CUOMO SOFT ON
Is Governor Cuomo compromising the
security and safety of New Yorkers and
failing to save billions in dollars of
costs associated with the presence of
untold numbers of illegal aliens in
New York State?
Reading the following raises more questions than
Cuomo Ends State’s Role in Checking Immigrants
Marcus Yam for The New York Times
By KIRK SEMPLE
Published: June 1, 2011
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said on Wednesday that he was suspending New York’s participation in a federal immigration enforcement plan that has drawn fire from immigrant advocates, civil liberties lawyers and elected officials in the state and around the country.
Nathaniel Brooks for The New York Times
A statement from Mr. Cuomo’s office said there was “mounting evidence” that the program, called Secure Communities, had not only failed to meet its goal of deporting the most serious immigrant criminals but was also undermining law enforcement and compromising public safety. PROOF?
“There are concerns about the implementation of the program as well as its impact on families, immigrant communities and law enforcement in New York,” Mr. Cuomo said. Unless those concerns are eased, the statement said, New York will not take part. SPECFIC CONCERNS?
Mr. Cuomo’s decision makes New York the second state to announce its intention to withdraw from the program, and sets up a confrontation with the Obama administration, which has made Secure Communities a cornerstone of immigration enforcement strategy. Gov. Pat Quinn of Illinois said in May that he was canceling his state’s participation.
Under the program, begun by the Bush administration in 2008, the fingerprints of everyone booked into a local or county jail are sent to the Department of Homeland Security and compared with prints in its files. If officials find that a suspect is in the country illegally, or is a noncitizen with a criminal record, they may seek to deport the person.
By Wednesday, that fingerprint sharing had been introduced in about 41 percent of the nation’s jurisdictions, including 27 of 62 counties in New York. Mr. Cuomo’s move means that those counties’ participation will end. The entire country is scheduled to join the program by 2013. NAME COUNTIES.
The practical effects of Mr. Cuomo’s decision are unclear. New York law enforcement agencies regularly check fingerprints with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Homeland Security officials said that regardless of New York’s participation in Secure Communities, the F.B.I. would still share fingerprints with the immigration agency. SO, GOV ANDREW IS POSTURING?
Federal officials said that if states did not share fingerprints with the F.B.I., those states would lose access to federal criminal databases, undermining their ability to fight crime.
While Secure Communities has contributed to a sharp rise in deportations under President Obama, it does not appear to have won him many allies. It has angered immigrants who supported Democrats in recent elections. It has also failed to convince many of the president’s Republican opponents that he is sufficiently committed to enforcement.
Opponents of the program contend that even though it was mainly intended to ensnare convicted criminals and people deemed a security threat, it has instead caught too many immigrants charged with low-level crimes or guilty only of being in the country illegally. This pattern, the opponents argue, has driven immigrants deeper into the shadows and deterred them from helping officials fight crime. ONLY GUILTY OF BEING
IN COUNTRY ILLEGALLY?
In addition, critics have assailed the rollout of Secure Communities, which has been plagued by seemingly contradictory statements about how it works and whether local and state participation is voluntary. VAGUE
Mylan L. Denerstein, counsel to Mr. Cuomo, cited these concerns in a letter on Wednesday.
“Until the numerous questions and controversies regarding the program can be resolved, we have determined that New York is best served by relying on existing tools to ensure the safety of its residents, especially given our overriding concern that the current mechanism is actually undermining law enforcement,” Mr. Denerstein wrote to John Sandweg, counsel to Janet Napolitano, the homeland security secretary. WHAT QUESTIONS, CONTROVERSIES? WHAT EXISTING TOOLS?
Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an arm of Homeland Security that oversees Secure Communities, said it was reviewing the program to make sure it focused on criminals.
Immigrant advocates praised Mr. Cuomo. “It is clear the tide is turning” against Secure Communities, said Pablo Alvarado, director of the National Day Laborer Organizing Network in Los Angeles. “It’s high time for the president to terminate the program before any further damage is done to our communities.” WHOSE
Rather than ending New York's
participation in the Secure Communities
program, Governor Cuomo should:
1. End Sanctuary status for illegal aliens
in New York State, all counties
cities, towns, villages and political
units therof. And denying state and
federal aid to juridictions, including
school districts, that fail to comply.
2. Report to the people of New York
answering these questions?
a) How many illegal aliens are in
the state and where?
b) What is the cost to state, and local
taxpayers, of providing social services
education benefits, medical care for
c) What are the types and numbers
of crimes perpetrated by illegal
aliens? What proportion of those
incarcerated in prisons and jails
in New York, are illegal aliens?
What is it costing state taxpayers
for law enforcement, courts, jails
and prisons related to illegal
The costs of failure of New York State
and the political subdivisions thereof
to far exceed any political benefit that
might accrue to Governor Cuomo and
the New York Democratic Party.
In fact, this failure puts all New Yorkers
at increased risk, when we are the targets
of a foe seeking to destroy us in their War