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Patrick Continues Opposition To Immigration Program Despite Changes

BOSTON — The Patrick administration continues to refuse to sign on to the controversial immigration program known as Secure Communities, even though federal immigration officials have added what they call safeguards.

The program’s stated goal is to deport illegal immigrants who’ve committed “serious crimes.” However, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement, it has deported many non-criminals. That’s why Gov. Deval Patrick says he won’t voluntarily sign up for the fingerprint-sharing system.

In response, federal officials have have issued a new policy to make sure crime victims and witnesses are not deported, and that the program focuses on “serious criminals.”

Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson worries the changes will weaken Secure Communities.

“It certainly sends a bad message to people who violate our laws by coming here illegally, and then commit crimes, be it a misdemeanor or something more serious,” Hodgson said.

Hodgson wants the program in his jail as soon as possible.

The Obama administration says it will implement Secure Communities nationwide by 2013. That’s with or without the permission of state and local authorities.

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  • Larry

    It’s good to know where our dearest governor stands on these issues; rewarding criminal behavior (including the very act of illegal “immigration”) has never been more blatant. It is also clear where his allegiances are, and who he is hoping will vote for him in the next presidential election… Sad day for MA, but what do you expect when you elect somebody like him…

    • Tom

      “somebody like him…”  – what do you mean?   When I hear that, I think you mean”somebody who is Black.”      I just want to put it out there, that if you scratch the surface of the anti-immigrant haters, we find racism.     Secure communities is neither secure, nor about communities.  It is about bringing BIG BROTHER into our lives in response to paranoia.    And I stand by Governor Patrick’s decision.

      • mark

        its not a black thing you moron….its an illlegal coming here to break the law thing

  • Claire

    PEOPLE can never be illegal. “Undocumented” is the RIGHT word.

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