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Hastings Race and Poverty Law Journal

Authors

Stephanie Kang

Abstract

The September 11, 2001, terrorist attack on the United States created a national urgency to better police United States borders. However, the attack also led to a backlash against undocumented immigrants by increased Congressional funding to implement immigration enforcement measures. One of the more controversial state and federal collaborative efforts to enforce immigration laws is the Secure Communities program mandating all participating jurisdictions to submit fingerprint biometrics to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement ("ICE") to enable ICE to run the fingerprints through immigration databases and identify deportable immigrants.

The primary goal of the program is to remove the most dangerous criminals from local communities, but the overwhelming majority of individuals that ICE has deported under Secure Communities are identified as noncriminals or have only been guilty of minor infractions or petty offenses. Moreover, implementation of Secure Communities has led to growing concerns over potential and existing due process and civil rights violations. Finally, local and state authorities seemingly cannot opt-out from the program, potentially violating the Tenth Amendment's anti-commandeering rule. This note will address these inherent problems in the Secure Communities program and provide possible solutions.

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Law and Race Commons

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