Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) promotes the Secure Communities (S-Comm) program as an innocuous data-sharing program. In practice, it is a massive immigration dragnet that targets all immigrants irrespective of their legal status, and even ensnares citizens. At the end of last year, ICE wrongfully detained Los Angeles-born Antonio Montejano under S-Comm, and he isn’t alone.
ICE and the Department of Homeland Security insist that these programs are meant to aid the federal government in “priority” deportation targets. ICE boasted that 55% of deportees in fiscal year 2010 were “criminals,” the highest percentage in over a decade. A closer look at the figures, however, shows that nearly half of those deportees had been convicted of one or two misdemeanors. The number of people being deported for traffic violations alone has more than doubled since the Bush Administration.