February 20, 2011
A review of federal records by the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting found that 28% of the more than 75,000 immigrants deported since Secure Communities was created in 2008 have been “non-criminal” immigrants, while just 23% of those detained and deported have convictions for violent crimes such as murder or rape.
According to the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), with the Secure Communities program, “the fingerprints of everyone arrested and booked are not only checked against FBI criminal history records, but they are also checked against DHS immigration records.
If fingerprints match DHS records, ICE determines if immigration enforcement action is required, considering the immigration status of the alien, the severity of the crime and the alien's criminal history.”
However, Secure Communities’ rate of going after non-criminal illegals is even higher in Florida than in the country as a whole (42%), while only 20% of deportations consisted of violent criminals. Some of Florida’s largest counties have yet higher rates, including Orange County (63%), Palm Beach County (62%), Broward County (57%) and Miami-Dade County (51%).