Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Immigrants Gather in Brooklyn to Protest 'Secure Communities Program' Deportations

Hundreds of immigrants gathered in Cadman Plaza Park in Downtown Brooklyn yesterday for a rally and a march over the Brooklyn Bridge to City Hall to protest what they call unfair deportations.

Make the Road New York (MRNY), which sponsored the march, says that each year the city's Department of Corrections assists Immigration and Customs Enforcement in transferring 3,000-4,000 New Yorkers into deportation proceedings.

MRNY says if you are arrested and unable to produce immigration documents -- even if you are wrongfully arrested and acquitted of all charges -- you could still be placed in deportation proceedings.

The group is demanding that New York City opt out of the federal "Secure Communities Program" whereby local and state police can check the immigration status of those in their custody. The government says the program has successfully removed thousands of alien criminals from the U.S., but civil rights workers say many non-criminal immigrants are swept up and out as well.

Date shows that "police officers are picking up people on pretext, the criminal charges are getting dropped or dismissed, and they’re getting shuttled into deportation,” said Bridget Kessler, clinical teaching fellow at the Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin N. Cardozo School of Law. More here.

Also see the Brooklyn Eagle.

Photos by MK Metz

Go to McBrooklyn's HOME PAGE.


Anonymous said...

no sympathy, they should have gotten in line with the thousands of immigrants who came here legally and received visas and pay taxes.

Anonymous said...

Hi there, I don't think that you understand what the safe communities act is. This act aims to deport legal residents in this country (ie permanent residents) that have committed any sort of infraction with the legal system. Many detainees awaiting deportation are tax paying individuals, some of whom have children who are citizens. Most of these people committed crimes over 10 years ago and have completed their sentences. Also there have been circumstances where people have called the police on someone else only to then be detained themselves (a domestic violence victim). I don't think this is very democratic. Before you share your opinion you should get some facts.