Secure Communities Program Is Now Statewide in Oregon

Article author: 
Oregonians for Immigration Reform
Article date: 
Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Article category: 
Oregon Issues
Article Body: 

As of September 27 all Oregon counties are now signed up for the Secure Communities program run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). This is a major milestone in the battle against illegal immigration.

What this means is that anyone booked into a county jail in Oregon will have their FBI fingerprints screened against the immigration data base of ICE.  Fake driver licenses and stolen Social Security numbers will no longer protect illegal aliens from being identified.

The following is ICE’s description of the Secure Communities program

Secure Communities is a simple and common sense way to carry out ICE's priorities. It uses an already-existing federal information-sharing partnership between ICE and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) that helps to identify criminal aliens without imposing new or additional requirements on state and local law enforcement. For decades, local jurisdictions have shared the fingerprints of individuals who are booked into jails with the FBI to see if they have a criminal record.

Under Secure Communities, the FBI automatically sends the fingerprints to ICE to check against its immigration databases. If these checks reveal that an individual is unlawfully present in the United States or otherwise removable due to a criminal conviction, ICE takes enforcement action – prioritizing the removal of individuals who present the most significant threats to public safety as determined by the severity of their crime, their criminal history, and other factors – as well as those who have repeatedly violated immigration laws.

Secure Communities imposes no new or additional requirements on state and local law enforcement, and the federal government, not the state or local law enforcement agency, determines what immigration enforcement action, if any, is appropriate.

Last year ICE deported 395,000 illegal aliens.  About one-half, or 195,000 were criminal aliens. A criminal alien is defined as someone who has committed additional crimes beyond being in the United States illegally.  About one-third of the deported criminal aliens, about 66,000, had been convicted of murder, rape or major drug trafficking.

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