Minnesota May Join Secure Communities Program

Minnesota may be the newest state to join the federal Secure Communities initiative, a data-sharing program that aims to find and deport illegal immigrants who have committed crimes, according to the Minnesota Star-Tribune.

The move may come as a result of a data practices bill passed by the Minnesota Senate, which contains an amendment authorizing the state to participate in the Department of Homeland Security’s Secure Communities program. The paper said the provision, introduced on May 16 by Senator Julianne Ortman, caught many lawmakers and activists by surprise.

The legislation must go through the House of Representatives and governor’s office before it becomes law, reported the source.

The Secure Communities program began in 2008 and aims to identify and deport illegal aliens who have committed serious crimes by sharing the fingerprints of anyone booked in local jails with the Department of Homeland Security.

Although more than 40 states currently participate in the initiative, some states are beginning to pull out. Illinois Governor Pat Quinn recently announced he intends to remove the state from the program, amid concerns by activists that people who had never committed a crime were being deported.