In what they feel is maintaining a good relationship with the immigrant community in Newark, Police Director Samuel DeMaio signed an order 2 weeks ago that allows the city to opt out of the Federal Government’s “Secure Communities” program, which would require participating municipalities to hold immigrants accused of minor crimes to check their immigration status.

The overall feeling behind the directive to opt out is to allow the immigrant community to not fear going to the police whenever they’ve been the victim of a crime, or have witnessed one. Simply put, not fear the police!

Quite frankly, I don’t see where one has anything to do with the other.

You commit a crime, no matter how minor; the feds want the cities to hold suspected illegals to check their immigration status.

This is different from encouraging illegals who are the victims themselves to report crimes.

But be that as it may, do you feel Newark is doing the right thing in opting out of this program for low level crime?

In enacting the policy, Newark becomes the latest city to opt out of the most controversial part of the “Secure Communities” program implemented by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency in 2011, which allows the agency to ask local police to hold any suspect for up to 48 hours if their immigration status is called into question.

“Secure Communities” was designed to enhance ICE’s ability to track dangerous criminals who are undocumented immigrants. Under the policy the Department of Homeland Security reviews fingerprints collected by local police during an arrest, which then allows ICE to issue the detainer requests. Immigration advocates, however, argue the policy has been misused, leading to the deportation of people accused of low-level offenses and inhibits collaboration between police and people who are undocumented.

Udi Ofer, the executive director of the state chapter of the ACLU, said Newark’s policy was a collaborative effort between the city, the ACLU and several immigrants rights groups.
“With this policy in place, Newark residents will not have to fear that something like a wrongful arrest for a minor offense will lead to deportation,” said Ofer. “It ensures that if you’re a victim of a crime, or have witnessed a crime, you can contact the police without having to fear deportation.

Newark Police Director Samuel DeMaio signed the directive on July 24. Newark will no longer comply with ICE requests to hold suspects accused of crimes like shoplifting or vandalism.
Nisha Agarwal, deputy director of the Center for Popular Democracy, said ICE has misused the “Secure Communities” policy in other areas, and Newark’s directive will slowdown the agency if it attempts to start deportation proceedings against someone for a small-scale offense.
“They often will (issue) detainers in cases where it’s really minor, when the person is not a threat to society in any way,” she said.

Bear in mind that Newark will still share the fingerprints and detain those immigrants accused of major crimes; but it’s the “petty ones” that they’ll let get by.

Excuse me, but if I’m not mistaken, don’t the “petty crimes” have to potential to lead to major crimes?

Someone rightly pointed out that when Mayor Giuliani took office in New York City back in the 90s, the first thing he did was to eliminate the “squeegee people” from street corners.

The rationale there being that they gave the impression that the city was “out of control”, which it was before he got there.

Opting out of the “Secure Communities” program for those accused of minor crimes is at best irresponsible; at worst a dereliction of duty!

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