On Tuesday, Santa Clara County’s Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to opt out of the Secure Communities federal program, also known as SCOMM. The program, which many say targets immigrants, automatically sends the fingerprints taken by local law enforcement to the Department of Homeland Security. Members of the Board of Supervisors and the public claim that the program only drives illegal immigrants deeper underground, and encourages them to avoid the police at all costs. Many immigrants will not report crimes, while one participant at the meeting claimed that some parents are even afraid to participate in the school-related activities of their children because they are afraid that they will be fingerprinted first.

Although the decision was made unanimously and received a standing ovation from the audience attending the meeting, officials are concerned that they may be ignored. Attorney General Jerry Brown has already blocked a similar effort in San Francisco. Supervisor George Shirakawa and Representative Zoe Lofgren (D-San Jose) have already written to the Department of Homeland Security, requesting to opt out of the program and asking what steps they must take to make it official, but they have, as yet, received no answers.
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