Republican gubernatorial candidate Charles Baker says Gov. Deval Patrick is "immensely soft" on crime for delaying enrollment in a controversial program that automatically checks the immigration status of people arrested.
Independent candidate Timothy Cahill is also complaining about the delay. He says that with the state facing a $2 billion budget deficit, it can't "afford to incur any more costs from criminal aliens."
Patrick says he supports the intent of the so-called "Secure Communities" program.
And state Public Safety Secretary Mary Beth Heffernan says she's monitoring a pilot program in Boston and will make a recommendation to Patrick "in due course."
The program checks arrestees' fingerprints against FBI criminal records and Department of Homeland Security biometrics-based immigration records.
Immigrant advocates say it discourages crime reporting.
This program aired on September 23, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.