FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
June 06, 2011 - Washington D.C. – Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced that New York State will suspend participation in the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Secure Communities Program “to review the mounting evidence that the program is not meeting its stated goal and has serious consequences for witnesses, victims of crime and law enforcement.”
The following is a statement from Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum:
“Governor Cuomo’s decision to suspend New York’s participation in Secure Communities springs from serious concerns about the program and how it negatively affects New Yorkers and New York law enforcement.
New York is the second state to suspend participation in this controversial program. Illinois terminated its participation in early May.
The states’ desire to no longer participate in Secure Communities is consistent with the National Immigration Forum’s long-held position. We have grave concerns about the program’s implementation and detour from the stated goal of focusing on true threats to public safety. Secure Communities erodes the trust that communities place in their local law enforcement agencies and disrupts community policing efforts. DHS has not created the internal safeguards to ensure this program works as it is intended and it does not meet its stated purpose.
New York’s decision follows years of confusion, turmoil, and mismanagement surrounding Secure Communities. Legitimate concerns about this program led several localities to vote to opt out, only to be told later they didn’t have a choice in the matter. Confusion and contradiction do not inspire confidence, but rather breed distrust, making it more difficult for local law enforcement to do their jobs.
Despite unanswered questions and confusion, DHS has announced plans to make the program national in scope by 2013. DHS should halt the program. Enforcement programs must be accountable, trustworthy, and efficient in the use of taxpayer funds. Secure Communities meets none of these benchmarks.”
For more information on the Secure Communities program, please visit: