SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – California Attorney General Jerry Brown refused the San Francisco sheriff’s request to let his city opt out of a national program that checks fingerprints of arrested people against an Immigration and Customs Enforcement database. Brown wrote the sheriff that the so-called Secure Communities program “serves both public safety and the interests of justice.”
The federal database allegedly tracks whether the body connected to the fingerprints is in the country illegally or has a criminal record.
“ICE’s program advances an important law enforcement function by identifying those individuals who are in the country illegally and who have a history of serious crimes or who have previously been deported,” Brown wrote to Sheriff Michael Hennessey.
“In these matters, statewide uniformity makes sense. This is not simply a local issue. Many of the people booked in local jails end up in state prison or go on to commit crimes in other counties or states.
“I appreciate your concern. But I believe that working with the federal government in this matter advances important and legitimate law enforcement objectives,” Brown wrote in the letter he wrote Tuesday, the day he sent it to the sheriff.