A bill has made its way through the Assembly, that, if passed, would allow counties to opt out of the federal Secure Communities program, a program designed to go after illegal aliens who are also serious criminal offenders. The program has come under fire because it has not been used as intended. For example, in Santa Barbara County, 58 percent of people deported under the program were either noncriminals or minor offenders, not serious criminals. The strategy, where local agencies send fingerprints to a federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement database, is implemented in all California counties.


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