by John Cuoco
CENTRAL TEXAS - U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced Wednesday that it's "Secure Communities" program will be enforced across Texas.
The program is set up so illegal aliens with criminal backgrounds don't slip through the cracks of the justice system.
With the secure communities program, when an arrest is made, after fingerprints are taken and they are checked for criminal history through the FBI, I.C.E. simultaneously sends finger prints to the Department of Homeland Security to also check for immigration records.
"In order to remove criminal aliens from the streets and ultimately, with our immigration authorities, remove them from our country," ICE spokesperson Carl Rusnok said.
For immigration attorney Susan Nelson, removing criminal aliens is a smart move, but she fears the net is cast to largely and will affect the wrong people.
"I think that what we are doing is deporting a lot of people that have families here, who have lived here for a long time and couldn't get citizenship so they are getting caught up in traffic violations, we would get a ticket for, taken to jail then deported," she said.
And she also told News Channel 25 this could create a disconnect between the community and police."
"It's very difficult for them to trust police in the first place, now if this person is taken to jail and immigration is called, it makes it worse," Nelson added.
In less then two years, counties already involved in the program, like McLennan County, have seen about 12,000 level one criminals like murders or rapists deported and 29, 500 level two and three criminals deported.
Nelson said she's already getting a flood of calls from people in outlying counties she normally didn't hear from, like Limestone and Falls, that are now involved in "Secure Communities."