Secure Communities Sign on Letter

May 9, 2011

Honorable Andrew Cuomo
Governor of New York
State Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

Dear Governor Cuomo:

Last week, the Governor of Illinois and the Illinois State Police took a critical step towards protecting the rights of their immigrant communities by terminating the state’s Secure Communities (S-Comm) Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Through this action, no police in Illinois will share fingerprints with ICE—no new counties will be activated and counties that have S-Comm currently operating will be deactivated. We commend Illinois for taking this action.

Given New York’s immigrant heritage and our leadership role in the nation, we firmly believe that our State, too, must immediately end this destructive program. Many of us have joined dozens of organizations in New York over the past year in raising a wide range of concerns about S-Comm and calling for an end to our State’s participation in the program. It is critical that New York now join Illinois to show that stopping S-Comm is both necessary and doable.  

Like us, Illinois felt that there was no choice but to completely withdraw from S-Comm. In his letter to ICE, Governor Pat Quinn pointed to “the conflict between the stated purpose of Secure Communities and the implementation of the program.” It could not be more clear that this program serves as a dragnet for ICE to meet its draconian deportation quotas. In Illinois, less than 20% of the people ICE deported due to S-Comm were convicted of a serious crime. ICE statistics for New York show that the vast majority (approximately 80 percent) of those detained by ICE because of S-Comm were never convicted of a crime. Even more importantly, S-Comm undermines the critical work we all have undertaken for so long to protect due process, end racial profiling, restore trust in the police, and stop unfair deportations.

Especially at a time of increasing recognition of the terrible problems posed by S-Comm, we cannot afford to continue to let our immigrants get dragged through ICE’s deportation machinery. Just last week, U.S. Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, joined by U.S. Senator Robert Menendez, put a spotlight on the problematic S-Comm program, calling for "thorough investigations [of ICE] into any misconduct, including possible violations of criminal law."

As a state that is proud of its tradition of upholding and protecting civil, immigrant, and human rights, we must stop S-Comm in New York. With 24 of our 62 counties already activated, we have no time to lose. We look forward to working with you to immediately terminate our S-Comm MOA in order to truly make New York a state that protects the rights of all communities.


José Serrano                             Brian Kavanagh                             Guillermo Linares
NYS Senate, 28th Dist.             NYS Assembly, 74th Dist.              NYS Assembly, 72nd Dist.

Ruben Diaz                                Thomas Duane                                  Adriano Espaillat                            
NYS Senate, 32nd Dist.             NYS Senate, 29th Dist.                    NYS Senate, 31st Dist.                    

Jeffrey D. Klein                                Ruth Hassell-Thompson                     Liz Krueger                                              
NYS Senate, 34th Dist.                    NYS Senate, 36th Dist.                    NYS Senate, 26th Dist.                    

Jose Peralta                                     Bill Perkins                                      Gustavo Rivera
NYS Senate, 13th Dist.                    NYS Senate, 30th Dist.                    NYS Senate, 33rd Dist.                   

Daniel Squadron                             Keith L.T. Wright                            Thomas J. Abinanti                        
NYS Senate, 25th Dist.                   NYS Assembly, 70th Dist.                NYS Assembly, 92nd Dist.             

Jeffrion L. Aubry                             Carmen E. Arroyo                            Alec Brook-Krasny                               
NYS Assembly, 35th Dist.               NYS Assembly, 84th Dist.               NYS Assembly, 46th Dist.               

Karim Camara                              Nelson L. Castro                               Marcos Crespo                                                                      
NYS Assembly, 43 Dist.               NYS Assembly, 86th Dist.                 NYS Assembly, 85th Dist.

Jeffrey Dinowitz                           Deborah J. Glick                               Richard N. Gottfried                     
NYS Assembly, 81st Dist.           NYS Assembly, 66th Dist.                 NYS Assembly, 75th Dist.

Vanessa Gibson                              Carl E. Heastie                                 Rhoda Jacobs                                                          
NYS Assembly, 77th Dist.            NYS Assembly, 83rd                        NYS Assembly, 42nd Dist.            

Ellen C. Jaffee                                  Hakeem Jeffries                               Micah Kellner    
NYS Assembly, 95th Dist.               NYS Assembly, 57th Dist.               NYS Assembly, 65th Dist.

Barbara Lifton                                Joan L. Millman                                Grace Meng                                    
NYS Assembly, 125th Dist.           NYS Assembly, 52nd Dist.                NYS Assembly, 22nd Dist.              

Francisco P. Moya                       Daniel O’Donnell                                  Felix Ortiz                                      
NYS Assembly, 39th Dist.           NYS Assembly, 69th Dist.                 NYS Assembly, 51st Dist.              

Nick Perry                                       Phil Ramos                 Jose Rivera     
NYS Assembly, 58th Dist.              NYS Assembly, 6th Dist.                  NYS Assembly, 78th Dist.              

Peter M. Rivera                               Annette M. Robinson                       Robert J. Rodriguez    
NYS Assembly, 76th Dist.              NYS Assembly, 56th Dist.                NYS Assembly, 68th Dist.

Linda B. Rosenthal                        Samuel Roberts                              Addie J. Russell                   
NYS Assembly, 67th Dist.            NYS Assembly, 119th Dist.            NYS Assembly, 118th Dist.

William Scarborough                       Michelle Schimel                              Eric Stevenson                               
NYS Assembly, 29th Dist.             NYS Assembly, 16th Dist.                 NYS Assembly, 79th Dist.

Matthew Titone                                David Weprin
NYS Assembly, 61st Dist.                 NYS Assembly, 24th Dist.