"Charity is commendable, everyone should be charitable. But Justice aims to create a social order in which, if individuals choose not to be charitable, people still don't go hungry, unschooled or sick without care. Charity depends on the vicissitudes of whim and personal wealth, justice depends on commitment instead of circumstance.
Faith-based charity provides crumbs from the table; faith-based justice offers a place at the table"
~Bill Moyers

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Vaya con Dios dear SF Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. Dear Ross...

Vaya con Dios amigo nuestro

... I'm not saying good bye, far from it, I'm welcoming you back to the civilian world -- Which will happen on Friday, January 8 2016 at noon -- and wishing you the best in all of your present and future endeavors. Count me in.

As a community activist, I know that we'll be meeting each other in the same circles, for, how could it be otherwise? Yes, you were what I refer to as a community activist who chose to also run for elected office to represent and serve the people from there, indeed Ross, that's my impression of you.

You were always with the people, in the good times and in the not so desirable ones, no matter the day, or the time of day, you were always there, in those moments of much need of support when we welcome the presence of humans' humane company and solidarity, especially in tragic moments, you were there.

A community's concern translated by you meant the need to do something about it, which you did so many times and sucessfully I might add. Plastic shopping bags poluting our streets, flying around in the wind tunnels that regularly are what we call 'the streets of San Francisco', chocking water fowl and fish in the bay, plugging our sewage systems? Presente! In those concerns you saw the need to do something, you did and it's been working like a charm ever since. Good job Ross.

Displacement of tenants? You were there, and are. Women's rights? You were there, and are. Gay rights? Or closer to me, Transgender issues? You were there, and are. Human and civil rights for immigrants? You were there, and are. Law enforcement and criminal prison system? You were there, and are. I could go on, and on listing all the issues whose concerned advocates can look at you and say, thank you Ross for being there for us.

And there were a few of them who called in the radio program you were on today, Jan. 4, '16. They took the opportunity to say 'thank you' on a day you went on radio, Hecho en California at La Grande, KIQI 1010AM in SF, for the last time as SF Sheriff to say good bye and thank the audience who in large part supported you, as it turns out, callers were the ones who felt they had to recognize your contributions and thank you instead. You were there for us.

Clip of his radio appearance

There is so much to do and the need to do something about it, as you pointed out on the air today, and as you do every time you get the opportunity to speak up. I know that you will continue to work in helping fix our broken justice system, even so you will no longer be an elected official, at least for the time being... (Emphasis added) but I know it will be a blessing in disguise your being out of office, sometimes people are far more effective and hence, successful working form the outside. No doubt you'll help move forward the innovative programs your predecessor, Sheriff Michael Hennessy and you, put into effect in the San Francisco City And County jail system; it is not a jail problem, but an education and training matter in preparing inmates to deal, once released, with the vagaries that life and society present us with on a daily basis.

I'm with you that the drug problem is not a criminal matter, or an enemy that you need to declare war on it, it is a health issue and should be treated as such, by the same token, I'm also with you in that undocumented immigration it is not a criminal issue too, but a labor and human rights matter and that violations to immigration laws, are at worst administrative violations. I'm with you in those as well because you've been there for us in these too.

So, again, welcome to the civilian world and now that you are in between jobs, join us in working from the outside at least for the time being!

I will be in touch...

Friday, December 11, 2015

Donald Trump Sells Out of His Own Signature at $13 a Copy

An entrepreneurial approach to the campaign

Donald Trump has been selling his signature for $13 a pop, and he wanted everyone to know it.

The messages have showed up like clockwork on his Facebook and Twitter accounts. “I am signing copies of my book CRIPPLED AMERICA. Order yours now—makes a great holiday gift!” runs the standard copy, which is followed by a link.

Rather than link to an online bookstore, like Amazon, which currently sells the book for $15, the link Trump goes to a Tennessee-based bookseller, which is marketing the book for $28, or $13 more than the listed cover price. The bonus: Along with Trump’s new book, buyers are promised a “numbered, custom bookplate” with Trump’s signature on it, along with a certificate of authenticity.

That puts the value of Trump’s signature at $13, a price that may have been set far too low.

Tuesday, December 8, 2015

Piecing Together Donald Trump’s Nonsensical Plan To Ban Muslims

Piecing Together Donald Trump’s Nonsensical Plan To Ban Muslims

by Kira Lerner Dec 8, 2015

After Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump announced his proposal Monday to ban all Muslims from entering the United States, reporters and pundits were quick to criticize the plan, saying it would undermine national security and that it’s just really, really racist.

The plan would clearly be extremely problematic, not to mention illegal, if enacted. But indulging Trump, we took a look at how such a plan would actually work if Trump managed to win the presidency:
Who exactly is banned?

Trump’s original statement called for a “total and complete shutdown” of allowing Muslims into the United States, and according to Trump’s campaign, the billionaire real estate mogul is not messing around. “Everyone,” Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski told CNN said when asked if the ban would also apply to Muslim tourists. The campaign also told The Hill that the ban would include American Muslims currently abroad. How he plans to block U.S. citizens from returning to their homes was not immediately clear.

Trump did concede that Muslims currently living in the country could remain here. “I have Muslim friends, Greta, and they’re wonderful people,” he told Fox News anchor Greta Van Susteren. “It does not apply to people living in the country, except we have to be vigilant.”

Saturday, December 5, 2015

USA-Mexico's Immigration Relations Programs and Operations 1519 - 2015 Timeline

As I have, you've probably seen this type of post before, some longer than others or viceversa. I had a shorter version of it that I published about 14 years ago in my, now defunct, site on my comcast account.

But i had a backup of my files of the comcast site and now, with the 2016 elections looming, there's little doubt that Immigration, for the umpteen time, will be a mayor issue. As a matter of fact, it already is as far as GOP candidate Donald Trump is concerned, for, he is already trying the tried and trite anti-immigration rhetoric. And why not? It has been to a varied degrees successful in stampeding the populace with fear of "The Others", i.e. non-white European (“Anglos”) foreigners/immigrants “Latin Americans/Indians”, for the last 150 years or so, particularly on economic downturn periods when the claim is made that the immigrants are to blame for taking the jobs away from the "Real Americans"(?) And committing crimes, or are the source of an increase in crime, when in reality, the opposite is true, at which point, for variousl reasons -- not the least racism, nativism, misplaced nationalism, etc. -- opportunistic politicians supported by ignorant demagogues, such as Donald Trump, start trumpetting the desperate need to implement immediately, stringent, cruel and without due process under the law, anti-immigrant measures/bills.

US/Mexico's History is rife with examples of this behavior and the consequences, during and in the aftermath. where a myriad of laws and individual guarantees are violated leaving a swath of victims, such as to what the “Operation Wetback”, among other programs and operations have proved and yet, this is the model that Mr. Trump is proposing as his solution to Immigration during the current debates in the 2016 campaign.

Hence, it seemed a good idea to post this UPDATED PIECE, if for no other reason, to have as much information on the issue as possible for reference on the dark history of the immigrant experience. To an extent, this post is incomple and does not touch how the politicians and populace reacted to the arrival of Jews, Italians, Slavs, Eastern Europeans, etc., that'd have to be another post, but for the moment, sufice to say that there is an echo in the experiences of these other ethnias paralleling what we hear about the Latin Americans, Chinese, Caribbean, Africans...

NOTE: I've included a description on what you'll find at the end of the link. It shows the snippet on hover when you point at it like in this example. NOTE: Long story short, I like totally broke my blog and I'm rebuilding it and not very well, some of the old blog features seem still broken. :-(




500 Nations - The story of native Americans - 1995 TV Mini-Series: An exploration of the various Native American nations and their fall to the European conquerors.

Hosted by co-Executive Producer Kevin Costner, Narrated by Gregory Harrison | - Part I - The Ancestors., Part II - Clash of Cultures., Part III - A Cauldron of War, Part IV - Struggle for The West.

U.S.-Mexico border region is inhabited by many Native American groups who have lived in the area for centuries.


Hernan Cortes conquers central Mexico.


Spain establishes colonial government in Mexico.


Adam-Onis Treaty: U.S.-Mexico boundary established by Spain and the United States.


Mexico wins independence from Spain.


Mexico permits Stephen F. Austin to start Texas colonization.


Mexico becomes a republic.


Struggle Over Texan Independence.


Juan Seguín is elected Mayor of San Antonio, Texas, but is forced to flee in response to Anglo aggression.


The U.S. Mexico war begins.


U.S. forces under General Winfield Scott enter Mexico City; peace negotiations with Mexico begin.


The Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo brings the U.S.-Mexican War to an end.


MEXICAN-AMERICAN LAND GRANT ADJUDICATION The Mexican War brought not only soldiers to the lower border country, but also a host of Anglo-Americans who began almost immediately to challenge the Mexicans for control of the land. Spanish and Mexican land grants, some of long standing, became the focus of competition, controversy, and conflict. Despite what Mexicans believed to be specific guarantees to their property and civil rights under Articles VIII and IX of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo, the older Mexican landholders on the north bank of the Rio Grande often found themselves uncertain about their rights to lands granted by Spain and Mexico.


Gold is discovered at Sutter’s Mill in the Sacramento Valley area of California Gold is discovered at Sutter’s Mill in the Sacramento Valley area of California. By 1849, large numbers of U.S. pioneers and immigrants from around the world travel to the mining area. Many gold seekers set up camps on Mexican-held land, forcing out some of the original landowners.


The Foreign Miners Tax is levied; Mexican (And Chinese (Who moved in after many Mexicans left)) miners are among the hardest hit.


The California Land Act attempts to resolve property disputes between Anglos and Mexican Americans with the creation of a U.S. Land Commission. California regions with the largest Mexican American populations are systematically discriminated and taxed more than any other region. But this can be said of every state that went trough the ANGLO-AMERICAN COLONIZATION.


The Gadsden Purchase Treaty is signed.


The Surveyor of General Claims Office is established in New Mexico, though claims by Mexican Americans cannot be processed fast enough to prevent take-overs.


Anglo businessmen try to push Mexican teamsters out of south Texas, violating the guarantees of the Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo.


During the 1860s, Tiburcio Vásquez [1], [2],Joaquín Murieta [1],[2] And others who resisted are also labeled "bandits" (Just as Joaquin)for resisting the take-over of lands held by Mexican Americans in California.

France, Britain, and Spain attempt to force Benito Juarez's government to repay debts owed. Even thought Britain and Spain withdraw, the French remain, hoping to establish a new empire. On May 5 (Cinco de Mayo), mestizo and Zapotec soldiers defeat the French army in the Battle of Puebla.


Napoleon III of France withdraws his support from Maximilian, the Austrian archduke who had been made Emperor of Mexico, and Benito Juárez regains control of Mexico.


Chinese labor is reduced because of the Chinese Exclusion Act, and railroad companies search for alternative sources of cheap labor. Mexican workers are increasingly recruited.


Copper mining continues to lure people to Arizona driving more Mexican Americans from their lands leading to "The 1903 Mexican AFFAIR" at Clifton which erupted into "The Strike at Clifton in June 1903",


Increasingly, Mexican Americans work for the railroads. Railroad construction continues throughout the early 20th century.


The Immigration Restriction League was founded.


In Re Ricardo Rodríguez, a landmark civil-rights case, began when Ricardo Rodríguez, a Mexican of humble means who had resided in San Antonio for 10 years, came before the federal district court of Judge Thomas S. Maxey in May 1896 to request final approval of his application for United States citizenship, which would naturally confer on him the right to vote.


The corrido (ballad) of the border becomes popular as a musical form.


Copper, silver, and zinc are found in Arizona and New Mexico; Texas begins to mine salt, it led to further expulsion of Mexican American land owners and the salt war of San Elizario.


The first border patrol is established to stop Asian workers from coming into the United States through Mexico.


Mexican Revolution begins. and manythousands of Mexicans flee across the border for safety.


At the New Mexican constitutional convention, Mexican American delegates mandate that both Spanish and English be used for all state business; to support the conditions of the 1848 Treaty of Guadalupe Hidalgo



tIn Mexico, Porfirio Díaz is forced to dissolve his governmen because of a successful revolt led by Francisco Madero. To protect its citizens and property, the U.S. sends troops to the border, where fighting in the Mexican Revolution is so close that U.S. citizens gather to watch.


U.S. Marines are held by Mexican authorities at Tampico, Mexico. Despite Mexico’s apology, President Woodrow Wilson sends troops to Veracruz, Mexico and orders the U.S. fleet to attack and occupy Veracruz to assert the rights of Americans and as an effort to depose Victoriano Huerta, who soon resigns.


General John J. Pershing leads 10,000 American soldiers into Mexican territory in retaliation for a raid on Columbus, New Mexico by General Francisco "Pancho" Villa. After 11 months, Pershing is forced to return to the U.S. without ever catching sight of Villa. U.S.-Mexican relations suffer because of the action.


A secret telegram from Germany to Mexico—proposing an armed alliance between the two countries—is published and causes the U.S. to enter World War I.


In spite of President Wilson’s veto, an Immigration Act that mandates a literacy test for immigrants is passed.


The Immigration Act of 1921 restricts the immigration of Southern and Eastern Europeans. Agriculture lobbyists rally to block the movement to include Mexicans in the proposition.


Immigration Act of 1924 halts the flow of other immigrant groups, border stations are established to formally admit Mexican workers, and a tax is collected on each person entering.


Largely due to a lack of immigration quotas, more than 89,000 Mexicans come into the United States on permanent visas, making 1924 the peak year for Mexican immigration.


The Good Neighbor Policy phrase was first coined by President Herbert Hoover, not President Franklin Roosevelt. Hoover was on a goodwill trip to Latin America soon after his election in 1928 when he gave a speech in Honduras announcing, "We have a desire to maintain not only the cordial relations of governments with each other, but also the relations of good neighbors."


The Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act of 1934 After hours of debate, the House initially passed the Reciprocal Trade Agreement Act by a vote of 274 to 111 (with 47 Members not voting)—for the first time granting the President its traditional power to levy tariffs.


Novelist John Steinbeck publishes Tortilla Flat, a novel about Mexican American life in the United States.


The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) protests discrimination by the Southern Pacific Railroad, which refuses to provide skilled apprenticeships to Mexican Americans.


The bracero program begins, allowing Mexican nationals to temporarily work in the United States – primarily in the agricultural industry.


Mexican American veterans return from the war and use their G.I. benefits for college education, purchasing homes, and furthering the economic growth of the community.


Josephina Niggli publishes Mexican Village, consisting of ten stories exploring her identity as part Mexican, part Anglo.


Backed by LULAC, a suit by Gonzalo Méndez against many California school districts causes the Federal District Court to rule that segregation in schools is unconstitutional. This sets the judicial precedent for the Brown vs. Board of Education case, which repeals the "separate but equal" concept.


Harry S. Truman becomes the first president to visit Mexico City, laying a wreath at the foot of the U.S.-Mexican war monument to the Niños Heroes



World War II veterans organize the American G.I. Forum in Texas to fight against discrimination and promote the welfare of Mexican Americans.


The Bracero program is revived.


Operation Wetback: The U.S. Immigration Service deports more than 3.8 million people of Mexican heritage.


The film Salt of the Earth is heralded by many as a true representation of Mexican Americans and their struggle.


César Chávez organizes the National Farm Workers Association (NFWA) in Delano, California.


The first maquiladoras are established under the Border Industrialization Program; mass employment of cheap labor along the Mexican border by U.S. companies begins.


The bracero program is finally repealed, and Mexican American labor leaders see an opportunity to work toward unionizing the farmworkers.


The Immigration and Naturalization Act of 1965 limits immigrants into the United States.


The Mexican American Women's National Association (MANA) is established to advance the status of Mexican American women, promote leadership opportunities and work toward parity in the workplace.


The largest increase of maquiladoras occurs after devaluation of the Mexican currency.


The North American Free Trade Agreement -- NAFTA -- comes into affect, stimulating trade between the United States and Mexico. Massive increases in border populations occur due to the treaty.


Ana Beatriz de Santiago, beauty queen of the U.S.-Mexico Sister Cities International Association, is detained for two hours by border agents on her way to a convention where she is to turn over her crown to the next queen. A customs agent reportedly lifted her dress and patted her stomach to determine whether she was pregnant. The Sister Cities Association formally complains to U.S. President Bill Clinton.


Bill Clinton uses a strict approach to limiting illegal immigration in his re-election campaign in order to sway large electoral states, such as California and Texas. Under his direction, U.S. Border Patrols are bolstered, sensors are installed and 40 miles of 14-foot fence is built to deter the flow of illegal immigrants.


The Clinton Administration takes credit for decriminalization of the border region, citing its increased funding of border police as major force in stopping crime. According to FBI reports, serious crime was down 30 percent in San Diego, Calif., 5 percent in Nogales, Ariz., 14 percent in El Paso, Texas and 20 percent in Brownsville, Texas.


Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996 The Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996, Division C of Pub.L. 104–208, 110 Stat. 3009-546, enacted September 30, 1996 (often referred to as "i-RAI-ruh," and sometimes abbreviated as "IIRAIRA" or "IIRIRA") vastly changed the immigration laws of the United States.

This act states that immigrants unlawfully present in the United States for 180 days but less than 365 days must remain outside the United States for three years unless they obtain a pardon. If they are in the United States for 365 days or more, they must stay outside the United States for ten years unless they obtain a waiver. If they return to the United States without the pardon, they may not apply for a waiver for a period of ten years.


Immigration and Nationality Act Section 287(g) odified at 8 U.S.C. § 1357(g), was added to the INA by section 133 of the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (Division C, Title I of the Omnibus Consolidated Appropriations Act of 1997, Pub.L. 104–208, 110 Stat. 3001, enacted September 30, 1996). Section 287(g) authorizes the Federal Government to enter into agreements with state and local law enforcement agencies, permitting designated officers to perform immigration law enforcement functions, pursuant to a memorandum of agreement, provided that the local law enforcement officers receive appropriate training and function under the supervision of sworn U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers. Under 287(g), with federal approval and training, ICE provides state and local law enforcement officers with the training and authorization to identify, process, and--when appropriate--detain immigration offenders they encounter during their regular, daily law-enforcement activity.


Clinton becomes the first president to visit Mexico since Jimmy Carter in 1979. He promises Mexican President Ernesto Zedillo that he will avoid "mass deportations" under the U.S. immigration policy.


Bill Clinton signs a declaration with Mexican president Ernesto Zedillo committing their nations for the first time to devise a joint strategy for combating drug trafficking.


Operation "Endgame" [pdf] the Clinton administration, minor misdemeanors can get legal immigrants deported. Naturally, it's made a good business.

Since 1996, there have been a couple of other legislative breakthroughs that have helped boost the numbers of immigrants who are sent back where they came from. In 2003, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) took over jurisdiction of immigration law enforcement. A year later, the DHS launched "Operation Endgame", a program designed to ensure that all deportable aliens are removed by 2014. In 2005, funding for immigration law enforcement was increased to $10bn, so the getting rid of undesirables plan is in full force and seems to be working out nicely. In 1997, according to the DHS, 51,000 immigrants with criminal convictions were sent home. In 2010, more than 500,000 immigrants were apprehended and 169,000 criminal aliens were deported (pdf). (As a point of interest, it should be noted that the vast majority of these deportees do not have white skin: 83% of the apprehended aliens in 2010 were Mexican or Latin American, and those from African countries make up most of the rest. It's hardly coincidental that the same population is more likely, in general, to be arrested, imprisoned and subjected to racial profiling.)


Border Protection, Antiterrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 | H.R. 4437 AKA "The Sensenbrenner Bill"
Co-Sponsors: Representative James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Representative Peter King (R-NY)

SUMMARY: On Dec. 16, 2005, the Border Protection, Antiterrorism and Illegal Immigration Control Act of 2005 (H.R. 4437) passed the House of Representatives by a vote of 239 to 182. This legislation, sponsored by Judiciary Chairman James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) and Homeland Security Chairman Peter King(R-NY), seeks to address illegal immigration by strengthening interior enforcement of immigration laws and enacting additional border security measures. Provisions to establish a guestworker program are not included in this legislation. This document summarizes key sections of the bill that relate to state and local government.

H.R. 4437 was the straw that broke the camel's back and is recognized as the cathalist for awakening a sleeping giant, which resulted in massive protests sustained for 10 weeks across the country, with a movilization of more than a million people between March 10, 2006 to May 25, 2006. The largest was held in Los Angeles where an estimated more than 500,000 people took to the streets.


'Great American Boycott of MAYDAY 2006' for immigrant rights. The national call for a May 1 “Great American Boycott of 2006: No Shopping, No School, No Work” to demand full rights for immigrant workers and their families is gathering momentum. This call, initiated by the March 25th Coalition Against HR4437—a grassroots coalition that grew out of the Los Angeles action that brought hundreds of thousands of immigrant workers into the streets last month—has likened the May action to the Montgomery, Ala., bus boycott.

Lessons of 2006 immigrant rights struggle that ring true today.
Over the last five months, many new young leaders have risen up against police brutality, murder and racism, in the names of Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Tamir Rice and many others. The Twitter hashtag #blacklivesmatter has been voted “the word of 2014” by the American Dialect Society.

As new young leaders continue the struggle against state racism and police terror, it can be helpful to reflect on a not-so-distant immigrant rights struggle that took place about nine years ago.

2006 - 2007

"Operation Return to Sender," Is the name for a massive sweep of illegal immigrants by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency that began on May 26, 2006.

The sweeps netted illegal immigrants from 14 countries in all, including Mexico, Honduras, Ukraine, India, Japan, Poland and Trinidad and Tobago.

An ICE press release from June 14, 2006 claims that Operation Return to Sender ended June 13, 2006. However, this is contradicted by numerous citations that the operation is ongoing, including one from the Contra Costa Times newspaper dated March 9, 2007, which quotes ICE as having arrested 13,000 more people from mid-June 2006 through January 2007, and also outlines the ACLU of Northern California's involvement in filing FOIA requests to find out more information about how ICE is conducting this operation.

Raids in Marin County, California under "Return To Sender" occurred in early March 2007, showing that the operation continues


On June 6, 2007 ICE arrested 29 individuals in New Haven, Connecticut as part of Operation Return to Sender and arrested a few days later in nearby North Haven. Some of these individuals had no criminal or immigration history.

2008 - 2014

What is Secure Communities? Officially, (S-Comm) Secure Communities was an immigration enforcement program administered by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) from 2008 to 2014.

As of September 27, 2011, Secure Communities was available in 1,595 jurisdictions in 44 states and territories. ICE plans to implement Secure Communities in each of the 3,100 state and local jails across the country by 2013. ICE reported that, as of September 30, 2011, over 11,000,000 fingerprint submissions have resulted in 692,788 database matches. As a result of Secure Communities, ICE had removed more than 142,000 persons.Secure Communities (s-comm) is an American deportation program that relies on partnership among federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the interior immigration enforcement agency within the Department of Homeland Security, is the program manager.


Goodbye, Secure Communities. Hello, Priority Enforcement Program. The controversial Secure Communities (s-comm) program is coming to an end under Obama's executive action on immigration. A new program called the Priority Enforcement Program, or PEP-Comm for short, will take its place. But will it be much better?

In his announcement Thursday, and then nearly verbatim in Las Vegas Friday, Obama stressed new targets for the Department of Homeland Security (DHS): "Felons, not families. Criminals, not children. Gang members, not a mom who's working hard to provide for her kids," the president said. "We'll prioritize, just like law enforcement does every day."

Those dichotomies raise concerns for some. "I was thinking about how certain communities are over-policed à la Ferguson," says Angela Chan, policy director and senior staff attorney at the Asian Law Caucus. "This juxtaposition forgets the reality that some communities are over-policed and over-criminalized."

Like PEP, s-comm, its predecessor created a path to deportation. The program--which began in 2008 under George W. Bush and escalated under by Obama--required local jails and prisons to hand over the fingerprints of anyone being processed to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), including people who hadn't yet had their day in court. If ICE deemed the person a threat it would issue them a so-called detainer, a 48-hour hold in a local jail or prison. Although detainers were supposed to last up to two days, many were extended by weeks or months at a time. And although s-comm was created to catch undocumented immigrants, it often swept up U.S. citizens, even those who hadn't been convicted of a crime. Some local agencies and entire states refused to cooperate with s-comm because the detainers weren't warrants issued by a judge. Rather, they were the result of decisions made by a federal agency plagued with problems.


The program was replaced by Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) in July 2015. is a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) program designed to identify immigrants in U.S. jails who are deportable under immigration law. Under Secure Communities, participating jails submit arrestees’ fingerprints not only to criminal databases, but to immigration databases as well, allowing Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) access to information on individuals held in jails. Unlike other ICE-local partnerships, Secure Communities gives ICE a technological, not physical, presence in prisons and jails. Unlike the 287(g) program, no local law-enforcement agents are deputized to enforce immigration laws through Secure Communities.

Why ‘PEP’ Doesn’t Fix s-comm’s Failings On November 20, 2014, President Obama announced executive actions to change some aspects of our immigration system. One of these announcements, outlined in a memo whose subject is “Secure Communities,” eliminated the widely discredited Secure Communities (s-comm) program and replaced it with the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP).

We continue to learn more details about PEP, but what we already know raises serious concerns that PEP suffers from the same problems that led to s-comm being terminated. Like s-comm, PEP will result in the permanent separation of families through deportation and will threaten public safety by eroding trust between communities and the police.


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