Senator Espaillat Commends Gov. Cuomo on Repeal of Secure Communities

Adriano Espaillat

June 02, 2011

Removing NY from flawed program will make state safer, more just

(Albany, NY) – Today, Senator Adriano Espaillat (D – Manhattan/Bronx) commended Governor Andrew Cuomo on his strong leadership, following the governor’s decision to rescind New York’s participation in “Secure Communities,” a  highly flawed program that has caused anxiety and insecurity around our state.

 Senator Adriano Espaillat said: “Instead of enhancing safety, as the program was originally intended to do, “Secure Communities” put our state in danger by creating tension between law enforcement and immigrant communities. By targeting immigrants, instead of dangerous criminals, the program not only failed,  it created mistrust and anxiety among immigrants whose cooperation with law enforcement is considered vital in combating criminal activities.

 “We are grateful to Governor Cuomo for his leadership on this critical issue and for his commitment to making New York a stronger, more just place

When a state opts in to “Secure Communities” it agrees to share digital fingerprints of those arrested in the state with the U.S.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency. However, the program has been used to deport immigrants who have committed petty crimes and do not serve as a threat to the country. According to ICE, nearly eight out of ten individuals deported under the program have never been convicted of a crime.

 Since New York signed on to the program last year, civil rights activists have been urging the governor to discontinue the state’s participation in “Secure Communities,” citing misguided deportations and their adverse consequences on immigrant communities.