Cepeda: New ICE plan threatens immigrants and communities

CHICAGO — The Trump administration uses a wide variety of methods to suppress civil liberties. Some are out in the open, such as threatening mass deportations, holding migrant children in cages and flouting the Supreme Court’s decision to not include a question about citizenship on the upcoming census.

Then there are the more insidious encroachments on our rights that happen quietly, attracting little attention and sunlight. Take, for instance, the 27,540 U.S. citizens last year who were interviewed, screened by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents and given a determination about whether they are lawfully present based on whether they “appeared” deportable, according to the American Immigration Council.

Or the fact that ICE has done facial recognition scans on millions of Americans’ photos without their knowledge or permission while looking for unlawfully present immigrants, as was recently revealed by Georgetown Law’s Center on Privacy and Technology in The Washington Post.

But what you probably still didn’t know is that the Trump administration is rolling out a program that will circumvent the reach of local agencies in cracking down on undocumented immigrants. This comes in the wake of municipalities and large cities across the country declaring that they will not participate in the 287(g) program — formal agreements with local law enforcement agencies deputizing officers to perform the functions of federal immigration agents — or would not cooperate with ICE to carry out raids in cities.

In May, ICE announced the Warrant Service Officer (WSO) program, “a new collaborative program intended for local law-enforcement that wish to honor immigration detainers but are prohibited due to state and local policies that limit cooperation with the agency.” It is also, according to the agency, designed for “rural jurisdictions that lack the budget and personnel resources to become 287(g) partners.”

The announcement itself, like the program’s overall goal of …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Politics


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