In a letter sent today, Public Advocate Bill de Blasio urged the federal government to halt the expansion of its “Secure Communities” program to New York City, warning of the risks it poses to public safety.
Read the full letter:
May 12, 2012
United States Attorney General
U.S. Department of Justice
950 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20530-0001
Re: Secure Communities Program
Dear Attorney General Holder,
I urge you to halt the expansion of the Secure Communities program to New York City. The Secure Communities program takes fingerprints of suspects in jail and sends them to the Federal Bureau of Investigation, which in turn shares the information with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The program has resulted in the deportation of thousands of people accused—but never convicted—of committing a crime. As a law enforcement strategy, Secure Communities has backfired, eroding the trust between immigrant communities and law enforcement—making our communities less safe.
Local law enforcement requires the active and sustained cooperation of immigrant communities to effectively fight crime. The implementation of this program intimidates immigrants, reducing the likelihood that they will report crimes or come forward as witnesses for fear of risking deportation.
The Secure Communities program sends exactly the wrong message to our immigrant communities, at the expense of public safety. For the sake of our security, I urge you to stop the expansion of this program at once.
Bill de Blasio
Public Advocate for the City of New York