Breaking: Colorado Governor Ritter Breaks Promise, Will Sign Secure Communities
Despite assurances to the immigrant community, Governor Bill Ritter (D-Co.) reversed himself and said he will sign the Secure Communities Agreement, thereby linking state police data banks with the computer systems used by ICE. Colorado will become a dangerous place for undocumented workers and their families.
Republican Leaders Insist On Anti-Immigrant Law
The Secure Communities program has long been contested by immigrant and civil rights activists as too much information in the wrong hands. The program links local police data banks with ICE, thus alerting ICE to all potential undocumented immigrants who are in custody. This is in stark contrast to the original purpose of the program, which was to alert ICE when police had an alien with a serious criminal history. Secure Communities or SecureCom, was created after a lack of information sharing between police agencies was blamed for events which led up to the 911 attacks on the twin towers in New York City.
Opponents of the program say immigrants will be wary of approaching local police for help. An undocumented immigrant father who finds his 14 year old girl sexually molested may be reticent to approach law enforcement for fear the entire family risks deportation. The sexual predator will run loose to offend a citizen child next time.
Police claim the secure communities program will only be used once a person is in custody. Hence, the father in the above example has nothing to fear. Immigrants and those who protect our privacy rights counter, this is only a first step. Secure Communities will eventually give officers on the street the ability to link a series of police data banks together at the time of original contact, say during a traffic stop. Opponents say officers will soon be able to access information from the FBI, police agencies throughout the US as well as the massive computer complex at Homeland Security.Continued on the next page