Concerns about the civil rights and civil liberties of individuals in communities where there is significant immigration enforcement activity are not unique to Secure Communities. The Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties (CRCL) and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are creating a series of training/awareness briefings designed primarily for use by front line state and local law enforcement agency personnel during daily muster/roll call briefings. The videos and other tools will address eight categories of civil rights and civil liberties issues and topics of importance.
This series of training/briefing materials is designed to be presented at daily briefings, as well as through in-service training. Each module contains a short video, downloadable job aids designed for line officers, and material for law enforcement leadership, such as planning tools and web-based resources. The modules are designed to be presented as a series, but any combination may be used to suit the needs of your jurisdiction.
The materials are designed for two distinct audiences – front line officers and law enforcement leadership (listed as Commander's Packets).
These videos are the result of a collaborative effort of the Department of Homeland Security's Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
This module provides a broad overview of the Secure Communities program for law enforcement. It emphasizes that Secure Communities imposes no new requirements on state and local law enforcement, noting that law enforcement attention or action should not be based on race, ethnicity, immigration status or limited ability to speak English. This module serves as the foundation for the remaining topics.
There are two versions of this video – a general version and a version for jurisdictions that also have a 287(g) agreement with ICE.
Please view the first and second videos to the right.
This module briefs officers about the immigration detainer process, including the details of the new detainer form and the responsibilities of law enforcement agencies when they receive detainers issued by ICE. In particular, this module highlights how detainees who allege a violation of their civil rights or claim U.S. citizenship can receive assistance.
Please view the third and fourth videos to the right.
For more information on how to respond to immigration detainers, ICE offers the following resources:
This module discusses the legal obligations placed on law enforcement agencies with respect to consular notification when a foreign national is taken into their custody. It explains the importance of complying with the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations and the risks of failing to do so. Supplemental materials include Department of State job aids for use by law enforcement officials.
Please view the fifth and sixth videos to the right.
For more information on how to fulfill requirements for consular notification and access, visit the State Department website:
Sample Forms. The State Department website also lists various sample documents that may provide assistance:
Free Materials. The State Department also provides certain materials to law enforcement free of charge, including a 72-page reference manual (one or two per location) and officer reference cards (one for every officer).
Legal Background. For more information on consular notification requirements, view the Congressional Research Service report on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations. (PDF | 122 KB | 25 pages)
This module assists officers in identifying potential abuses by landlords, employers or others who may be involved in conflicts with immigrants and may seek to manipulate police actions in retaliation as a result of these conflicts.
If you learn that a foreign national you have already arrested may have been the victim of retaliation, please notify your local ICE office immediately, so that it may coordinate, as necessary, with appropriate federal, state or local agencies.
Please view the seventh video to the right.
More on the ICE process and how it exercises its prosecutorial discretion:
Guidance on employment from the Department of Labor:
Guidance on Housing from the Department of Housing and Urban Development:
This video highlights a law enforcement officer's role as liaison to the community. The video and related briefing materials provide tools to assist law enforcement in conducting outreach to immigrant communities and address, if necessary, public questions surrounding Secure Communities.
Please view the eighth video to the right.
Law enforcement leadership and community liaison officers may find the following resources for law enforcement on conducting outreach to immigrant communities to be helpful.
This module highlights three important issues involving aliens who are crime victims or witnesses to crime, including: ICE enforcement policies; actions that can encourage the reporting of crime and assist in investigations and prosecutions; and how law enforcement officers can help victims – whether here illegally or legally – obtain needed services and possibly qualify for important immigration protections from DHS.
Please view the ninth video to the right.
ICE Enforcement Policies for Crime Victims and Witnesses
"Absent special circumstances or aggravating factors, it is against ICE policy to initiate removal proceedings against an individual known to be the immediate victim or witness to a crime." ICE Prosecutorial Discretion: Certain Victims, Witnesses, and Plaintiffs (PDF | 3.47 MB | 3 pages) Memo from Director John Morton (June 17, 2011).
U Nonimmigrant Status (also known as U Visas)
U nonimmigrant status provides immigration protection to victims of qualifying crimes who have suffered substantial mental or physical abuse due to the crime and who have been helpful, are being helpful, or are likely to be helpful to law enforcement authorities in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity. U visas are intended to strengthen the ability of law enforcement agencies to investigate and prosecute cases of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking of aliens, and other crimes. The victim must submit a law enforcement certification (Form I-918B) of the victim’s helpfulness in the investigation or prosecution.
Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) Self-Petition
VAWA provisions allow certain battered spouses, children, and parents of U.S. citizens and permanent residents (Green Card holders) to file an immigrant visa petition for themselves, without the abuser's knowledge. This allows victims to seek both safety and independence from their abuser, who is not notified about the filing. The provisions apply equally to women and men.
Continued Presence (CP) is a temporary immigration status provided to individuals identified by law enforcement as victims of human trafficking. This status allows victims of human trafficking to remain in the U.S. temporarily during the ongoing investigation into the human trafficking-related crimes committed against them. CP is initially granted for one year and may be renewed in one-year increments.
T Nonimmigrant Status (also known as T Visas)
T nonimmigrant status is available for those who are or have been victims of human trafficking, protects victims of human trafficking, and allows victims to remain in the United States to assist in an investigation or prosecution of human trafficking.
This module addresses your interaction with persons who have limited English proficiency and how effective communication is a key factor in preventing understanding that could lead to possible unintended immigration consequences following an unnecessary arrest. All recipients of Federal financial assistance (including nearly all police and sheriff’s departments) are required by Federal law and regulation to take reasonable steps to provide meaningful access to all programs and activities for LEP persons. This module offers practical tips drawn from state and local law enforcement experience on how to identify LEP needs and provide the necessary language assistance. The Commander’s Packet offers planning resources and tools, including an "I Speak" interpretation guide that can be used by front line officers.
Please view the tenth video to the right.
Creating a Language Access Plan
Implementing a Language Access Program
Language Tools for Law Enforcement
Requirements for Recipients of Federal Financial Assistance
This module addresses the risk of biased policing and how law enforcement officers and agencies can avoid illegally targeting individuals based upon race or ethnicity. It is important to know that ICE will not allow Secure Communities to be used as a conduit for improper police practices.
Please view the eleventh video to the right.