VT Now Part of Feds' ‘Secure Communities’ Program

May 23, 2012

The state of Vermont is now a part of a federal program aimed at identifying illegal immigrants arrested and charged with crimes.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley reports…

The Department of Homeland Security says its Secure Communities program went into effect Tuesday in Vermont.

The program shares the fingerprints of illegal immigrants charged with crimes with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security.

Homeland Security says that since Secure Communities began in 2008, more than 135,000 illegal immigrants with criminal records have been deported after being identified by the program.

Advocates for Vermont immigrants say the program was implemented in the state without consulting state officials.

Natalia Fajardo, an organizer at the group Migrant Justice, says the program will break the trust that has been built up in Vermont between immigrants and the police.

I’m Pat Bradley, WAMC News. 

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.  All Rights Reserved.