The recent shooting in Orlando reminds all Americans that the threat of violence exists in our communities. The ideology or motivation behind each attack may vary, but in common we have seen an evolution toward more independent, unaffiliated attacks inspired by extremist groups. Extremist individuals can find inspiration and encouragement through social media with geographically dispersed but like-minded extremists.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah Saldaña addresses the role ICE plays in the arrest, detention, and removal of individuals meeting the Department of Homeland Security’s enforcement priorities.
Deputy Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas and other senior officials spoke by phone today with several hundred Jewish community stakeholders as part of a call organized by the Jewish Federations of North America’s Secure Community Network to discuss current homeland security issues. Deputy Secretary Mayorkas thanked the participants for their continued support in helping to keep our communities safe and secure.
That is why, as part of the executive actions the President announced last November, we ended the controversial Secure Communities program. This was a program by which our immigration personnel lodged orders known as “detainers” to hold individuals in local jails, so that they could be handed directly over to federal authorities for enforcement purposes after their time in local custody. The goal of the program was to make it easier to identify and remove convicted criminals. But, in many instances the program led to the transfer of those who had been in this country for years, and had simply been picked up and charged with a minor offense, without a conviction. As a result, the Secure Communities program became embroiled in political and legal controversy. And, in reaction, a rapidly expanding list of city, county and state governments enacted laws and directives that limit or outright prohibit their cooperation with federal immigration enforcement personnel. The consequences nationwide have, regrettably, included notorious cases in which dangerous individuals on whom we placed detainers were released to the streets, and committed more serious crimes.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director Sarah Saldaña addresses the policies and procedures related to Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) within U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson addresses President Obama’s announced series of executive actions to begin to fix the nation’s immigration system.
The first day Secure Communities was activated in Starr County, Texas, local law enforcement arrested a man on assault charges. Because his fingerprints were submitted through Secure Communities technology, ICE was quickly able to determine that he was previously convicted of murder, was removed from the United States, and had re-entered the country illegally. In his multiple criminal exploits, DHS had encountered the man on five separate occasions – valuable information for local and federal officials alike.