STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – This morning a U.S. Senate oversight committee issued a report revealing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials were tampering with independent inspector general reports, including a 2012 report on the Secure Communities program. The senators found that the inspector general at the time and U.S. Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials coordinated the reports, taking into consideration timing and politics for the agency.
Rep. Juan Mendez, D-Tempe (District 26), author of the Arizona TRUST Act, a bill meant to curtail the damage of the Secure Communities program, issued this statement in response:
"I was already outraged at how ICE operates in Arizona but today's revelations take that to new heights. Our state knows better than anyone what happens when local sheriffs collaborate with ICE but now it’s evident that those relationships are corroded at the federal level as well. The idea of checks and balances is a bedrock principle of democracy but ICE is so out-of-control that it has eroded even that function of government.
“I proposed the Arizona TRUST Act to repair the damage ICE has done to Arizona families and our civic life at large but I could not have predicted how deep the agency's dishonesty goes. Looking at its recent history, it seems hell-bent on replicating Arizona's worst policies no matter what the cost.
“What was ICE hiding when it worked to alter the independent report on the Secure Communities program? At this point, it's overwhelmingly clear that S-Comm, like SB1070's section 2b, should be terminated. In the meantime, localities have the responsibility to bring truth, transparency, and civil rights protections to what has been undone by the federal government's deportation quota programs."