Statement from Senator José M. Serrano Re: Activation of Secure Communities

"I am extremely troubled with the federal government's decision to move forward with the flawed Secure Communities program- a program in which the State of New York clearly stated it did not wish to participate."

"Nearly a year ago, I led a sign-on letter to which fifty of my colleagues in the legislature signed on, urging Governor Cuomo to terminate the S-Comm memorandum of agreement with ICE. In June, the Governor took a critical step to protect our state by choosing to withdraw New York's participation in a program that will lead to racial profiling and the under reporting of crimes, and which places an additional burden on our already stretched local police departments.

"It sends a strong negative message to the public when what was initially launched as an optional program, suddenly becomes mandatory when certain states and localities choose to terminate their participation.

"Furthermore, the reforms to the program that have been proposed by ICE fail to sufficiently address the key concerns regarding S-Comm. This type of collaboration between police and immigration authorities threatens to completely eliminate the community's trust in law enforcement, focuses on low-level offenders rather than dangerous criminals, and will funnel individuals into an unjust deportation system that undermines due process rights.

"S-Comm is a one-size fits all approach to immigration that will not work for the State of New York, and I urge our federal government to respect the decision made by Governor Cuomo and stop imposing a fundamentally flawed program on the people of our state."