Official says immigration program up for review

Staff Writer
Columbus CEO

WASHINGTON (AP) — Homeland Security Secretary Jeh (Jay) Johnson is offering the first public hints of executive action the Obama administration might take on immigration.

He says he'll be taking a fresh look at a program called Secure Communities that runs the names of people who are booked for local crimes through a federal immigration database.

The program has been criticized by advocates who say people who've committed minor crimes or none at all apart from immigration violations get swept up and deported.

Immigrant advocates are pushing President Barack Obama to take bold action to curb record-high deportations and help some of the 11.5 million people now here illegally. They say the Secure Communities program has to be eliminated — not just changed.

Johnson made his comments Thursday on PBS' "NewsHour" program.