BOSTON (CBS) – Despite protests from the governor and advocates for immigrants, federal officials are moving forward to implement the program called “Secure Communities” in Massachusetts. The program will go into effect on Tuesday.
It is an information sharing program. Currently all fingerprints from a booking process are sent to an FBI database. As part of Secure Communities, they will also be shared with Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, or ICE.
There is no cost to the state, cities or towns and no training is required, because the fingerprints are already being shared with the federal government.
Now, ICE will have the information immediately, and will be able to decide if they want to take action.
Two sisters, who lost their brother Richard Grossi after being hit by a driver who was in the country illegally, say this is long overdue. Maureen Laquerre says, “I was ecstatic. I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy. This is the best news I’ve heard in a long time.”
The mother of Matthew Denice, who was killed by an illegal immigrant with a criminal history, says this is, “bittersweet for us as a family because we lost our son to an illegal immigrant who never should have been in the country, but we are very pleased this will be making Massachusetts safer for everyone.”
But the MIRA Coalition, which advocates for immigrants, says they are disappointed in the Obama administration. Sarang Sekhavat says, “We were really shocked… we thought we’d have time to stop this or make changes to the program.”