LOS ANGELES (AP) — California lawmakers are the latest to weigh joining efforts in other states to gain control over a controversial national program that automatically checks the immigration status of arrestees.
The Golden State accounts for more than a third of the deportations under the Immigration and Customs Enforcement program, and some local officials are saying they were misled by the federal government about the program's extent.
Illinois lawmakers are also considering a measure to let communities retreat from the program. Washington state has deferred to local governments on whether they want to join the so-called "Secure Communities" program, which links up the FBI's criminal database and the Department of Homeland Security's records so that every time someone is arrested their immigration status is automatically, electronically checked.
But their efforts could be thwarted as federal officials argue that states have no control over what information is shared among federal agencies.
The tug-of-war over the ICE program highlights the tension between states and the federal government in the absence of a legislative fix on immigration. In the last four years, states have passed a flurry of bills and resolutions on issues ranging from employer verification to access to driver's licenses, most notably Arizona's tough local immigration enforcement law...[Full Article]