The IIIC fully supports the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) and their allies from faith, labor, and human rights organizations in their strong criticism of the “Secure Communities” immigration enforcement program that will be activated in Massachusetts on May 15th.
The announcement by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is disappointing, and demonstrates a complete lack of sensitivity and concern for victims of gender violence and other forms of abuse and violence.
John Willshire-Carrera, President of the Board of MIRA said “by implementing the dangerous ‘Secure Communities’ program throughout Massachusetts and New Hampshire, ICE has acted against the clearly voiced will of the states’ communities and the opposition of the Patrick Administration. All fingerprints are already checked with the FBI, and police can also run an immigration check on anyone they fingerprint. But making that process automatic seriously erodes immigrant trust in the police, encourages officers to engage in racial profiling, and continues the erosion of our civil liberties. Simply put, this is an un-American invasion of our privacy for no reasonable benefit.”
According to MIRA, the program also contradicts the Obama administration’s announced intention to focus immigration enforcement on serious criminals. Homeland Security’s own statistics reflect that 30% of those deported had only a misdemeanor conviction, and an additional 26% had no criminal conviction at all. In Boston, almost half of those deported through the program – 49% – had no criminal convictions.
The IIIC will be provide further updates as this issue unfolds.