The Task Force on Secure Communities is a subcommittee of the Homeland Security Advisory Committee (HSAC) and was created in June 2011 at the request of the Secretary of Homeland Security. The HSAC, which is composed of leaders from state and local government, first responder agencies, the private sector, and academia, provides advice and recommendations to the Secretary on matters related to homeland security.
In November 2011, the HSAC endorsed and released the Task Force’s Findings and Recommendations to ICE. Both the findings and recommendations are organized into the following categories:
I. Misunderstandings Regarding the Secure Communities and the Role of Local Law Enforcement Agencies
II. Perceived Inconsistencies between Secure Communities’ Stated Goals and Outcomes
III. Minor Traffic Offenses and Misdemeanors
IV. Unintended Consequences of Secure Communities on Community Policing and
V. The Question of Whether to Suspend Secure Communities
ICE has conducted a detailed review of the Task Force Report and has made some key improvements based on the recommendations. Together with the DHS Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL), ICE has created new briefings for state and local law enforcement on issues related to the proper use of Secure Communities and discussing important civil rights issues. In addition, ICE launched a comprehensive training program on the appropriate use of the June 17, 2011 Prosecutorial Discretion Memorandum, which is applicable to individuals identified through any enforcement program, including Secure Communities. As of January 2012, all Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) management and ICE attorneys nationwide have completed this scenario-based prosecutorial discretion training.