Mayor Menino Threatens To Quit Immigration Crackdown Program

BOSTON (CBS) – Mayor Menino is threatening to end the city of Boston’s participation in a federal illegal immigration crackdown program called Secure Communities.

The program requires police to run a fingerprint check through an immigration base for anyone arrested for a crime. If the person turns out to be an illegal immigrant, they face deportation.

The mayor says he will pull the Boston’s participation unless it’s specified that the program only deports those arrested for major crimes.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson reports.

“I don’t want my city to be a city where if you’re an immigrant, you’re afraid to be deported to another country for simple acts,” said Mayor Menino. “This is supposed to be on issues like homicides, major crimes, and they were taking this too far. A guy stole a car, they do the finger prints to watch him and have the person deported. That’s not the Boston I want. I want Boston to be a city that welcomes immigrants.”

On Monday, Police Commissioner Ed Davis headed to Washington, DC to deliver the message to the federal government.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports

“We have a very strong message… and hope for immediate change,” Davis told WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens.

As it stands under the program, a person arrested for a minor crime can be deported.

The mayor and police commissioner both say the program has caused a breakdown of relations between residents and police in immigrant communities.

“We need to be a police department that’s a full-service department. We can’t have a segment of the community afraid to call us,” said Davis.


Chuck Jackson, a Public Affairs Officer for the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), released a statement on behalf of the ICE:

“ICE will respond directly to any correspondence from Massachusetts officials.”

“As part of the Obama administration’s continued commitment to smart, effective immigration enforcement, ICE last month announced key improvements to the Secure Communities program, including the creation of a new advisory committee that will advise the Director of ICE on ways to improve Secure Communities, including making recommendations on how to best focus on individuals who pose a true public safety or national security threat. The committee’s first report will be delivered to the Director within 45 days of its creation and will consider whether and how to implement policies in cases of individuals charged with, but not convicted of, minor traffic offenses who have no other criminal history or egregious immigration violations. ICE seeks to enforce our nation’s immigration law in a smart and effective manner that best promotes public safety, border security, and the integrity of the immigration system. This includes the identification and removal of criminals and individuals who game the immigration system, illegally re-enter the country after being removed – a federal felony, and immigration fugitives.”

Meanwhile, officials with the Massachusetts Citizens for Immigration Reform (MCIR) released their own statement about Mayor Menino’s decision:

“It’s disappointing that the Mayor ignores both the safety of the city’s residents and the nation’s laws by ending involvement in ‘Secure Communities’. After a July 4th weekend in Boston marked by a rise in murders and assaults primarily in neighborhoods where many immigrants, both legal and illegal, live it’s clear that more law enforcement, not less, is needed to ensure public safety.

By taking this action the mayor is more responsive to special interest open border groups than in doing what is best for the City of Boston.”


An 18-year-0ld girl from Everett has seen first hand the impact of Secure Communities program.

Lizandra DeMoura has lived in the United States since she was 5 years old. She didn’t know she was an illegal immigrant until she was in high school, and wanted to get her driver’s license. That’s when her mother told her she was living here illegally.

Now, Lizandra is facing deportation back to Brazil after being caught running through a stop sign in Boston.

In most communities, she would have been arrested and released. But because she was caught in Boston, which is part of the Federal Secure Communities Program, Lizandra’s fingerprints were sent to Immigration officials. She was detained overnight into Monday.

“I stayed overnight in jail. Immigration took me, they put a bunch of chains on by body,” she says.

Lizandra believes the federal program should focus on illegal immigrants who are dangerous to the community. She says she just wishes her parents had brought her here legally.

She is afraid of being forced to move back to Brazil.

“I don’t even know how to speak Portugese. I don’t know anything about Brazil. I’m just very terrified,” Lizandra says.

WBZ-TV’s Karen Anderson contributed to this report.

  • Joan Hogan

    Mayor Menino Has lost It Completely. Illegal Persons Living In The City of Boston
    Should not be tolerated, furthermore, they might be arrested for Minor Crimes,
    And Possibly They Could have Committed A Major Crime ( s) , although not
    known to the Authorities, How Can you Know , If They use Aliases. ?

    • BK

      When I was younger I married a foreigner who was illegally here. He told me and I married him anyhow because he was honest to me and we planned to make things right after a year so immigration would know we married for love. We had a son in that year and while my husband was on his way to visit his relatives in Florida, he was picked up by immigration, jailed pending a trial or hearing which took several months. We started papers for him to stay, but he was denied the right to stay even though we had a son and we were married. He was deported and when he got to his country he was inducted into his army. It took almost 3 years for him to get back while we made his legal papers. My son and I suffered a lot financially and so did my family who had to share the burden of helping us. I had to move back and forth between them to ease the burden placed on them by my country not letting him stay from the beginning as they should have. We did all the right things! we and suffered for 3 years. Even though we loved each other from the beginning, those 3 years put a strain on our marriage and we ended up divorcing after 10 years and 3 children. We did all the right things, but now immigration allows illegals to just walk right in and blatantly sit down and say here I am, I deserve to be here? No you don’t. You must go through the same legal channels I/we did!!!! or get deported like my husband did.

    • mike

      UNBELEVABLE.. They are ILLEGAL, Mumbles… get with it! And How can he “refuse to cooperate with a FEDEAL LAW?

  • dms

    Being in this country illegally is a crime in itself. You get caught and you’re out.

    • Jackie

      I totally agree…. illegal is definitely ILLEGAL… Any crime be it big or small shoiuld make them deport any who do not belong in this country.

    • hacim obmed

      I totally agree. Menino is nuts. Go to any construction site in this town, half the jobs are taken by people who can’t speak a word of english. You don’t need a phd to figure out what is going on. This is while plenty of american workers are on the dole or working part time. These are people from families that have paid their taxes and have sent their sons and daughters to serve this country for generations. I feel sorry for the illegals. They just want to make a buck and get ahead. However they broke the law and that is not right. The real criminals are the contractors who exploit illegal labor to undercut the market and boost their profits. They would be importing slaves if they could get away with it. When is Menino going to stop turning a blind eye to all this? He know what is going on. Everyone knows and they say nothing. Instead Menino complains because some unlucky Illegal happens to get caught for something minor and is deported. What is the harm in this? No none with a valid right to be here is getting deported. It is the job of the police to deport as many of these folks as they can lay hands on.

    • oleg

      absolutelly 200% agree

  • Paul

    Menino will only deport illegal aliens if they are found to be wearing “those” Nike T-shirts that the Mayor loves so much….what a jerk. If you break the law….you pay the price. If you are here illegally….you get deported. If you are afraid to call the police because you are a crinimal…TOUGH…..LIVE WITH YOUR PROBLEM OR GET OUT.

  • Dumbfounded

    I agree! How can we let these people who are here illegally have any say? They should be tossed out just for not doing the right thing and getting their citizenship – especially if they are getting in trouble!! Dont forget – we, the people of the United States, PAY for the police to have to respond to any problems in “their” neighborhood….. Disgusting.

  • jaygee

    So I guess that tells all of us that the Mayor of Boston is troubled by t-shirts with messages he disagrees with but people breaking the law in a country they don’t belong is a great idea. I wonder what da mayor would do if he or a member of his family was injured or killed by an unlicensed, uninsured and unregistered vehicle driven by someone who fits this category? Anyone want to guess what this inarticulate nitwit would do?

  • Mark

    Mumbles has mumbled. What a loser! But Bostonians keep reelecting the fool.

  • Denise

    well they want them to be able to vote – they already get benefits they by all means should not get because they don’t contribute to the system! They are just a draw on it… we’re becoming a 3rd world country! HELP…. We can’t go to any of their countries w/o getting certain immunizations and if we got caught doing something “illegal” do you think we’ld get treated w/ kid gloves… Who wants to spend time in a mexican jail!!! not the mexicans – that’s why they come here to break the law – we give them a nice jail w/ 3 meals a day and medical… they come here just to get healthy! What a life!

  • rob

    OL so an illegal immigrant is arrested for a motor vehicle violation and she is found to be driving without a liscence and WBZ does a story about how terrible it is that she might be deported. She absolutely should be deported as she shouldn’t be here in the 1st place and now she has broken multiple laws! The mayor and the police commissioner don’t want to follow our immigration laws and let these lawbreakers stay here? They should lose their jobs. What is going on in this country?

    • Lori

      Rob, While I whole heartedly agree that any illegals that are arrested (not matter WHAT the crime) should be deported… I DO feel bad for this girl. She only found out recently that she was illegal. It was her PARENTS who brought her here as a young child.

  • Alan

    So Mumbles thinks stealing a car is a minor crime? Wake up people why do you keep electing this idiot.

  • IronManCC

    Illegal is ILLEGAL! They are NOT immigrants, they are INVADERS! It’s pretty bad when the folks elected to office no longer serve the voters while upholding the State & Federal Constitutions & laws; but, rather, seem to pander to those who are not even citizens and actually assist them in breaking the laws and invading this Country….. :-(

  • emom

    How do we manage to get so many illegals, BUT yet they manage to gain employement, WHAT THE HECK GIVES….. Does mumbles have an illegal uncle or something…. or has a neice come over to visit and ended up staying… I have lost total respect for him and why do we keep re-electing him just like we keep re-electing the other clown…. politicians they are all the same wasters of our time and MONEY….Total nitwits….

    • Bob

      The reason we have so many and the numbers will increase is because some States have amakened and are taking action so Illegals will flee towards the Northeast and California where they know they won’t be touched and can live comfortable in a sanctuary city.

    • lhs

      Hey did u know anybody could cross mexico border and wait for a patrol to pick them up. The only thing they would get is a court notice and they would be released. So for a long time it was easy like that.

  • Kate

    Immigration does not exacerbate unemployment…Immigrants not only take jobs, but also create them. Their purchases increase the demand for labor, leading to new hires roughly equal in number to the immigrant workers. Immigrants are seen as people that are willing to do jobs that Americans are unwilling to do, and therefore are necessary for a better economy of this country. Even if you agree or not the reality is this is a NATION OF IMMIGRANTS!!!!!!!!! many families will be torn apart as a result of a poorly created program that will not resolve the problem of illegal immigration, but will generate an unsafe community. There are millions of families in United States made up of both legal and illegal residents who are trying to stay together despite being separated by immigration laws that they may have violated at some point.
    The program should be prioritizing enforcement actions involving criminal aliens only.

    • gregeortiz

      u seem to think that illegal’s will do jobs we won’t, how about new bedford? when the illegal’s were taken into custody their was a line down the block filled with american’s trying to get those jobs. and we are a nation of, dare i say it LEGAL IMMIGRANTS!!!!!!!!

    • Foggylong

      You live in a bubble. However you are right about the nation made up of immigrants BUT when my distant relative arrived here they paid the fees to become a citizen- they did it legally. Have you ever bothered to talk to illegal aliens? We have people from china coming over here to have babies in illegal birth houses who then become anchor babies. I have talked and fraternized with several hispanic illegals from Mexico who have been approved of green card status but don’t WANT the green card because they don’t want to pay the money that is involved in obtaining it. WHY should they? they can live comfortably without paying. These same people have full time FACTORY jobs neither has a SSN and both use aliases. One of these people just had an anchor baby and with that anchor baby the perks began. They qualified for fuel assistance, Mass health, and Daycare assistance. This same person also goes to food banks to get food and shops at thrift stores for clothes. All the while sending money to mexico to build their 4 bedroom beautiful house. This person has been in TWO accidents while driving without a license or insurance. Both times while in court ALL the officers could do was to warn him not to be driving and the judge gave him a 200$ fine. So when you say that these people are harmless to us you are wrong. Another illegal I know had an anchor baby who is no longer living in this country- the little boy is back in Mexico, while his father is here working TWO full time jobs and sending money back to Mexico. He sells his sons SSN (charges $500) to someone so they can have that extra person on there tax returns. You are naive. These people know the laws and know how to stay under the radar. I am not against immigration but I DO feel if you want to immigrate here you need to do it legally and abide by our laws and give this country the respect it deserves!

      • BK

        This is so hard to get across to the dumb, ignorant people out there who can’t understand that we are being overtaken by illegal aliens and used to the hilt. I too knew a Puerto Rican woman who had a $50,000 a year job and got food stamps at the welfare office because the worker was spanish. She is legally here, but still a cheater and user.

    • Steve

      We’re not talking about immigrants. I, and I’m sure most here, have no problem with immigrants. We have a problem with ILLEGAL immigrants. While not being here legally it means they are not paying any taxes, and using up welfare that true American citizens need. There are plenty of people that go through the difficult process to become a US citizen. If you don’t want to take the time to do this I have no sympathy for you. People that came to this country, the ones you’re referring to, made it a priorty to learn the language and get a job to contribute to this nation. If you are here illegally you are braking the law. I have no time or money to waste on someone that brakes the law. Let a lone someone that brakes the law by entering this country illegally and then proceeds to brake other laws.

    • Mark

      “The program should be prioritizing enforcement actions involving criminal aliens only.” Which is all ILLEGAL immigrants. Some poor girl in Virginia was killed by someone who was here illegally and couldnt read a stop sign. This poses a bigger problem than them getting jobs. I also think its not fair for all the legal immigrants to go through the system which I hear is very time consuming while other people cut the line to get the same benefits and privileges.that all legal citizens worked hard to get.

    • Lori

      ALL illegal aliens ARE criminals just by statute, by our laws. If we are not going to enforce these laws then why enforce any at all?

    • Honest John

      Immigrants take many jobs that are not even advertised because contractors have a lock on certain industries and labor pools! Parking Attendants are surprisingly all from East Africa? Maid Service in Office building all Hispanic? Home Health Aid is almost always an African or Caribbean woman. IT programmer or Analyst Indian contractors. Construction Latin American men.

      These are all good jobs that pay well and are nearly all staffed by a certain immigrant population. And yes more often than not illegal residents! Fake ID, contract labor houses and under the radar yet right in front our face daily.

      Get a grip if they want to come to American and stay together do it by the book.
      they country was built on immigrants, legal immigrants and they were given basic nothing but residency. Today immigrants are working the system and i draw the line at crime. Break the law and expect to be sent home never to come back again EVER.

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  • Linda

    Her parents can go with her, they should be able to speak the language, obviously they are illegal also.

  • alan

    Dear Mr. Mayor,
    Though I live in the suburbs I’ve liked and respected you for many years, but you’ve lost it, sir. Illegal is illegal, it’s time for you to move on.

  • gregeortiz

    the young lady admitted she has known since she applied for a drivers license/permit that she is here illegally. so she has known that she is not an american for at least 3 years. i feel no sympathy for someone who knows their status and yet chooses to remain. she may feel that she is an american, but she is not. and mr mayor it is because of pathetic liberal wieners like you that are destroying our country. we as americans owe nothing to ILLEGAL IMMIGRANTS! instead of calling we who oppose you intolerant, try using the word illegal in front of immigrant

  • emom

    Anyone that comes into this country and wishes to stay has to abide by the law. Visas or other papers. If we go to another country we have to have a passport to visit, if we wish to stay longer I believe we need more paper work…Some country will not let you stay with out proper papers…. Immagrants have papers , Illegals dont they just come up and hide… Look at arizona this whole country has this issue….

  • Suzan

    Come on let’s face it this girl looks more American then all of you that wrote those nasty comments. She came here when she was five year old this is the Nation she knows as her own and it was not her decision to come here. How can you people have the guts to talk about her like that…. Grow up you people!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Gongratulations to WBZ for writing the story and MAYOR MENINO for considering to quit this program!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • alan

      NOT in any way does this young girl look MORE american than me, especially on my driver’s license. I have grown up ALL MY LIFE IN THIS COUNTRY!!!!!!!!!
      Yes, she is an unfortunate victim of her parents illegal immigration to this country, but she had amply time, still does, to become a citizen. In addition, if I read the story correctly, she drove illegally and may have stolen a car……GROW UP SUSAN!!!!

  • Lauren

    who are any of you to decide who gets to stay on the other side of these arbitrary borders that we created? have any of you stopped and thought about where you came from? who are your great grandparents and where they were from? how was it that they were able to get “papers” as you refer to them as if it were so easy to do…as if it were a choice to be “legal” or “illegal” in this country that is suffering from an utterly broken immigration system. have you forgotten how impossible it was to come to an agreement on healthcare and you think we have cohesive, fair immigration laws? when your grandparents or great grandparents were working tirelessly to build this country after traveling and risking their lives so you may be born here and change the world for the better, the country was changing and now there is no good law. there is no opportunity for a young girl who was brought here against her will, who is contributing to society, who is going to church and not making a mess of the country like some of our own citizens. i was born here, my parents were born here, my grandparents were born here. does that make me any better than my great grandparents who came here fleeing persecution from a regime that was probably put in place by past US administrations themselves? if there was not a chance for them to gain status here, where would any of you be today? read a history book or attempt to follow any of the laws governing our immigration system you ignorant, uninformed poor excuse for what it is to be called American. A land of opportunity, a land full of railroads built by immigrants, roads paved by immigrants, toilets cleaned by immigrants who pay taxes but never see a cent from social security, who live in fear but have no legal recourse to gain “papers”, who face barrier after barrier but living in the shadows is better than facing the death, violence, poverty, and hopelessness of wherever they came from. all of you making these absolutely unintelligent comments make me sick and all of your relatives that slaved themselves for you to have a better life to possibly make a better world, a more tolerant and understanding world, are probably rolling over in their graves seeing how far you have gone behind and how little you remember from where you came from, where this nation came from.

    • BK

      Boo Hoo! You have just described many, many Americans today living in poor conditions because of the influx of foreigners coming into this country illegally and sitting down and saying ‘it’s my right’. What right? You came here illegally you have no rights. Stay in your own country and suffer to make it a better place just as my ancestors did. They suffered and fought to make America a better place for their families. They went through wars and went through poverty and all the same things the aliens are trying to get away from and take over someone elses creations and dreams. Stay and suffer like everyone else does in the place they were born in, even the USA. There is still poverty here and we are trying to overcome it, while doing humanitarian acts for others in their own countries. Clean toilets? I would clean toilets to feed my children as would other Americans here. and the people in the spotlight here ARE NOT IMMIGRANTS, they are ILLEGAL ALIENS and the taxes they pay are as they should be doing seeing that we are paying for their schooling, and whatever else the government provides them and takes from we legal citizens. and of course they cannot get ‘papers’ they are ILLEGAL! WE in the USA faced death, violence, poverty and hopelessness and still do. These are not things which belong only to the aliens. So if you want to call someone stupid and unintelligent , go look in a mirror and see who the unintelligent person is. and as for the whiny person saying she deserves to stay here, tough, life isn’t always the way you want it to be. Just ask anyone on this page who is suffering as an American. The fault lies with her parents who came here illegally. That means ‘against the law’. You do know what law means don’t you? They face barrier after barrier because they are illegal. Also they don’t live in the shadows, they are working right out in the open in jobs my daughter who can’t find work for over a year now, needs to feed her 3 children with. They do have to get to these jobs don’t they? As for my relatives rolling over in their graves, that would be for what they see these illegal aliens are doing to America, especially the bad ones who are many…. I came from the USA and my nation came from sweat and tears something the illegal aliens apparently know nothing about!

    • Lowell

      The difference is that those historically came to this country for the opportunity, they learned the language and assimilated. They worked, they did everything legally and were not only responsible for themselves they were accountable and pround of that. I have no problem with illegal immigrants becomimg legal citizens if they are ready to stand in the same way the immigrants you mention did and be accountable for themsleves. We are not here to pay for uncontrolled immigration of people wh do not work and who do not pay their own way as the rest of us must.

    • Mike

      The path to citizenship is available for all immigrants. Many choose not to take it.
      Those like Lauren who think that immigration now and then are the same are fools who haven’t read a history book. America was a developing nation and now is the most developed and most free nation in the world. Labor wasn’t off shored. Their was a need and an INVESTMENT into building the infrastructure of America.

      Now? The banks can’t unload enough residential infrastructure and investments in America have dwindled from inside of America.

      And Lauren, why don’t you read a history book and LOOK at CURRENT facts and compare. Pew Hispanic center says a half of million illegals enter America every day. I am very familiar with the laws of immigration and illegal entry into the country is called Illegal for a reason.

      It’s not racism its realism. No other country tolerates this.

      What proof do you have that those of us who want the border situation cleaned up are un-American? In fact, I’d argue the most American thing one can do is look out for the general welfare of the society which he or she lives in-a society in which you seem to be missing from.

  • ddddd

    with any luck a immigrant that just got let off with a ticket kills his wife

    • Lori

      Now THATS uncalled for. I am all for deporting illegal immigrants but to say something like THAT dddd is inhumane.

  • Jenn

    Thank you finally someone speaks some sense into these people, i understand with the program but i dont agree with getting people w/out CRIMINAL records such as this girl. She in the first place shouldn’t be going through this, we need to stop being so SELF CENTERED and visualize in other ways.

    • Lori

      Illegal is illegal.

      • BK


  • emom

    As for the jobs going to the immagrants, well lets see, so many AMERICANS, are in fact out of work, looking , HOWEVER… they only have a WORK VISA. Look at nursing homes, see who takes care of the patients Needs, the aides, from another country, look at your next drive thru coffee shops, gas stations, 7/11.. tell me they are all legal citizens.. No they are not, But there are plenty of americans that lost their jobs to over seas companies and to immagrants that only have a Work Visa…. NOT a true legal citizen of the UNITED STATES OF AMERICA………………

  • Jeff

    How do you think the U.S. became a nation with thousands of ethnicities? Everyone came from immigrants. The Irish in Southie, the Cape Verdeans in Dorchester and Roxbury, and the Spanish in Chelsea in Revere. Mayor Menino was elected by immigrants and he should look out for their best interests.

  • Kevin

    I totally agree with you Lauren!!!!!!! WE HAVE A BROKEN IMMIGRATION SYSTEM!!!!!!!

  • Foggylong

    So Lauren with that logic… do you leave your house unlocked at night or do you allow anyone who wants to enter your house. Who are you to say nobody can walk in your house? What’s different with our borders? If people want to immigrate here, fine, but go through the proper channels. Pay the fees associated with it. Seriously, they are paying the “coyotes” to get them across the border illegally- why not cross legally? WHY? because it’s too easy to live here comfortably without having to pay those fees!

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