Homeland chief: Immigration program up for review

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Jeh (Jay) Johnson says he's looking at making changes to a controversial program that runs people booked for local crimes through a federal immigration database.

The potential change to the "Secure Communities" program comes as part of a review ordered by President Barack Obama to the nation's deportations policies.

The program allows immigration officials to ask local law enforcement to detain people who match in a federal database for immigration violations, and they can then be deported.

That's led to some people with minor violations being deported. Increasingly local governments are refusing to honor the detention requests.

Johnson tells "PBS Newshour" that the program needs a fresh start.

Obama is weighing executive changes because immigration legislation is stalled in the House.