Clash Over Secure Communities Brings Immigration Debate To Mass.

CHELSEA, Mass. — Immigrant advocates and Tea Party supporters clashed at a public meeting in Chelsea Thursday night. It was the latest in a series of community meetings held by the state over a plan to share local arrest information with federal immigration authorities.

Massachusetts plans to join a program called Secure Communities by 2013. That’s when the federal government says it wants the entire country to be involved.

Under Secure Communities, local law enforcement agencies and the state would share the fingerprints of everyone they arrest with federal immigration authorities. Those agents would cross check that information against their immigration files.

Federal authorities say the purpose is to deport illegal immigrants convicted of serious crimes. But a review of the deportations in Boston, where the police department instituted the program a few years ago, shows that the program has ensnared many non-criminals or people who committed misdemeanors.

Some, like Tea Party member Carlos Hernandez, said that the program is focused on illegal immigrants, but it helps protect all the citizens of Massachusetts. However, the majority of the people who spoke at the meeting opposed joining the program.

Luis Parone lives in Chelsea and spoke at the meeting through a translator. He said he worked very hard for Gov. Deval Patrick in the last election.

“We didn’t work for him so he could stab us in the back,” Parone said.

Some immigrant activists felt the program has a racial component.

“I’m against this,” said John Schibb, a Massachusetts resident. “I do not feel more secure by this. Let’s be honest… white people don’t tend to get targeted like people of color.”

State public safety officials say they will take everything said at the meetings and compile it into a report to share with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. As Massachusetts secretary of Public Safety, Mary Elizabeth Heffernan held the meetings. She says the state wants to implement the program in a “transparent” way.

“It’s something that we’re not rushing into at all,” Heffernan said. “Our understanding from ICE is that this program will be implemented nationally whether or not states sign on or not.”

Some communities around the country are trying to fight implementing the program, even threatening legal action against the Obama administration. Heffernan said she’s watching these battles, but as of now, Massachusetts plans to comply.

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  • Jaime Hernandez

    it was to see how a lot of American People were on our side and hopefully The Governor gets the Message not to sign the Bill.

    • Mickey

      So you are saying that if you find a “door” in “my” house that is not locked you should be able to live in my house, eat my food and let me pay for you education and medical bills along with my family and that is ok??? There have been alot of people of all races that didn’t ‘cut’ in line and did it the old fashion way–guess what??? They are as much a citizen as I am with the all the benefits set forth by the constitution. What gives you the right to come illegally, knowing it is against the law and then ask for the laws to be changed once you get here? What would your government say to me if I tried that there??? Who are YOU?? Don’t you get it or do you even care??? We are in a financial crisis and the number of we MIDDLE CLASS are steadily decreasing while the numbers at the bottom of the economic (illegal) pool continues to grow. The reason for limiting the numbers is because WE KNOW how many of the low income people we can take care of financial (and believe me most are low income) Illegal immigrants also cheat the ones who are trying to DO IT RIGHT because our government estimating the number each year that come illegally DECREASES the number we can allow in legally and WE DO HAVE THE RIGHT TO SAY WHO AND HOW MANY ARE ALLOWED IN THIS COUNTRY BECAUSE WE HAVE TO SUPPORT THEM! What I resent the most is the fact with all my id, passport, etc, I am STILL body scanned when I get ready to board a plan because they want to make sure I am who I say I am. What about illegals–nobody seems to care who they are. So tell me why as a citizen I am treated as I am but illegals are rewarded for coming here to this country taking advantage of a most hospitable people!! To a law breaker is a law breaker. I believe who will break the law to get here will continue to break the law to stay!! Does that sound like someone who wants to be an American??? We have been abused for too long and NO I don’t have sympathy for you!! We have Americans in foreign jails for much less than this. So why do the think we should change our laws to accomodate you when you don’t respect them and break them daily to include using some else’s SSN, driving w/out a license, and MANY for DUI/DWI!!

  • mary

    A lot of criminals. Are you also a criminal?

  • Anonymous

    John Schibb may be confused. Everyone arrested, regardless of race or potential immigration status, has their fingerprints submitted for analysis by the FBI and ICE. There is NO profiling and NO racism. He states that he will not feel more secure but, if he gave it some thought, he would realize that it is impossible for an illegal alien to commit a crime in the United States if the illegal alien in not IN the United States. This obviously creates a more secure environment if those who have demonstrated that they are predisposed toward breaking American laws are removed from our neighborhoods.

  • Anonymous

    Please call congress ask for E- Verify to be on all employee by any and all employers! This week the IMF said in FIVE years China will displace America as the largest economy! Also we now use 75% of all goods produced in the world! That in 10 years or less we will drop to 52% or less about one third less than we are get now for our citizens to have that American dream that everybody here wants American or Illegal alike! In the same time our government is telling us we need to cut spending! Our budget debt will destroy All dreams here including the illegal’s as it will surely destroys your American dream! No matter what we do now the one thing for sure is we will get a lower standard of living that will also lower our safety net or maybe cutting them out all together in some cases! And you who are retiring, disable or have a mentally ill child or wife what of all the taxes paid hours worked and promises made? Forget about it? Hell no what about all that died fighting for those rights for us! Stand up be counted call write congress and the white house fight back for your children!!!! Add to this a failing infrastructure that is being over taxes by over use and lack of repair! Education system that produces over 50% failure rate that should fill any need for low skilled and uneducated worker here in AMERICA NOW AND IN THE FOR SEE ABLE FUTURE ! This on top of doubling the population in as little as 20 years NOT with the best educated or highest skilled workers! But with illegal immigrates that have less than a grade school education because they have broken our laws? What about the rest of the desperate hurting people in the world you left out as for your moral argument until you care about all people of the world shut up and forget about giving my rights away! ? If the studies are right about the population of the world we are now at a tipping point of being able to feed all the people’s of the world! Why are we being punished for controlling our birth rate (3.1)here in America by the rich! Who can afford to live behind gate and guarded homes! So the rich seem not to care of the third world birth rate of 6 to 8 children that only will lead to mass starvation in America and the rest of the world Or illegal immigration and that birth rate is why the Hispanic population is growing so fast here! And we can’t grow our way out of over population! Only thing that counts is it has help their bottom line! Being richer as they take way the American dreams and rights fought for and died for By American citizens!

  • http://bit.ly/d2n5i7 Forums4Justice

    Activated ICE Secure Communities Jurisdictions
    http://bit.ly/hnbt7p SCROLL DOWN

    Planned Nationwide Deployment
    of the Biometric Information Sharing Capability
    by Fiscal Year (2009—2013)

    Secure Communities Central Region Activated Jurisdictions

    Secure Communities Northeast Region Activated Jurisdictions

    Secure Communities Western Region Activated Jurisdictions

    Secure Communities Southern Region Activated Jurisdictions

  • http://bit.ly/d2n5i7 Forums4Justice

    Border Apprehensions http://bit.ly/glHWhz

    GAO: only 129 miles of the 2,000 mile Southwest Border
    are under “full control” of the Border Patrol

    Fiscal Year (Source DHS/CBP)

    In the 24 years, since the 1986 Reagan, one-time amnesty,
    over 28 million illegals were apprehended
    after they crossed our border.
    Over 100 million illegals weren’t apprehended

    Before the recent addition (over the last 3 years) of:
    10,000 Border Patrol agents,
    313.9 miles of Pedestrian Fence,
    32 miles of the legislated double-layered fence,
    and 298.5 miles of Vehicle Barriers,
    it was estimated, by the border patrol agents,
    that less than 1, out of 7, illegals, were apprehended at the border.
    Some agents even said less than 1, out of 10, were apprehended.

    Now, the Border Patrol thinks they apprehend somewhere between
    1, out of 3 and, 1 out of 5. but nobody really knows..

    However, we do know that the reported 11.2 million illegals in our
    United States is a lie being told, over, and over again, to all Americans

    30 million illegals, in our United States, is much more likely


    30 million illegals are undermining our economy

  • http://bit.ly/d2n5i7 Forums4Justice

    Fingerprints aren’t racial

    Fingerprints of arrestees are just that, fingerprints of arrestees.

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