This month’s show focuses mainly on the activation of DHS’s Secure Communities in New York State. We will also continue to look at detention conditions and efforts to not only bring awareness, but to ultimately shut these awful places down.
The Secure Communities program was fully activated in New York State on May 15th 2012, almost a year after the New York State Working Group Against Deportation (NYSWGAD) campaigned heavily to stop activation in 2011 and actually did get Gov. Cuomo to reject it.
The Secure Communities program was initiated by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in 2008.Like programs such as the 287(g) program and the Criminal Alien Program (CAP), Secure Communities mobilizes local law enforcement agencies’ resources to enforce federal civil immigration laws. Whereas programs such as 287(g) trained law enforcement agents to assist with immigration enforcement, Secure Communities relies heavily on almost instantaneous electronic data sharing. This data sharing has transformed the landscape of immigration enforcement by allowing ICE to effectively run federal immigration checks on every individual booked into a local county jail, usually while still in pre-trial custody.*
We will be speaking with Michelle Fei Co-Director of the Immigrant Defense Project, She successfully co-led the campaign to end "Secure Communities" in New York.
Immigration detention is the practice of jailing people that the immigration authorities are trying to deport from the U.S. The detainees are imprisoned as if they are being punished for a crime. But being in the United States without permission is not a crime. It is a civil violation-the only one punishable by confinement. The courts argue that administrative detention is not punishment. Detainees are often subjected to arbitrary punishment, including shackling, solitary confinement, neglect of basic medical and hygienic needs, and verbal, physical and even sexual abuse.
We will continue our discussion with Azadeh Shahshahani of the ACLU of Georgia about the conditions in facilities in the state of Georgia and their recent report “Prisoners of Profit: Immigrants and Detention in Georgia.”