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New York Advocates Decry Lack of Meaningful Reform to Deportation Program

May 1, 2012

PRESS STATEMENT For Immediate Release

April 30, 2012

Contact: Michelle Fei, Immigrant Defense Project: mfei@immigrantdefenseproject.org484.466.6334

Groups Renew Call for Nationwide Termination of “Secure Communities”

 April 30, 2012 (New York, NY) – A broad coalition of New York advocates condemned Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s announcement last week that it would refuse to adopt any meaningful reforms to the deportation program known as “Secure Communities.” The groups expressed anger and frustration with the agency’s inadequate response and renewed calls for President Obama to use his executive powers to immediately terminate the program.

ICE’s report came in response to findings and recommendations of a task force assembled to review “Secure Communities” last year. The task force was highly critical of the program, with some members recommending termination of the program altogether. In contrast, ICE’s report continues to reflect the agency’s unwillingness to address its longstanding transparency problems and to respond to the national outcry against the deportation program.

The following is a statement of Michelle Fei, Co-Director of the Immigrant Defense Project, which led successful efforts to suspend “Secure Communities” in New York through a coalition known as the New York State Working Group Against Deportation:

“ICE has failed to make any substantive changes to its fundamentally flawed ‘Secure Communities’ program, refusing even to establish a review panel to examine specific cases. The agency has already deported over one million immigrants under President Obama’s watch by funneling immigrants into an unfair immigration system that only compounds the injustices of the criminal justice system. We cannot continue to wait for the President to make good on his promises to help immigrant communities, especially when ‘Secure Communities’ presents the same anti-immigrant policies as laws like Arizona’s SB 1070. President Obama can and must use his executive powers to terminate this dangerous program immediately.”

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