One More Reason to Oppose Secure Communities Policy: It’s Racist

The secure communities policy is driving a massive increase in deportations. Since President Obama took office, we have seen one million deportations. In 2010, the United States deported 400,000 people, more than in the entire decade of the 1980s. The secure communities policy is also racist.

(Photo by Runs with Scissors)

This rise in deportations is due to laws passed in 1996, and a massive infusion of money into draconian enforcement of immigration law with the creation of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). With an annual budget of $60 billion, DHS has been able to expand its operations far beyond those of its predecessor, the Immigration and Naturalization Service.

When we look at who is getting deported, however, it’s clear that Asian and European immigrants are almost never deported, yet blacks and Latinos are deported in massive numbers. And, nearly all deportees are men. Sound familiar? Yes, racial and gender disparities in immigration law enforcement look a lot like those in criminal justice law enforcement.

Police are much more likely to arrest blacks and Latinos. In New York State, 94% of those arrested on drug charges are black or Latino. And, yes, whites and Asians do use and sell drugs. They are just rarely arrested.

Now that President Obama has forced more cooperation between police and immigration law enforcement through the Secure Communities program, we can expect to see more blacks and Latinos deported.