In addition, local communities, from New York City to Cook County, IL and Santa Clara, CA have sought to limit the harmful impact of this federal program in their communities.

This Champaign County Addendum to the original ICIRR report takes a closer look at the experience in Champaign County, Illinois where local residents have encountered and documented many of the problems seen at the national and state levels. 

Working in parallel to the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), local volunteers involved with the Immigration Justice Research Group and the C‐U Immigration Forum gathered most of the data in this Addendum from various requests through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA), and confirmed that data with the real‐life stories of immigrants and their families in our community who have become victims of the failed “Secure Communities” program.

The intent of this report is to raise local awareness about the problems associated with Secure
Communities (S‐Comm) and to mobilize the community around recommendations for correcting
those problems. We also hope that the experience in Champaign County can serve as a guide to
other communities that are considering participating in this flawed program or seeking to close
their doors to it. Specifically, the report examines:
  • The failure of the program to meet its stated purpose of identifying and deporting “dangerous criminals” who threatened the security of our community;
  • The negative impact this program has on families in our community and how
  • that causes a lack of trust in authorities;
  • The diversion of law enforcement resources from fighting criminal activity in
  • our communities to enforcing flawed federal immigration policies;
  • The waste of local taxpayer dollars on a program that fails to meet it goals; and
  • The lack of public input into the decision to participate in this controversial federal deportation program.

Please download the report to learn more: