city council says no to deportation

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Legal Studies
Allen Gaitenby

City Council Just Says No to Federal Deportation ProgramACLU Attorney Bill Newman addressing the Northampton City Council on Thursday David Reid photosCity Councilors Adopt a Resolution Refusing To Cooperate with the Secure Communities Initiative of the Dept of Homeland SecurityNORTHAMPTONThe City of Northampton on Thursday formally opted out of a federal deportation program that sends fingerprint scans of people who get arrested by state and local police to a database run by US immigration officialsThe 80 City Council vote came after little discussion on the floor but the resolutionsponsored by Councilors David Narkewicz and Pamela Schwartz and by Police Chief Russell Sienkiewiczhad been the subject of committee discussions for several months Councilor Marianne LaBarges name was added to the measures list of sponsors on Thursday as an amendment Councilor Maureen Carney was absentIn short the resolution declares that the city will to the extent permissible by law opt out of the Secure Communities Initiative a program run by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency ICE a division of the US Dept of Homeland Security DHS Created in 2003 ICE is the investigative and enforcement arm of the DHSScanners Fingerprints and the Federal DatabaseThe program relies upon the use of biometric fingerprint scanners by policeAccording to the DHS locally collected fingerprints are sent to the Federal Bureau of Investigation and compared with a criminalhistory database Matches are sent to a unit at DHS called USVISIT United States Visitor and Immigrant Status Indicator Technology where they are compared to a database called IDENT Automated Biometric Identification System containing fingerprint records for millions of individuals with prior immigration encountersIf ICE chooses to pursue deportation the case is referred to a field office which will commence removal proceedings For an overview of the ICE process click hereCity councilors listened intently Thursday as one speaker aft
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