Immigration Status Off-Limits For D.C. Police | WAMU 88.5 - American University Radio

WAMU 88.5 : News

Filed Under:

Immigration Status Off-Limits For D.C. Police

Play associated audio
Latino advocates hold a banner outside the Wilson Building on October 10 to raise awareness about the "Secure Communities" initiative.
Patrick Madden
Latino advocates hold a banner outside the Wilson Building on October 10 to raise awareness about the "Secure Communities" initiative.

D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray signed an executive order Wednesday barring police and public safety agencies from inquiring about a person’s immigration status or contacting federal immigration authorities.

“This executive order ensures public safety by ensuring that our police resources are deployed wisely and our immigrant communities feel safe cooperating with those who are sworn to protect them,” Mayor Gray said in a release.

Gray was met with large cheers when he signed the order at his weekly press conference at the Wilson Building, but the order appears to be largely symbolic, and doesn’t address the federal deportation program known as Secure Communities.

For months advocates for the Latino community have been pressing city leaders to reject Secure Communities, a federal program which mandates that local police share arrest information like fingerprint data with immigration authorities, and calling for Gray to live up to his promises.

In 2010, as then-chair of the D.C. Council, Gray – along with his 12 colleagues – passed a resolution barring D.C.’s participation in Secure Communities. Fast forward a year: Gray is now mayor and Secure Communities is no longer considered optional: the federal government say all jurisdictions must participate by 2013. 

Still, authorities in D.C. say they modified their policies to assure immigrant communities that police are not out looking to catch undocumented immigrants. For example, unlike other places, police in D.C. only pass along fingerprint data for serious crimes, not low-level, misdemeanor arrests. And District authorities also say they will no longer hold a person in jail under an immigration detainer for more than 48 hours.

NPR

A 19th Century Novel Explains Quantitative Easing

This week, the Federal Reserve ended the quantitative easing program. Author John Lanchester says Anthony Trollope's 19th century novel The Way We Live Now clarifies the current financial situation.
NPR

Cash For Halloween Candy? Dentists' Buyback Program Is Booming

If you're like many parents, by tomorrow morning you'll be facing a candy glut. One possible solution? Sell it to a dentist participating in a program that sends candy care packages to troops.
NPR

In New Hampshire, Two Different Tales Of Scott Brown's State Jump

The very close U.S. Senate race in New Hampshire could come down to where Republican challenger Scott Brown is from.
NPR

After Mass Protests, Hungary Gives Up On Internet Tax

The government had proposed taxing Internet usage, but opponents claimed it the government was trying to impose a digital iron curtain on Hungary.

Leave a Comment

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