Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Time for Framingham to adopt Secure Communties

From the Globe..Boston Police Chief Davis:

The goal of the controversial program, called Secure Communities, is to identify dangerous criminals and turn them over to the US Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement for eventual deportation.

But Davis said his staff reviewed the list of people caught through the program over the past two years and determined that all of those turned over to immigration officials met the goal of removing gang members and other criminals from the streets.

“We’ve looked into each and every one of the cases, and we’re satisfied that the promise we made to the community still stands,’’ said Davis yesterday in his first interview on the matter. “We’ve made clear that if ICE begins to deport people who are simply being picked up for traffic violations and overstaying their visas, then we’re not going to participate in the program.’’

But others say it is crucial for federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to collaborate with one another to fight gangs, crime, and terrorism.

“I think it’s a really good idea,’’ said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Washington-based Center for Immigration Studies, which favors stricter controls on immigration. “I can’t think of any good reason to be opposed to it.’’

Davis said that the Secure Communities program is different from Romney’s program, which sought to have state troopers actively enforce immigration law. He said Boston police do not seek out immigrants and only hand over those whom federal officials request.

Boston piloted the program starting in September 2006, two months before Davis became commissioner, as a way to ensure that they were properly identifying everyone who was taken into custody.

The fledgling program was publicized at that time as a pilot designed to catch suspects wanted for serious immigration violations.

Since then, anyone who is arrested, including native-born Americans, has been checked through criminal and immigration databases. Federal immigration officials are automatically notified if someone is wanted for immigration violations, and it is up to federal officials to pick them up.

In 2008, the pilot morphed into a national program called Secure Communities, which now exists in 617 jurisdictions across the United States.

The Obama administration hopes to take it nationwide by 2013. Boston is the only one enrolled in Massachusetts.

Bruce Chadbourne, director of ICE’s enforcement and removal operations in New England, said Secure Communities follows a national mandate for better coordination among all law enforcement officials.

“It’s basically a one-stop shopping process where you run one check and it’s run through all these databases and you get the information back so you know exactly who you’re dealing with,’’ he said.

Boston is “not expected to enforce immigration laws,’’ he said. “That’s our responsibility. We’re communicating, as all law enforcement — federal, state and local — should be doing. And if we don’t, shame on us.’’

Since the program began in 2008, Boston police have turned over 526 people to ICE, including 180 violent offenders, such as murderers; 77 other people who had committed a felony, such as property crime; and 23 with misdemeanor convictions, including minor drug offenses. Another 246 were arrested for immigration violations. By July 31, a total of 230 had been deported from the United States.

Framingham should strongly consider getting back to this program.

8 Comments:

At September 29, 2010 at 11:21 AM , Blogger Anderson said...

Sounds like a plan that has been tried and tested and worked. So how do we get Framingham to get on this bandwagon?

 
At September 29, 2010 at 12:13 PM , Blogger Edward said...

How many of the ones Boston rounded up actually got deported and how many actually just ended up getting out and going somewhere else, like maybe here? That is what I want to know. The federal government is doing a lousy job of follow through on this issue.

 
At September 29, 2010 at 2:22 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting. Correct me if I am wrong but didn’t I read here a few months ago that the Framingham Police Department decided to not participate in some ICE program about immigration issues because they did not have the man power? If that is the case, what do you think the chances are of getting them involved in this program?

 
At September 29, 2010 at 4:44 PM , Blogger Old soldier said...

Framingham is not Boston people. We have illegal immigrants who have been welcomed and supported by our previous State Rep, we are a “Safe Haven” for illegals. We need to change that image before we can do anything else. Fortunately, we have other options for state rep in the upcoming election.

 
At September 29, 2010 at 4:46 PM , Blogger fed up in framingham said...

This is that ICE program that Framingham opted out of earlier this year saying they don't have enough officers to handle it. Sounds like a good program that is working in a city like Boston. Sort of makes me wonder why it is we can't make it work in Framingham.

 
At September 29, 2010 at 4:51 PM , Blogger Brian V. said...

This is just another example of Framingham not doing whats right. How many times are we going to settle for this? The chief stands up at town meeting and says that we need Quinn funding to attract the good cops to Framingham, but by the way, we can not afford to have cops participate in the ICE program to address the immigration issue here in Framingham. Is it just me, or does that seem like a pretty poor choice of where the priority in policing lies? Sounds like he says the education of the cops is more important then enforcing the law. And we as residents are too afraid to speak out against that logic.

 
At September 29, 2010 at 5:12 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two top stores here on your blog are about illegal immigration and legalizing pot. Are you sure those are the 2 most important things going on for Framingham right now?

 
At September 29, 2010 at 5:26 PM , Blogger Angry Voter said...

When are we going to hear something good about Framingham. I can only imagine what people in other towns are saying about us. There was a time when I was proud to say I lived in Framingham, but the only press this town gets lately is bad press. Hate groups, infighting, corrupt selectmen, poorly run zoning board, planning board that can not seem to get anything planned, a school department playing with buses in order to get more funding. Not a damm thing to be proud of in that list I got to tell you.

 

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