Congressional Progressive Caucus Letter to Obama Requesting Immediate Moratorium on S-Comm

Download PDF version of official letter here.

Congressional Progressive Caucus

June 6, 2011

The Honorable Barack Obama
President of the United States
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW
Washington, DC 20500

Dear President Obama,

We applaud your recent statements regarding the pressing need for comprehensive immigration reform, once again demonstrating your leadership on this issue. In your remarks you highlight the role immigrants have played in our country and correctly argue that we can fix our broken immigration system only through comprehensive reform. The actions of some officials in your administration, however, have not matched the ideals you have espoused. We are especially concerned about the recent revelations surrounding the Secure Communities program, which have prompted a planned investigation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Office of the Inspector General (OIG).

Therefore, we write on behalf of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) to request an immediate national moratorium on further expansion of Secure Communities in any state or locality unless and until the OIG completes its investigation. We strongly support your efforts to reform our outdated system of immigration laws and regulations. Nevertheless, we believe that because of allegations of questionable actions by individuals within ICE in its negotiations with individual states, as well as their statements to various Members of Congress, further expansion of the Program before the conclusion of the OIG’s investigation would be in conflict with yours goals and priorities.

The CPC includes Members throughout the Unites States who have repeatedly voiced concerns over the program’s inability to meet its stated goals, its effects on community-policing efforts, its lack of transparency and accountability, and its potential for violations of due process and civil liberties. While we unequivocally agree with the stated goal of prioritizing the removal of dangerous individuals who pose a threat to their communities, it seems clear that Secure Communities has fallen far short of this goal. Statistics released by ICE itself directly contravene any assertion that the program focuses on individuals who pose a real threat to their communities.

We once again thank you for your leadership in seeking comprehensive immigration reform that meets our national security needs and guarantees fairness and dignity for all. Unfortunately, we do not believe that Secure Communities achieves either of these goals. We therefore request an immediate moratorium until the OIG completes its investigation, and the Secure Communities program can be tailored to preserve civil rights, protect community safety, and advance immigration enforcement priorities.

We look forward to working with your administration on this issue and a comprehensive reform bill that will finally fix our broken immigration system.


Raúl M. Grijalva
Congressional Progressive Caucus

Keith Ellison
Congressional Progressive Caucus

Jared Polis
CPC Equal Protections Task Force

cc: The Honorable John Hickenlooper, Governor of the State of Colorado

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