Dear NYCLU supporter,
In a huge victory for civil liberties, Gov. Andrew Cuomo today suspended participation in a noxious federal deportation program that tore apart New York’s families, encouraged racial profiling and harmed public safety by creating mistrust between police and immigrant communities.
We know we’ve been asking a lot of you lately, but we wanted you to be the first to act on this great news. Help us secure this major victory! Let Governor Cuomo know that you appreciate his leadership and thank him for suspending the awful Secure Communities (S-Comm) program.
Before today, police in nearly half of New York’s counties were handing over the biometric data of every person arrested and fingerprinted – innocent or guilty – to federal immigration authorities who were checking the data against their databases. If there was a match – whether correct or not – an individual could be sent to detention centers hundreds of miles from home and even deported.
The federal government claims that S-Comm snags and deports dangerous criminals, but data show that more than 80 percent of immigrants in New York deported through the program had not been convicted of a crime.
A letter recently released by a former government contractor revealed that Immigration and Customs Enforcement intentionally misled New York to obtain the state’s participation in Secure Communities. The Department of Homeland Security’s office of the inspector general is also investigating the troubled program.
The NYCLU worked doggedly to persuade the governor to withdraw the state from S-Comm. Our work paid off! As always, we couldn’t have done it without your support.
But the fight’s not over. The governor is sure to take a lot of heat for his courageous stand. Thank Governor Cuomo for standing up for freedom, justice and human dignity!
Thanks for all you do,
Executive Director of the New York Civil Liberties Union