The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) appears to be caught in a partisan battle over the Secure Communities program announced by President Obama in August.  The Judiciary Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives has issued a subpoena to DHS for information regarding illegal immigrants who have been identified but not deported.  Lamar Smith (R-Tex.), Chair of the subcommittee, said the subpoena was necessary to force the Obama Administration to act faster in complying with the original August, 2011 request for the files.  Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is cooperating with the subcommittee, but states the unusual request requires significant analysis.  Smith has said he wants the information so he can determine what crimes were committed by as many as 300,000 undocumented immigrants DHS has chosen not to detain under the Secure Communities program.  Under that program, DHS would prioritize deportations by degree of criminality, ostensibly allowing unauthorized immigrants who are otherwise law-abiding to be given a chance to apply for legal status.  Read the Immigration Subcommittee’s Press Release.


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