Five Bay Area counties are among the top 38 in the country with the highest percentage of deportations of people with no criminal record or only charges of minor offenses. This was one of the findings of a new analysis of the latest data reported by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency under the Secure Communities program.
S-Comm, as it is known, shares with immigration authorities the fingerprints of anyone who gets arrested by local police. According to ICE, the program is meant to focus on dangerous criminals, but the data shows a different picture, reports La Opinión.
“Nationally, one in four people deported under S-Comm haven’t been convicted of any crime," according to Bridget Kessler of Benjamin Cardozo School of Law.
But ICE data from Oct. 27, 2008 to Feb. 28, 2011 shows that in some counties, the percentage of noncriminals was much higher.
The Bay Area counties that made the list were Alameda, Sonoma, Contra Costa, San Francisco and Solano. (Counties that had too few deportations to be statistically significant were left off the list.)
Here's a look at some of the numbers:
In Alameda County, 67.20 percent of people deported had no criminal record or only a minor offense (40.48 percent, or 253 out of 625, had no criminal record at all).
In Solano, 68.28 percent of deportees were noncriminals or minor offenders (50.00 percent, or 93 out of 186, had no criminal record).
In Contra Costa County, 69.36 percent of people deported were noncriminals or minor offenders (44.46, or 325 out of 731, had no criminal record).
In Sonoma, 72.55 percent of deportees were noncriminals or minor offenders (42.55 percent, or 200 out of 470, had no criminal record).
And in San Francisco, 77.59 percent of deportees were noncriminals or minor offenders (46.06 percent, or 111 out of 241, had no criminal record).
The data was released as a result of a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit filed by several groups including the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, Center for Constitutional Rights and the Kathryn O. Greenberg Immigration Justice Clinic of the Benjamin Cardozo School of Law.
Assemblyman Tom Ammiano, D-San Francisco, has introduced a bill, AB 1081, that would modify Secure Communities in California to make it an opt-in program. According to Ammiano, this would improve the program by "honoring localities’ right to opt out and establishing safeguards so those who opt-in protect basic rights and guard against racial profiling.”