D.C. Immigrant Rights Activists Voice Concerns About Federal Program | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

: News

D.C. Immigrant Rights Activists Voice Concerns About Federal Program

Play associated audio

By Jessica Gould

In November, D.C. Police Chief Cathy Lanier signed onto a federal program called Secure Communities. But some immigrant-rights activists say the program could make their communities less secure.

Juan Carlos Ruiz is an organizer with the Latino Federation of Greater Washington. He spent the weekend grilling chicken at a block party in Northwest, D.C. But soon, he says, he plans to grill city officials about the Secure Communities program.

"We believe that the program will directly target the Latino community in the United States and especially in Washington, D.C.," says Ruiz.

Under Secure Communities, D.C. police would share fingerprints of people arrested for certain crimes with the Department of Homeland Security. Authorities could then use that information to identify, and possibly deport, illegal immigrants.

Matthew Bromeland is Special Assistant to D.C. Police Chief Lanier. He says the goal is to boost national security while making D.C. streets safer.

"In its basic forms it would certainly help in removing some serious criminals from the streets," says Bromeland. "It also closes a gap in the information sharing of law enforcement agencies."

But Ruiz says the program would discourage some people from reporting crimes.

"We will be hiding because we will be afraid of what the police will do," he says.

In May, D.C. Council introduced legislation blocking participation in the program. Since then, police say, the program has been on hold. The council is scheduled to hold a hearing on Secure Communities today.

NPR

A Woman Uses Art To Come To Terms With Her Father's Death

Artist Jennifer Rodgers' father was hospitalized for seven months with sepsis before he died. She used the creative process to try to comprehend his suffering and her loss.
NPR

'Into The Wild' Author Tries Science To Solve Toxic Seed Mystery

Jon Krakauer has long been haunted by how Christopher McCandless died in the Alaskan wilderness. In a scientific journal, he and a chemist show that the seeds McCandless consumed can contain a toxin.
NPR

Beyond Quid Pro Quo: What Counts As Political Corruption?

Under narrow definitions of corruption, candidates courting billionaires to fuel their White House bids doesn't qualify. But some activists, on the left and the right, argue that it should.
NPR

The Promise And Potential Pitfalls Of Apple's ResearchKit

Apple's new mobile software platform is designed to help collect data for medical research, but concerns have been raised about privacy and informed consent.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.