[IN]Secure Communities Program Hurting Public Safety

This on the heels of Project Economic Refugee’s post on how ICE’s “Secure Communities Program” might be misrepresenting in Santa Barbara County CA, here comes a report from PBS on what is going on elsewhere:

Watch the full episode. See more Need To Know.

Far from the U.S.-Mexico border, local police arrest thousands of illegal immigrants. Congress wants to make sure these people are deported. To get the job done, it’s relying on a program called Secure Communities. But there’s a hitch: Despite its name, the program may actually hurt public safety.


Because of the program’s failure to focus on high-level offenders, critics say it’s causing fewer immigrants to share information with police that can help solve cases or prevent future crimes.

“This is creating a huge distrust, a huge void in our community-police relations,” said Cesar Espinosa, who works for the Central American Resource Center in Houston. Both the city and the county here are enrolled in Secure Communities. “We have a lot of folks who ask us, if I report a crime, will I be asked for my paperwork?”

Among those most in danger are undocumented women in abusive relationships. They fear being arrested if police respond to their domestic violence calls, and having to leave their children behind.

Read the rest of the report here.

So what do you think?  Is the “Secure Communities Program” actually making us unsafe?