President Barack Obama has expanded the budget of Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
The 287(g) program and Secure Communities initiative, implemented by the Department of Homeland Security, authorizes local law enforcement to act as ICE federal agents–they can conduct raids, arrest, detain and deport undocumented immigrants, regardless of the severity of their alleged crime, and gives them permission to look into individuals’ immigration status online and detain and deport them if they are undocumented.
President Obama’s expansion of ICE’s budget has only provided a greater opportunity for law enforcement to abuse their power. During raids, they often force entry into the homes of undocumented individuals fully armed. Instead of improving our economy and our broken immigration system, our tax dollars are going to ICE, whose budget is now over $6 billion!
Enforcement of a civil issue–and the attempt to criminalize immigrant workers and families–is not the solution. The U.S. urgently needs immigration reform. Defending the status quo is not an option.
“I think the consensus is that despite our inability to get this (immigration reform) passed over the last several years, the American people still want to see a solution in which we are tightening up our borders, we’re cracking down on employers who are using illegal workers in order to drive down wages and often times, mistreat those workers. And we need an effective way to recognize and legalize the status of undocumented workers who are here. My administration is fully behind an effort to achieve comprehensive immigration reform” said President Obama.
It is incomprehensible why President Obama would allow DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano to expand a failed program, when he insists that his administration is behind the effort for immigration reform. Real reform of our broken immigration system should address and end abuses committed by deputized police and ICE officers–along with enabling immigrants to adjust their status and become citizens.
“Secure Communties” and 287(g) agreements do not serve a public safety function–they do the opposite.
President Barack Obama must permanently terminate these programs for the safety and well-being of both citizens and undocumented residents.