This latest announcement released a cacophony of protest from human rights groups, immigration advocates and lawyers. National Day Laborer Organizing Network indicates that ICE's move throws their already discredited deportation program into further disarray and confusion, as the "rogue agency" ignores governors and courts, not to mention the democratic process itself.
Chris Newman, Legal Director of NDLON immediately issued an intense critique in a statement Friday, subtitled "DHS Cannot Rule by Decree."
"Today’s announcement confirms ICE’s status as a rogue agency. The level of deception involved in S-Comm so far has been alarming , but this moves things to another level. A contract is a contract—but apparently not when it comes to ICE.
All the deception in the world can’t hide the fact that the S-Comm is horrible policy. By entangling local police in immigration enforcement, S-Comm is criminalizing immigrants and leading to the Arizonification of the country. Ultimately, the announcement today only puts into further question the legal basis for the program. ICE can no longer be trusted to police itself."
ICE calls S-Comm, a program intended to deport serious criminals, "highly successful." And indeed, the Obama administration deported 77,000 immigrants convicted of crimes, including some 28,000 convicted of serious offenses [murder, rape and sexual abuse of children] through S-Comm. But that is but a tiny fraction of the record-breaking 1 million people deported under this administration. By DHS’s own figures, 895,000 deportees lacked a criminal record.
Looking at those numbers leads immigrant advocates --like the Reform Immigration for Texas Alliance--not only to question how effective S-Comm actually is, but also to wonder at the actual intent of the Obama administration with respect to immigration.