Secure Communities Immigration Policy Deports Non-Criminals Along With Felons

04/25/2011 11:54 am ET | Updated Jun 25, 2011
  • Lee Romney and Paloma Esquivel, Los Angeles Times

Under the program, fingerprints of all inmates booked into local jails and cross-checked with the FBI's criminal database are now forwarded by that agency to Immigration and Customs Enforcement to be screened for immigration status. Officials said the new system would focus enforcement efforts on violent felons such as those convicted of murder, rape and kidnapping.

But Secure Communities is now mired in controversy. Recently released ICE data show that nearly half of those ensnared by the program have been noncriminals, like Norma, or those who committed misdemeanors.