Lakewood, CO – Today, U.S. Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07) released the following statement in support of Governor Ritter’s decision to move forward with the Secure Communities Pilot Program for Arapahoe, El Paso and Denver County. Attached is a letter sent by Rep. Perlmutter to the Director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) in support of the Secure Communities Program, but asking for clarification as it relates to several important points regarding data tracking, transparency and reporting issues.
“Secure Communities will help protect our neighborhoods and is a step in the right direction towards fixing our current immigration policy. This program will provide Colorado law enforcement officials with the tools they need to identify and remove illegal immigrants who committed serious crimes. The Memorandum of Understanding Gov. Ritter negotiated with ICE addresses civil rights and confidentiality concerns brought forth by various groups while ensuring those with a criminal history are caught and deported if warranted.
Secure Communities does not replace the need to enact comprehensive immigration reform. I continue to call on Congress and the President to move forward to enact comprehensive immigration reform.”
Congress has appropriated $1.4 billion to ICE to expand criminal immigrant enforcement efforts, including expansion of the Secure Communities Program, which will be mandatory nationwide in 2013. Pilot programs in Colorado will be established in Arapahoe, El Paso and Denver County. In Colorado, Secure Communities is supported by the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, County Sheriffs of Colorado and the Major County Sheriffs Association.