May 25, 2011

Immigration crackdown: Secure Communities program threatens community safety

OpEd on the Secure Communites program debate in Massachusetts, by Eva A. Millona, Executive Director, Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Boston

Immigration program threatens community safety - The Boston Globe: "The federal government claims that Secure Communities is designed to capture criminals. But as any immigration lawyer knows, all the criminal immigrants the program has caught in Massachusetts would have been nabbed by existing programs or standard FBI fingerprint checks anyway.

The program’s real achievement, instead, is a dangerous extension of the reach of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). According to ICE’s own statistics, 54 percent of those immigrants deported through Secure Communities in Boston since 2008 committed no criminal offense whatsoever. The inevitable perception is that local police are acting as de facto ICE agents — a perception that tears apart the bonds of trust between immigrant communities and local law enforcement."

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