We have talked about the Secure Communities program in this blog before, a controversial law that allows local and state authorities to request extended periods of detainment for suspects who they believe are not legal U.S. citizens. In response to the criticisms of the program and deportation laws of its kind, federal immigration officials are creating a hotline that will inform detainees of their rights.
Although the hotline is a step in the right direction, you should not solely rely on this number to help you if you are being detained or face deportation. It may inform you of your rights, but it is no substitute for proper legal representation and it can be intimidating for those detained to make such a call, let alone know that such a resource is available to them during the tense moments of a detainment. Attaining an expert attorney in the fields of immigration law and deportation can directly and positively affect your defense.
While the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency hails this initiative, immigrant rights groups still feel more can be done to correct the issues of programs like Secure Communities. The groups believe that these laws promote racial profiling and lead to violations of a person’s civil rights.
Along those lines, the Justice Department suspended its 287(g) program agreement with an Arizona county police force after an investigation discovered the police there were racially profiling against Latinos. The 287(g) program is part of the Immigration and Nationality Act, allowing authorities to report criminals to immigration authorities for potential deportation.
Source: Los Angeles Times, “Immigration rights: U.S. launches new hotline for detainees,” Molly Hennessy-Fiske, Dec. 29, 2011