U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement’s (ICE) controversial Secure Communities program is now active in all 100 counties in North Carolina, the program reported this week. North Carolina is now the tenth state to implement the program; the Obama administration hopes to have all 50 states enrolled in the Secure Communities program within the next two years.
The Secure Communities program has been the source of much debate and controversy. Supporters of the program believe it is necessary to indentify and target criminal illegal aliens; immigration rights advocates, however, believe that the program creates a deep level of distrust between immigration communities and law enforcement.
The Secure Communities program enables local law enforcement to check fingerprints of arrested individuals against the FBI criminal database and ICE’s IDENT database to find out if the person is in the U.S. legally or illegally. Undocumented persons are taken into custody by ICE, who then works to deport those persons.
According to ICE, the Secure Communities program “improves and modernizes the identification and removal of criminal aliens from the United States.”