Skip to main content

LATEST UPDATES: Tracking COVID-19 | Vaccines | Racial Injustice

Facing Criticism, ICE Announces Reforms To Its Secure Communities Program

— Across the country, a wide majority of counties are signed on to the Secure Communities program, which relies on fingerprint data provided by local and state law enforcement after suspects are booked and jailed.

The program has been in existence for three years. But since 2010, ICE has been criticized for deporting a large number of non-criminal immigrants -- almost 30 percent of a total of 77,000 deportees.

After speaking to immigration attorneys at the American Immigration Lawyers Association meeting in San Diego, ICE director, John Morton, announced reforms.

Reforms to Secure Communities include giving ICE attorneys more power than arresting officers in deciding whether an immigrant should be deported or not.

Starting immediately, ICE will establish a new detainer form which limits the detention of undocumented immigrants without charges to 48 hours. The agency will also help train law enforcement around the country on civil liberties issues.

"We do prioritize with a heavy focus on serious offenders first," Morton told reporters. "The program is not restricted to just those who are serious offenders, but we do have a prioritization and we're trying to constantly work on refining it."


San Diego News Now podcast branding

San Diego news; when you want it, where you want it. Get local stories on politics, education, health, environment, the border and more. New episodes are ready weekday mornings. Hosted by Anica Colbert and produced by KPBS, San Diego and the Imperial County's NPR and PBS station.

  • Need help keeping up with the news that matters most? Get the day's top news — ranging from local to international — straight to your inbox each weekday morning.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.

Curious San Diego banner

Want more KPBS news?
Find us on Twitter and Facebook, or sign up for our newsletters.

To view PDF documents, Download Acrobat Reader.