Monday, June 4, 2012

DC's response to secure communities

Mayor Vince Gray and Councilmembers will respond to the activation of federal Secure Communities Program at a press conference June 4 from 11:00 am - Noon on the front steps of the JAWB (1350 Pennsylvania Ave NW).

On June 1, Mayor Gray released this statement:

Mayor Gray Expresses Disappointment at Federal Government's Decision to Implement Controversial Immigration Program
Immigrations & Customs Enforcement to Proceed with 'Safe Communities' Next Week

(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Mayor Vincent C. Gray today expressed disappointment at the news that federal authorities intend to activate the controversial "Secure Communities" deportation program in the District Tuesday, June 5th. Last fall, the Mayor signed an executive order clarifying that the District's public-safety officials will not inquire into the immigration status of individuals or transmit information about immigration status to federal agencies except when that status pertains directly to a criminal investigation.

"I'm disappointed that the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has decided to proceed with this program despite the vocal objections of local law-enforcement and elected officials in the District," Mayor Gray said. "In areas like the District that have large immigrant communities, police rely on the trust of those community members that their immigration status will not be threatened by their cooperation in local law-enforcement investigations. Secure Communities jeopardizes that trust, and consequently makes everybody less safe."

In October of 2011, Mayor Gray signed an executive order that directs District public-safety officials not to detain individuals on the basis of immigration status. It also bars District agencies from making incarcerated youth and adults under their supervision available for federal immigration interviews without a court order.

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