Sanders: DHS has failed to change failed ICE hold policies
Coming off of a victory in the New Hampshire primary, Bernie Sanders now looks to court Latino and African-American voters ahead of the Nevada and South Carolina primaries. His latest attempt comes in a form in a letter to Jeh Johnson, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security.
In this letter, co-written by Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.), Sanders voices his concerns about the current implementation of the Priority Enforcement Program (PEP) which replaced the Secure Communities (SCOMM) in 2014. Politico reports that Grijalva is one of the Democrats in Congress who has publicly backed Sanders.
Sanders and Grijalva say in the letter that PEP has failed to change the controversial policies that were implemented with SCOMM, such as ICE holds by local law enforcement.
“Unfortunately, it seems that since the release of the PEP Memorandum, DHS has not followed your instructions in letter or spirit. You wrote that Scomm, as we know it, would be discontinued, and that [a]s recommended by the Homeland Security Advisory Council Task Force, Secure Communities must be implemented in a way that supports community policing and sustains the trust of all elements of the community in working with local law enforcement.”
The letter accuses ICE of changing their policies in name only and asks that steps be taken to make DHS accountable in the context of community-police relations with the Latino community.
“Disturbingly, even your own senior advisors have communicated that requests for notifications were never meant to completely supplant detainers, contrary to DHS’s assertion that it would effectively discontinue SCOMM,” said the letter.
Sanders has come out against the newest rounds of deportation raids which began in full force when the new year began. He called on President Barack Obama to end the raids early last month. Hillary has also called to end the raids though it is interesting to note that back in July she said law enforcement officials in San Francisco should have cooperated with ICE when it came to the case of Jose Inez Garcia-Zarate who was charged with killing 32-year-old Katherine Steinle.
According to a Washington Post-ABC poll, Sanders continues to rank low in electability for “non-whites.”