If Barack Obama’s government is going to continue the Secure Communities (S-Comm) deportation program, it must ensure the program really contributes to making communities more secure and that the alleged benefits are not only in its name. This week, the task force named by Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton in June finalized its report. Morton charged this group with reevaluating the program and contacting various communities and public safety experts for their objections.
According to parts of the report leaked to the press, one of the main conclusions the group reached, after hearings in several cities, was that S-Comm has not been limited to criminals or those posing a threat to public safety, and that numerous law enforcement agencies think the program affects the cooperation of immigrants with police.
In reality, this was all known before the hearings. Morton himself said last June that his agency would consider how to handle detainees who were not convicted of misdemeanors such as not having a license or other minor infractions.
We hope he remains true to his word and really implements measures to revert the damage caused by S-Comm. Rather than being a program to improve public safety, it has become a public safety disaster.