3/9 – New York Times – Immigrants and the ‘Secure Communities’ Program – NYTimes.com

Letters

To the Editor:

The Obama administration is putting out an inconsistent message regarding its priorities for immigration reform.

Secure Communities, by resulting in the deportation of thousands of immigrants without criminal records, shifts resources away from handling dangerous criminals and actually makes communities less secure. It’s decidedly at odds with President Obama’s declared intention to work hard for serious and comprehensive immigration reform.

In response to the administration’s mixed messages, and Congress’s unwillingness to act, state legislatures are proposing some of the most virulently anti-immigrant bills in United States history. One such bill in Arizona would require hospitals to check patients’ immigration status. Another in Arizona would create a different set of birth certificates for United States citizen children of undocumented immigrants.

Georgia is considering a bill that would turn a United States citizen who gives a ride to an undocumented immigrant into a criminal, while Kentucky has proposed legislation that would make mere presence in Kentucky as an undocumented immigrant a state crime.

Such bills will only proliferate as long as federal immigration policy remains confused and unclear. Until then, immigrants and United States citizens alike will continue to live in communities that are increasingly insecure.

Grace Meng

Researcher, U.S. Program

Human Rights Watch

New York, Feb. 28, 2011

via Immigrants and the ‘Secure Communities’ Program – NYTimes.com.

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