AUGUST 2003

• Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services

• The New York City Mayor's Office Of Immigrant Affairs and Language Services

• Citizenship NYC

• New York Immigration Hotline

• National Immigration Forum

• Genealogical Resources in the New York Metropolitan Area

• America Immigration Lawyers Association

• Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force

• Glossary

Local: General

• Archdiocese of New York Immigrant and Refugee Services

• Citizens Committee For New York City

• Hebrew Immigrant Aid Society

Local: Specific

• Asian Americans for Equality

• Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund

• CARECEN-N.Y.

• Chinese Progressive Association

• Emerald Isle Immigration Center of New York

• Korean Community Services of Metropolitan New York

• National Association of Korean Americans

• National Coalition for Haitian Rights

 

 

The Use Of Undocumented Immigrants’ Data
From Singtao Daily
July 10th, 2003

Some immigrant organizations are worried about the recent policy from the U.S. Justice Department to put information of undocumented immigrants into a National Crime Information Center (NCIC) database. The organizations believe such actions are infringing upon immigrant rights.

Immigration lawyer Huang Gui-Rong pointed out that the Justice Department announced last year that it would enter three types of undocumented immigrants’ data into the NCIC. They include: first, people who are entering or leaving the country but have not followed the national anti-terrorist registration procedures; second, people who disappear after receiving the deportation order; third, people who illegally come back to the United States after deportation.

Undoubtedly, the federal officials hope that the NCIC database would enable local police force to participate in arresting undocumented immigrants.

This is the case because local law enforcers use the NCIC for background checks when they stop or arrest suspicious persons, or even during routine traffic intercepts. In some cases where individuals are found to be in one of the above three categories, local policemen would make immediate arrest and hand them over to the immigration agencies to be deported.

In a recent investigation of a murder case in Chinatown, police from the Fifth Precinct invited a young Fujianese, Zhang Kui, to assist the investigation. When Zhang was found to be an undocumented immigrant, he was reported to the immigration agency. He is now facing deportation. Attorney Huang Gui-Rong indicated that the police in the Fifth Precinct might have used the NCIC database in finding out Zhang’s status.

Such actions not only limit the rights of undocumented immigrants, but are also very harmful to any future cooperation between the police and the community. Many immigrants, when victimized by a crime, do not file a report with police. They fear exposing their status to law enforcement officials. That same concern prevents many immigrants from calling for emergency help when needed and aiding police officers during their investigations.

Currently a group of immigrant’s rights defenders is collecting data of cases where local cops use NCIC to detain and hand undocumented immigrants to the immigration agencies. The group will then analyze the legality of such uses of the NCIC and take legal or political actions to prevent New York City’s local law enforcers from becoming the ‘right-hand man’ of detaining undocumented immigrants for the immigration authorities.

Translated from Chinese by Michael Huang.

 

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