DSCN9125_0.jpgCondemning Arizona’s new immigration law program as “racist and perverse,” dozens of labor, community and immigrant rights activists spoke out forcefully yesterday about the dangers of collaboration between local police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). rnrn“Programs like this are effectively pushing America back to the days of slave patrols,” said Ron Hampton, Executive Director of the National Black Police Association, at a press conference and rally outside DC City Council. “Secure Communities” – which is close to being implemented in the District by Police Chief Cathy Lanier – involves local and state police in federal immigration enforcement, which opponents say will lead to racial profiling and the erosion of transparency, accountability and due process. rnrn“I have hopes that Chief Lanier will not implement this perverse program,” said DC Councilmember Jim Graham (D – Ward 1, at right). “If, however, Chief Lanier refuses to back down, I will produce legislation that will prevent this program and I need the support from every one of you!” he added as the crowed cheered “No More Arizonas” and waved signs reading “No Racial Profiling!” rnrnJaime Contreras – Metro Washington Council, AFL-CIO Executive Board member and Area Director for SEIU 32BJ – said, “We will not stand by and watch as our community is targeted. This is not backwards Arizona…this is Washington DC, the capital of freedom. I hope that Chief Lanier comes to her senses and we will stand strong next to Jim Graham and the community in opposing this bill.” rnrnThe press conference marked the national kickoff of “Uncovering The Truth” – a week long national campaign in more than ten cities to end ICE-police collaboration. Locally, DC Jobs with Justice has been leading a coalition to stop implementation of Secure Communities. rnrn– report/photo by Adam Wright, courtesy of Union Cities