WASHINGTON — The Department of Homeland Security should conduct an investigation into whether its officials intentionally misled the public and local officials in order to coerce them into participating in an immigration enforcement program, Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D-Calif.) said in a Thursday letter to the agency.
Lofgren, the top Democrat on the House immigration subcommittee, asked top DHS oversight officials to look into conflicting statements made by the agency last year about the Secure Communities program.
Secure Communities shares fingerprint data taken by local police, which is already sent to the FBI, with immigration officials to check whether individuals are in the country illegally. After screening the prints, DHS asks local police to hold undocumented immigrants until they can be picked up by ICE. The program is designed to find and deport criminal undocumented immigrants, but data from the agency shows that about a quarter of those deported because of Secure Communities have never been convicted of a crime.