Friday, August 12, 2011

Secure Communities deports 14 from RI (WPRI-RI)

Secure Communities deports 14 from RI
AG says controversial program is working

Updated: Friday, 12 Aug 2011, 3:35 PM EDT

Tim White

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) - Fourteen people have been deported to their home countries since Rhode Island implemented the controversial federal immigration program Secure Communities in March.

According to figures provided by the Rhode Island Attorney General’s office, 9,467 fingerprints have been submitted to federal officials since March 22 through Secure Communities. Of those, 100 people have been handed over to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement custody.

Amy Kempe, a spokesperson for Attorney General Peter Kilmartin, said 42 of the 100 were “level one offenders.”

“Those are individuals who have committed the most heinous crimes,” Kempe said.

Kilmartin has been the target of criticism and protests from community activists who say the program will lead to racial profiling and fear many may be deported for minor offenses.

“From my perspective, it's working,” Kilmartin said Thursday during a taping of WPRI 12's Newsmakers. “I have been to South Providence and talked to people and although there are some loud protesters out there, I think the silent majority – regardless of their background – are in support of it.”

Federal officials touted the Secure Communities program as a way to identify and deport the most dangerous criminals who have entered the country illegally. The program requires local law enforcement to send the fingerprints of those arrested to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the FBI to determine their immigration status and criminal background.

The attorney general’s office disclosed the updated numbers a day after Kilmartin said he believed no one had been deported under the program so far.

“The one thing I always kept hearing was, ‘Yes, please be here and keep our community safe,’” Kilmartin said. “They don't want criminals in their neighborhood and that's all Security Communities targets.”

1 comment:

Lena said...

I think the 100 arrested by ICE is more than twice the number of people picked up under two years of Carcieri's executive order.