Congress to Examine Secure Communities Program

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASEContact: Keith Rushing, Communications Manager, Rights Working Group, 202.591.3305, 202.557.4291

November 29, 2011, Washington, D.C. –  House Subcommittee on Immigration Policy and Enforcement hearing titled, “Is Secure Communities Keeping Our Communities Secure?,” set for tomorrow, must involve a full investigation of the impact of this federal program on community safety if the hearing is going to be substantive and meaningful.

 Rights Working Group (RWG), a broad national coalition of more than 320 rights organizations dedicated to ending racial profiling, argued in a letter to the House Subcommittee that Secure Communities has been proven to result in racial profiling and led to increased fear of law enforcement in communities across America and thus imperiled public safety in those communities.

More than 65 groups and individuals from around the country joined RWG in voicing oppositionto the Secure Communities program to members of congress sitting on the House Subcommittee focusing on immigration issues.  Members of congress conducting Wednesday’s hearing should look closely at these concerns and the dangers the flawed program presents to the safety of our communities.

“Communities far and wide have come together and publicly rejected Secure Communities.  This message was delivered directly to Congress.  It is time for Congress to stand with our communities and stop funneling money into a program that destroys community safety and results in countless human rights violations,” said Margaret Huang, Executive Director of RWG.

RWG calls for Congress to immediately eliminate funding for the Secure Communities program until and unless meaningful and effective protections are put into place to prevent racial profiling and other civil and human rights violations; to urge the Department of Homeland Security to terminate Secure Communities in jurisdictions that have chosen to opt out of the program and suspend Secure Communities in jurisdictions with a documented record of racial profiling or where the Department of Justice is actively investigating a pattern or practice of discriminatory policing; and to pass the End Racial Profiling Act which would ban racial profiling by federal, state and local law enforcement.