|I would like to take the time to wish each of you a happy and prosperous new year. In 2010, I hope we can work together to do great things to better our community. Below I will address a new program that was initiated in the Houston Police Department (HPD) Jail on December 17, 2009, the Secure Communities. I will briefly explain what Secure Communities is, and how HPD is utilizing this program.|
What is Secure Communities?
Secure Communities is a Department of Homeland Security initiative to “improve public safety by implementing a comprehensive, integrated approach to identify and remove criminal aliens from the United States.” The Secure Communities “identifies criminal aliens in federal, state, and local custody and at large.” It “prioritizes enforcement actions to ensure apprehension and removal of dangerous criminal aliens.” The Secure Communities also “transforms criminal alien enforcement processes and systems to achieve lasting results.” (Retrieved from ICE Website)
HPD recently adapted and implemented the Secure Communities. The policy of the HPD is to enforce the new immigration policy only when an individual is arrested and placed in the HPD Jail. Once an individual is in jail, the name and the identifiers of that individual (prisoner) will be submitted to ICE Database. HPD officers will not make inquiries of immigration status of individuals during normal police/citizen interaction (i.e., accident investigations, investigations of crime, etc.). Again, the only time Secure Communities goes into effect will be when an individual (prisoner) is placed in the HPD Jail.