In partnership and solidarity with the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the IIIC firmly believes that the federal government’s Secure Communities program is a dangerous extension of the reach of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Governor Patrick recently also stood with local community leaders and police by pulling Massachusetts out of S-Comm. However, just this past week, the Department of Homeland Security terminated all Memorandum of Agreements with states, claiming that because the Secure Communities program is federal law, the original agreements are not necessary. Therefore states don’t have an option to opt-in to S-Comm anymore, and the program is now mandatory.

IIIC Executive Director, Sister Lena Deevy L.S.A., who is also a board member of MIRA, said:

“Secure Communities is an obstacle to community policing as local police are now being seen as immigration agents. It increases the risk of profiling and pretextual arrests, and the unnecessary and prolonged detentions may limit an individual’s ability to access a lawyer, fight criminal charges, or get out of jail on bail.”

According to ICE’s own statistics, 54 percent of those immigrants deported through Secure Communities in Boston since 2008 did not commit any criminal offense, only civil immigration violations.

“It is clear that DHS and ICE have been misleading the public and state and local officials about this program from the start,” a MIRA spokesperson said. “Now they are continuing to force a program onto states that recognize its fundamental flaws. This is a situation which cannot and should not be tolerated.”

The IIIC is actively working with MIRA to stop the Secure Communities program, and we need your help. Please stay tuned for information on future public hearings on this unfair policy, and visit our website www.iiicenter.org for more information on what you can do to help stop the program.