WAMU 88.5 : Morning Edition

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Secure Communities In D.C. Starts June 5

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D.C. Mayor Vincent Gray and other city leaders are criticizing the federal government's decision to activate the immigration deportation program known as "Secure Communities" in the District. 

The Secure Communities program requires local police departments to share arrest information, including fingerprint data, with federal immigration authorities. The federal government has been rolling out the program on a state-by-state basis, and officials are expected to activate it for D.C. Tuesday, June 5.

It is supposed to help catch violent criminals in the U.S. illegally, but critics, including Mayor Gray and other city leaders, say the program discourages undocumented immigrants from cooperating with police. 

Last fall, Gray signed an executive order that directs District law enforcement officers not to detain individuals on the basis of immigration status. It also barred District agencies from making incarcerated youth and adults under their supervision available for federal immigration interviews without a court order.

Gray and members of the D.C. Council are planning to speak at news conference later today to talk about Secure Communities.

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