Do Universities Avoid Secure Communities?

, Malcolm A. Kline, Leave a comment

As we have noted, universities take a different view of unchecked immigration than the general populace does. Moreover, when law schools teach courses on immigration statutes, there’s one they might be missing.

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For example, at the City University of New York, “The Advanced Certificate in Immigration Law offers a unique opportunity for those working with immigrants, employers, and families to:

  • “Understand law and regulations governing immigration and citizenship;
  • “Learn how to comply with rapidly evolving immigration policies;
  • “Learn how to file petitions and applications;
  • “Witness immigration court proceedings first hand;
  • “Work with top CUNY faculty and legal experts; and,
  • “Gain expertise to professionally advance.”

We asked the gatekeepers at CUNY whether this course covers the Secure Communities Program but have yet to get a response. “The Secure Communities program is a commonsensical response to illegal alien criminality,” Manhattan Institute fellow Heather McDonald explained at a Hillsdale College seminar in Naples, Florida on February 18, 2015. “Whenever an illegal alien is booked into a local jail on suspicion of a crime, an alert is automatically sent to federal authorities in the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. ICE agents can then ask that the jail or prison briefly hold the illegal alien after he has served his time rather than releasing him, so that ICE can pick him up and start deportation proceedings. This is known as a detainer.”

“You would think that such a program would be wholly uncontroversial. An alien who crosses into our country illegally already has no claim to undisturbed presence here. He has voluntarily assumed the risk of deportation. But an illegal alien who goes on to break other laws has even less claim to protection from deportation. Yet Secure Communities has been the target of incessant protest from illegal alien advocates since its inception. Those advocates make the astonishing claim that it is unfair to remove an illegal alien who commits other crimes.”

“Even more astonishing, nearly 300 jurisdictions agree, including New York State, California, New York City, Chicago, and Los Angeles. They have openly refused to honor ICE’s requests for detainers, but instead have released tens of thousands of criminals back on to the streets where they easily evade detection. Not that ICE would be likely to try to pick them up! Indeed, the irony regarding the agitation against Secure Communities is that ICE rarely uses its power under the program. In 2012—the last year for which we have complete figures—the agency was notified of over 400,000 illegal jail detainees, but removed only 19 percent of them. And about 50 percent of the criminal illegal aliens whom ICE chooses not to deport reoffend upon release.”

Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush claims to be a big fan of the Manhattan Institute, where McDonald toils. One wonders if he’s come across this research.

“Violent immigrant and transnational gangs such as MS-13, Surenos, and 18th Street continue to present a significant public safety threat in many parts of the United States, according to arrest records released by ICE to the Center for Immigration Studies” the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) reported on March 26, 2015. “In 2013 (the most recent year available) ICE arrested significant numbers of gang members in California, Texas, Chicago, and the New York City and Washington, DC metropolitan areas.”

“Large concentrations also were arrested by ICE agents in Atlanta, Charlotte, and south Florida. In addition to the large transnational gangs, smaller immigrant gangs that operate locally or regionally are a problem all over the United States, in urban, suburban and rural areas.  Since 2005, ICE has arrested more than 32,200 gang members, leaders and associates.  Arrests peaked in 2012, then dropped by more than 25 percent in 2013, and continued to decline in 2014.”