Insecure communities


Federal deportation program breaks families apart while leaving residents in fear.

When it comes to policing neighborhoods, the top priority should be protecting residents — not deporting them.

When the Santa Ana Police Department signed their contract with Secure Communities, they may have gained millions of federal dollars for holding detainees, but they lost the trust of their community.

Santa Ana residents who did not enter the country legally might feel less safe reporting a crime committed against them to local law enforcement.

If local law enforcement agencies are going to act as federal Immigration and Custom Enforcement agents, then they need to be trained for it.

The Secure Communities program, while it has good intentions, is flawed.

The net cast is too large, and needs to be scaled down to detaining actual criminals — not people with broken taillights.

The TRUST Act is a better alternative. Introduced in California, it limits the scope and scale of Secure Communities. If passed, it will require local authorities to comply with detainer requests only if the individual in question has been convicted of a felony.

This is the direction California needs to take, and Santa Ana, a city comprised of almost 90 percent Latinos, should help set the pace for the rest of the state. Local police need to stop detaining minor offenders and focus on the real criminals.


  • Alexandro Olivares

    Putting into consideration that law enforcement’s duty is to protect residents of their jurisdiction using funds raised through the taxes those very same residents pay, it seems odd that citizens have no say in what programs their officers may join and what laws should be enforced. Our nation is so vast (the third largest in both population AND area) that assuming federal programs dealing with only one aspect of the law could possibly be the priority of every single city is absurd. Granted the FBI and every police department has more experience in how to deal with crime than the average Joe, that is not to say that the public’s interest has any effective method of being democratically pursued in the realm of criminal justice. Perhaps allowing voters to poll what safety concerns they go about their daily lives with every couple of years could help ensure that local officers are focused on what affects their communities the most.

  • Whoever wrote, “…gained millions of federal dollars for holding detainees, but they lost the trust of their community,” summarized it in poetry.

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