The fiscal 2014 budget proposal the Obama administration sent to Congress on April 10 carries mixed results for major Homeland Security Department information technology efforts. Total funding for the DHS office of the chief information officer would go down by 1.2 percent when taking into account Office of Management and Budget-projected inflation.
New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg approved March 18 two bills limiting the city's cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainee orders. Critics of Secure Communities, the ICE information sharing program that permits it to search for illegal aliens arrested by state and local authorities by matching fingerprints sent to the FBI against immigration databases, were quick to applaud the legislation.
Broad-based use of biometric screening standards worldwide and interoperability between the Homeland Security Department and other agency systems are among the most significant technology improvements since Sept. 11, 2001, says Robert Mocny, DHS director of US-VISIT.
Closing the Guantanamo Bay detention facility and preventing racial profiling in immigration enforcement top the American Civil Liberties Union's agenda (.pdf) for President Obama's second term. The 300-plus-page agenda features about a dozen priorities directed at the Homeland Security Department.
To focus on criminals and repeat offenders, Immigration and Customs Enforcement has applied the policy of prosecutorial discretion to decisions on whether to issue detainers.
Honoring Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer requests costs Colorado law enforcement agencies at least $13 million annually, asserts a report prepared by the Colorado Fiscal Institute. The Dec. 1 report (.pdf) bases its estimate on research showing that the average stay of an offender with an ICE hold in Denver County jail in 2010 and 2011 was 67 days, 22 days more than the average jail residency of all offenders.
Some counties and cities whose jurisdictions overlap differ in immigration enforcement, and that has led to conflict and mixed messages, an October article in the Migration Information Source says. The article found that county sheriffs were more likely than city police chiefs to check immigration status or report to federal authorities when they encountered suspected illegal immigrants.
The Los Angeles Police Department plans to stop honoring some federal requests to detain suspected illegal immigrants, Police Chief Charlie Beck said Oct. 4. Beck said immigrants trust police less because of the specter of detention and deportation.
California Gov. Jerry Brown has vetoed a bill that would forbid state officials from complying with some federal requests to detain suspected illegal immigrants. He pledged to work with the legislature to produce a version he'd be willing to sign.
An information technology modernization effort of the systems underpinning Immigration and Customs Enforcement's controversial Secure Communities effort has cost far more than anticipated, says the Government Accountability Office. In March 2008, ICE awarded a contract to update the Alien Criminal Response Information Management system--which ICE abbreviates as ACRIMe--so that ICE agents would be able to access simultaneously multiple databases when determining the deportation status of an arrestee rather than having to conduct separate searches.