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Homeland Security: Mass. Required To Participate In Immigration Program

This article is more than 8 years old.

The Department of Homeland Security says it will overrule Gov. Deval Patrick on his decision to opt out of a controversial federal immigration program.

An agency official told the Boston Globe that Massachusetts will be required to participate in the Secure Communities program by the year 2013.

The program shares fingerprints of everyone arrested in the state with federal immigration officials.

The program is meant to help deport serious criminals. But Patrick said the state won't sign up because the database check has led officials to deport many non-criminals.

But Republican state Rep. Richard Bastien said the state is missing out on a valuable law enforcement tool.

Patrick originally said the program was mandatory, but now he said he understands it's not. Massachusetts is the third state to reject Secure Communities.

This program aired on June 7, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.

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