By Valentine Khaminwa, ERC Compliance Coordinator
Renowned for its multicultural tapestry, Washington, D.C., hosts many immigrant communities, including people from El Salvador, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Ethiopia, China, West Africa and Vietnam. According to the U.S. Census Bureau, between April 2010 and July 2011, Washington D.C.’s population grew at a faster rate than any state. Much of this growth is likely within the city’s immigrant population, which was over 12% of the District’s population in 2010. With this increase in foreign-born residents in the District and around the country, issues of diversity, immigration and documentation continue to dominate the political dialogue.
Today, the D.C. City Council introduced the Immigration Detainer Compliance Amendment Act of 2011 to protect the city’s immigrant population from the harsh, sweeping effect of the Secure Communities Program (S-Comm). As previously discussed on For Civil Minds here and here, S-Comm is designed to have federal, state and local agencies work together to identify and remove serious criminals who are not in the United States legally, but it’s implementation has been far more sweeping. In 2011, most people detained or deported through S-Comm did not have a criminal record, or were low-level offenders. (more…)