SC County Officials Debate ICE Program

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SAN JOSE, Calif. (KCBS) _ A controversial federal fingerprinting program came under fire on Tuesday in San Jose as immigrant rights communities asked Santa Clara County Supervisors to opt out of the program.

Immigrant rights advocates said they feel insecure about Secure Communities, a federal program that compels local law enforcement to share the fingerprints of any immigrant who is arrested with immigration officials.

Jazmin Segura with SIREN said the program is tearing some immigrant families apart.

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“We’ve seen that unfortunately, the most impacted by this type of program are the most vulnerable,” she said.

Santa Clara County Supervisor Dave Cortese said Congress needs to pass comprehensive immigration reform instead of relying on a patchwork of laws.

“There’s a lot of concern here that if we start trying to apply those laws locally, before this immigration reform, there’s going to be a lot of problems,” said Cortese.

Secure Communities is currently in place in 35 California counties.

ICE declined KCBS’ request for an interview but said that since Santa Clara County began participating in the program, 39 criminal immigrants have been removed from the area.

And seven of those have been convicted of serious crimes like rape, kidnapping and murder.

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