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Rep. David Price talks about S-Comm, its place as a ‘reform measure’ and potential abuses of the program. Read why it’s not a reform measure at all here.

Watch as Karina, a student at Southern High School in Durham, raises tough questions about Secure Communities with David Price:

Why are we bothering Rep. David Price, who supported the DREAM Act? Well, because we had some important questions to ask him about his support for Secure Communities:

According to Rep. Price:

“The Secure Comm program…represents an effort to do a couple of things. One is to focus immigration enforcement on people who have committed serious crimes as opposed to workplace raids…as opposed to more discriminatory forms of enforcement. Number two, it’s an effort to clean up the so-called 287(g) program, which has proved to be…a very problematic program. It mixes up state and local law enforcement responsibilities for immigration in a very dangerous way. It makes local law enforcement appear to be the long arm of ICE.”

The most obvious problem with the statement above is that the reasons he cites for 287(g) being a “problematic program” all also apply to Secure Communities. In Florida, non-criminals accounted for 42 percent of detentions under Secure Communities between October 2008 and November 2010. In some counties the number was as high as 62 percent. Doesn’t sound like a “reform effort” against “indiscriminate enforcement” to us.

Also, the idea that “indiscriminate enforcement” happened only in the Bush years is just plain wrong. Obama has deported record numbers of undocumented immigrants–a great many of whom were good, decent people.

Rep. Price had more courage than other politicians (Kay Hagan) to support the DREAM Act, and for that we thank you. But Secure Communities needs to end, which as it stands is deporting DREAMers and their families as much or more as anyone else.

More videos to come.

Rep. David Price supports the DREAM Act. Unfortunately, he also supports Secure Communities, a program under which DREAMers and their families could be deported. If you have time to go to Durham tonight and speak out against the program, you should.

While the program is billed as an anti-crime initiative, the program, along with 287(g), is utilized as a dragnet against immigrants with which police can hand over any undocumented immigrant they come in contact with. This has led to several victims of domestic violence receiving deportation orders after coming forward to the police. There are questions also about the capacity of some jurisdictions to handle the additional workload that S-Comm requires.

It was recently discovered that the Department of Homeland Security was being purposefully deceptive about the voluntary nature of the Secure Communities program. In other words, in the effort to increase enforcement, the Obama Administration has found it perfectly acceptable to lie to police about their responsibilities.

The town hall will be held from 7-8:30 PM at the Durham County Main Library, 300 North Roxboro St., Durham, NC 27701.

UPDATE: Via VivirLatino: 15,000 documents on Secure Communities have been released after litigation by the National Day Laborers Organizing Network brought forward under the Freedom of Information Act. The documents reveal blatant federal manipulation of local law enforcement as they suggest that S-Comm is involuntary.

The Secure Communities program, or S-Comm, has been adopted by the North Carolina counties of Beaufort, Carteret, Craven, Hyde, Pamlico, Tyrrell and Washington. That means 92% of North Carolina counties participate in the program. It is likely that the remaining eight counties will join in the next few weeks.

Secure Communities is a program that began in 2007 in Texas and North Carolina that allows local officials to place a detainer on individuals that police believe are in the country without a current visa. Biometric identification is used to verify the immigration status and criminal history of those arrested by local law enforcement and supposedly allows Immigration and Customs Enforcement to prioritize the deportation of violent criminals. According to the ICE website:

“If fingerprints match DHS records, ICE determines if immigration enforcement action is required, considering the immigration status of the alien, the severity of the crime and the alien’s criminal history.”

However, local jurisdictions across the country have taken issue with the program, saying that it encourages racial profiling and the deportation of a large number of non-criminals. After San Francisco requested to opt-out of the program, ICE was unsure in its response as to whether or not the program was voluntary, and which jurisdiction (either local or state) was responsible for choosing to opt-out of the program.

President Obama has stated his support for Secure Communities and hopes to expand the program over the next few years.

Representative George Cleveland (R – Onslow) has introduced HB 11, a bill that would ban undocumented immigrants from North Carolina’s public universities and community colleges. The NC DREAM Team is asking for opponents of this bill to call Speaker Thom Tillis (R – Mecklenburg) and urge him to prevent the bill from making it to the House floor (call 919-733-3451).

Yesterday a member of the NC DREAM Team sent an e-mail expressing their disappointment in the legislation. “It is saddening that one of our state’s representatives would go out of their way to deny a segment of our state’s population the right to educate and better themselves,” said Ian Smith-Overman, the member who sent the e-mail. “I believe your decision to sponsor this bill is short-sighted at best and vindictive at its worst.”

Rep. Cleveland responded within five hours. “I find it revolting that an American thinks that we should financially support people that cannot legally work in this country through taxpayer subsidized education,” he said. “If you feel so strongly about this issue find an illegal and pay for their education at a private university.”

The response from Rep. Cleveland demonstrates that he is not aware that the North Carolina Department of Revenue collects income tax from undocumented immigrants using Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers, or ITINs, which have been issued by the Internal Revenue Service since 1996. The NC DREAM Team believes that undocumented immigrants not only have a right to attend public post-secondary education in North Carolina, but should also only pay in-state tuition as tax-paying state residents.

While the North Carolina economy depends heavily on immigrant labor, particularly in the agriculture and meat-processing industries, the state has continued to march toward policies that harass the communities working in those industries or prohibit their economic advancement through education. In the past ten years, agreements between immigration officials and local police departments that expand police power such as 287(g) and Secure Communities have continued to proliferate across the state; drivers’ licenses are no longer issued to immigrants without visas; and undocumented youth who most often had no say in their migration to North Carolina as minors are forced to pay out-of-state tuition and register last in community colleges.

by Domenic Powell

According to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the counties of Franklin, Greene, Jones, Lenoir, Onslow, Robeson, Warren and Wilson have joined the Secure Communities program. This adds to the 77% of counties in North Carolina that are aleady part of the program.

Elsewhere in the U.S., Wisconsin joined the program on Monday, bringing the total to 37 states.

Under President Barack Obama, deportations have reached record levels, due in part to the Secure Communities program. While the record total of deportations was reached by adding tallies that would normally count as being carried out by U.S. Border Patrol, the increased deportations still work toward Obama’s goal of winning Republican votes for comprehension immigration reform, except it won’t.

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