YAKIMA, Wash- A new immigration enforcement program is scheduled to start in Yakima, Franklin, Benton, and Walla Walla Counties and some people aren't happy about it. About seventy people showed up to a community forum Wednesday evening at Holy Redeemer Catholic Church in Yakima to learn more about Immigration and Customs Enforcement's (ICE) Secure Communities program.
The group "One America" organized the forum. One America's spokespeople say they invited the Yakima County Sheriff, acting Yakima Police Chief, and director of the Department of Corrections to attend the meeting, but they declined.
Under the program law enforcement would be allowed to check the legal status of people they arrest through finger printing. Those found to be illegal would be turned over to ICE. The program is available to cities and municipalities nationwide. Eight Washington counties including Benton, Franklin, and Walla Walla say they are planning to implement "Secure Communities". The governor of New York opted out of the program Wednesday.
Most of the people who attended Wednesday's forum are against the Safe Communities program.