Massachusetts Rejects 'Secure Communities' Program

Story tools

A A AResize


Massachusetts became the third state to opt out of participation in the federal "Secure Communities" program that requires police to send fingerprint data of all arrestees through a federal immigration database. In a letter dated June 3, Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick notified U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that he would not sign that state onto the program. His decision follows on the heels of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s June 1 decision to suspend that state’s participation in the program, and  Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn's May 4 announcement that Illinois is withdrawing from the program.  

Critics of the program contend that despite its goal of netting the most violent criminals, many of those arrested by ICE under the program have never been convicted of a crime or have only minor convictions.