Secure Communities and profiling fears

BOSTON, Mass. (WWLP) — Immigrant advocates rallied outside the JFK federal office building in downtown Boston Friday, protesting the federal government’s decision to implement a program called “Secure Communities” in Massachusetts next week. The program allows law enforcement to share fingerprint information with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, an agency that can act on deportation proceedings.

“Secure Communities is a program that’s going to devastate our community,” said Brazilian Immigrant Center executive director Natalicia Tracy.

“We’re gong to have more separations of the families. We’re going to have more detentions of people who do not have criminal records,” said Centro Presente executive director Patricia Montes.

But some Republican lawmakers say it’s about time the feds implement Secure Communities.  They even criticize Governor Deval Patrick for not implementing the program sooner.

“We just had a couple of example of drunk drivers who were illegal aliens …killing somebody on the streets …things like that, you know, could we have prevented that?” said Sen. Michael Knapik (R-Westfield).  “Governor Romney did start this program before he left office, but it was suspended by the current governor.”

Governor Patrick said federal officials always intended to implement Secure Communities, but warned police not to use the program as a “license to profile.”

“It’s not a surprise, it was always going to be rolled out, which shouldn’t have been rolled out and what I refuse to do is to use it as an opportunity to gin up unnecessary fear in communities whose cooperation with law enforcement is important to public safety,” said Patrick.

The Department of Homeland Security plans to implement Secure Communities nationwide by 2013.

Copyright 2014 WWLP TV. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


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