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INSECURE COMMUNITIES HOW INCREASED LOCALIZATION OF IMMIGRATION ENFORCEMENT UNDER PRESIDENT OBAMA THROUGH THE SECURE COMMUNITIES PROGRAM MAKES US LESS SAFE AND MAY VIOLATE THE CONSTITUTION By Rachel Zoghlin1 An undocumented immigrant who lives in Maryland was recently stopped by the police while walking to the Hyattsville Metro Station to go to work Short darkskinned and Latino with long black hair the police told him that he resembled someone suspected of mugging an old woman a few blocks away The police questioned him about his whereabouts home and what he was doing that morning getting ready for work After approximately forty five minutes the police officers received a signal that some the real mugger had been apprehended across town so the officers allowed the man to continue on his commute to work What would have happened if he lived in Virginia where Secure Communities is active state wide and not Maryland where Secure Communities is only active in three counties What if the police never got the call that other officers had located the actual culprit A completely innocent Mexican waiter with no criminal record who takes English classes pays his taxes and supports his family may have been deported In the wake of fiery controversy surrounding Arizona s contentious immigration bill S B 1070 the issue of localization of immigration enforcement sprung to the forefront of national political debate Yet S B 1070 is certainly not the first instance of localities unhappy with federal immigration enforcement taking matters into their own hands De centralization of immigration enforcement is a growing trend and has been the subject of much legal debate Virginia recently adopted one method of localized immigration enforcement the Secure Communities program making it active in all Virginia jurisdictions 2 Similarly D C Police Chief Cathy Lanier has lobbied for the implementation of Secure Communities in the District of Columbia 3 In the D C Maryland and Virginia area



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