Alameda County Considers Dropping Secure Communities

An Alameda County supervisor wants the county to stop cooperating with a federal effort designed to identify undocumented immigrants who could also be serious criminals.

Supervisor Richard Valle will introduce a resolution at Tuesday's board meeting urging the county to pull out of the Secure Communities program, which is voluntary and asks local law enforcement officials to send fingerprints of those they arrest to federal authorities, so that they can be compared with a database checking criminal histories and immigration status. 

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the program is aimed at deporting criminals, but Valle said it has affected people without a criminal record.

"In our opinion, too many people have been victimized by this," he said.  "And have been sent packing without legal representation, and without the opportunity to be heard in court unless they can afford it.  And most people who are immigrants to this country just can't afford it."

About 2,000 Alameda County residents have been deported under Secure Communities, according to data from ICE.

San Francisco and San Jose already refuse to comply with the program.

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