House Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi called the fed’s troubled “Secure Communities” program a waste of money, as members of Congress held a press conference in Los Angeles to call for a suspension of the program. Illinois, New York and Massachusetts have already announced their withdrawal from S-Comm, following numerous reports that the program has led to non-criminal immigrants and even victims of domestic violence being caught up in the fed’s deportation dragnet, resulting in a chilling effect on community-police relations. And then there are the accusations that the feds engaged in systematic lying and dishonesty when it came to the question of whether states and municipalities can opt-out of the program. So, today Gov. Jerry Brown is being asked to end California’s participation, too.
Or as Pablo Alvarado, director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, put it, “What started as an effort to uncover the truth about S-Comm has evolved into a consensus view that the program should be scrapped all together. S-Comm has come to symbolize the President’s broken promises on immigration reform. The fact is that it has not yet been frozen is now being viewed as a betrayal and places the urgent need to end the program on the desk of our local officials. Our local officials were misled into the program and now is the time to lead us out. The tide is turning on the dangerous and dishonest ‘Secure Communities’ program. ICE has gotten into the snake oil business. It sold S-Comm to the American public under false pretenses. It makes communities less safe, it imperils civil rights, and it is poisoning political efforts to reform unjust immigration laws. Today, Rep. Becerra and the other Congresspeople said very clearly that this program has no place in California or anywhere in our democracy. We must prevent the Arizonification of our community whether it comes in the form of SB 1070 or S-Comm. There is an urgent need for California to do better for its residents and to suspend S-Comm immediately.”