Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter is considering adopting the Secure Communities program by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement program to get illegal immigrants off the streets.
Secure Communities is currently in action in 26 states as a federal initiative. The files of criminals arrested and fingerprinted are automatically sent through the ICE database to check for legality and criminal history. Gov. Ritter is considering pilot programs in different parts of the Denver area but a timeline has not been set.
The Colorado Immigration Rights Coalition feels that a wedge will be formed between immigrants and law enforcement, particularly in the case of immigrant victims. They are concerned that immigrant victims of domestic violence and juveniles will be afraid to come forward in fear of deportation. Legal immigrants who do not commit a crime but are a victim of a crime should not fear the law of the United States.
However, illegal immigrants technically are breaking U.S. law and supporters of illegal immigrants ought to recognize how illegal aliens attempt to supersede the rights of legal immigrants who have patiently filled out the necessary documents and waited years to live in America and in Colorado.
The Secure Communities mission is, “A Comprehensive Plan to Identify and Remove Criminal Aliens is a Department of Homeland Security initiative that improves public safety by implementing a comprehensive, integrated approach to identify and remove criminal aliens from the United States.” They seek to carry this out through identifying criminal aliens, prioritizing enforcement actions and transforming criminal alien enforcement processes and systems to achieve lasting results.
The key part of Secure Communities is their prioritizing illegal immigrants do remove. Illegal criminals are prioritized on a risk-based approach. The most dangerous criminal aliens are first on the list, which are the ones charged with a Level 1 offense. Level 1 offenses are those involved in national security, homicide, kidnapping, assault, robbery, sex offenses and narcotic crimes.
When considering whether or not Colorado should partake in Secure Communities, Coloradans should remember that this program does not apply to one minority – it applies to illegal immigrants from all over the world.