NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – New York City leaders are drafting legislation to limit the city’s participation in the federal Secure Communities program.
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The program will give immigration officials access to fingerprints of undocumented immigrants in local jails, including those in New York City.
Along with other City Council members, Speaker Christine Quinn is proposing local measures to stop federal authorities from deporting immigrants Quinn and her colleagues define as posing no threat to the safety of the city.
“Under the new law, the city will be prohibited from honoring detainer requests from immigrants who are youthful offenders, immigrants who have no criminal record, immigrants who have been accused of low-level offenses, or convicted of certain misdemeanor offenses,” Quinn said Thursday.
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Those offenses include loitering, prostitution, or driving without a license.
“They’ve gone beyond the concept of a criminal alien program, they’ve moved beyond deporting people who are a legitimate threat to the safety of Americans, they’ve deported immigrants who have no criminal record,” Quinn said.
She says the city cannot tell the federal government what to do, but it can tell its own Police and Correction Departments.