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GOP Lawmakers Want Patrick To Reconsider Deportation Program

A group of Republican lawmakers is calling on Gov. Deval Patrick to reconsider his opposition to a controversial deportation program after a fatal accident in Milford allegedly caused by an illegal immigrant.

The man charged with driving drunk and fatally injuring a motorcyclist is here illegally and has a criminal record.

Rep. Marc Lombardo says this wouldn't have happened if Massachusetts joined the data-sharing program Secure Communities, which is designed to deport immigrants with criminal records.

"I don't know how many more deaths the governor needs between now and 2013 to decide that this needs to be implemented now," Lombardo said. "Many other states have already implemented this, and the governor continues to drag his feet."

In the past, the Patrick administration has said the program casts too wide a net and deports many non-criminals.

Frank Soults, of the Massachusetts Immigrants and Refugees Advocacy Coalition, on Thursday reiterated his group's opposition to the program.

"People have to look at the entire picture and realize that on balance it's much better for all our communities if Secure Communities is kept out of Massachusetts," Soults said.

Federal officials say it will automatically go into effect for all states in 2013.

This program aired on August 25, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

Bianca Vázquez Toness Twitter Reporter
Bianca Vázquez Toness was formerly a report for WBUR.

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