Beginning in September, Montgomery County is expected to start participating in a federal deportation program. Known as the Secure Communities program, fingerprints of individuals brought to county jails are scanned and stored in a database that are later sent to the FBI and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If it is determined that an individual is in the country illegally, they are turned over to ICE officials and face possible deportation. Opinions vary throughout the State on whether the program adds additional stress to the police force and encourages racial profiling. The Gazette reports:
Councilwoman Nancy Navarro (D-Dist. 4) of Silver Spring said she has drafted a resolution opposing the Secure Communities program, which she and leaders in Montgomery’s minority community say could alienate immigrants and lead to more crime.
“The problem with this initiative in other jurisdictions is that it has led to real concerns with racial profiling and increased mistrust in the community overall,” Navarro said.
Navarro said she was shocked to learn last week that Montgomery County — where a third of the state’s Hispanic population lives — was expecting to implement the federal program.