The National Coalition of Immigrant Women’s Rights (NCIWR) is appalled by the August 5th announcement that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) will not honor state contracts regarding the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) “Secure Communities” program.
“Secure Communities” has had a silencing effect on immigrant women who no longer trust local law enforcement for help when faced with a domestic violence or sexual assault situation. Due to this and other civil rights concerns, governors of Massachusetts, New York and Illinois decided to opt-out of the enforcement program that requires local police to submit fingerprints of those arrested to ICE. The agency maintains they need the fingerprints to track down and deport dangerous undocumented immigrants. But their numbers don’t add up. According to ICE’s own records, in many communities more than 70 percent of those detained and deported had no criminal history.
In addition, “Secure Communities” allows police to strip freedom from individuals indefinitely, allows no guaranteed access to a lawyer, no way to get out on bail, and no way to prove innocence in front of a judge and jury.
We believe that strong families are the foundation of successful communities and our families come in all types and sizes. Ensuring that immigrant women can raise their families without fear they will be torn apart by dragnet enforcement policies is critical to the fabric of our nation, its security and its prosperity.
That’s why we stand with our allied organizations and Governors who are committed to seeing an end to this unjust program. If you feel the same, sign onto our petition here.
NCIWR Steering Committee
The National Coalition for Immigrant Women’s Rights (NCIWR) is comprised of grassroots and national advocacy organizations. We defend and promote equality for all immigrant women and their families living and working in the United States. We integrate human rights principles into our work and believe that immigrant rights are women’s rights. NCIWR advocates at the national, state and local levels for comprehensive immigration reform, fair and non-discriminatory implementation of our immigration and enforcement policies, and reproductive and economic justice for immigrant women.