How will Kamala Harris deal with Secure Communities?

District Attorney Kamala Harris, soon to be the state’s attorney general, is already dodging questions about important issues she will have to tackle once in Sacramento.

Take, for instance, the efforts of officials in San Francisco, Santa Clara County and other local governments to opt out of a federal fingerprint analysis tool called Secure Communities. The program has come under fire because anyone who is sent to county jail will automatically have their fingerprints sent to federal immigration authorities. Dozens of illegal immigrants have already been identified in The City in a process that seems to run contrary to the sanctuary city ordinance.

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has made it clear, after some hemming and hawing, that local governments cannot opt out of the program because Secure Communities is an agreement between the state and federal governments.

So, if only the state attorney general can opt out of the program, as Jerry Brown has refused to do, where does Harris stand on the issue?

Unfortunately, we don’t know yet. When asked at her victory press conference Tuesday how she will handle an issue that has been generating national and local press, she didn’t provide much of an answer.

“And that’s an issue I will have to address once I’m in office and get a full briefing on what the issues are on any specific proposal,” she said.

bbegin@sfexaminer.com

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