For decades, the criminal legal system has been slowly merging with federal immigration enforcement. Through a myriad of programs administered by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Justice, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement is able to rely on local law enforcement agencies to carry out immigration enforcement activities. The Department of Homeland Security collects and uses local law enforcement resources such as jail booking data, regardless of whether an individual is ever charged or convicted, to carry out federal civil enforcement. One example of these partnerships is “Secure Communities” which shares all booking data, irrespective of citizenship status or national origin, with the Department of Homeland Security.
The American Civil Liberties Union of Utah has long advocated for the end to these partnerships. Many of these programs have been riddled with constitutional concerns, rely on local taxpayer dollars to carry out federal civil law, and harm immigrant and refugee communities within the State of Utah.
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