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Secure Communities program leads to ICE raid

Much has been written recently in North Carolina and other states about the government's increased efforts to uncover illegal immigrants who do not have clean criminal records. At the vanguard of this immigration policy is the controversial Secure Communities program, which mandates closer cooperation between state and federal agencies on immigration issues. In particular, when local police make an arrest, the program requires that any fingerprints taken be sent to the Department of Homeland Security.

Secure Communities appears to have produced immediate results for law enforcement in a couple of northeastern states, where it was recently implemented. Officials from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) instituted a raid targeting illegal immigrants with criminal records. The raid spanned well over a dozen cities and towns and was named "Operation Threats Against the Community."

Over the course of four days, law enforcement took over 40 people into custody. ICE indicated that over half of those arrested had been convicted of felonies while others had criminal records that included convictions for such crimes as drunk driving, indecent assault and possession of illegal drugs. Those detained in the raid will undergo deportation proceedings.

Raids such as this one demonstrate the government's growing resolve to deport illegal immigrants with criminal records. With state and federal agencies working together, it is not unreasonable to suspect that more raids are in the offing. Immigration proceedings can be complex, but their results are very plain. Deportation can separate family members across great distances. An experienced immigration law attorney can help those facing deportation proceedings.

Source: NBCConnecticut.com, "40 Arrested in Immigration Raid," March 1, 2012.

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