BOSTON (AP) — A federal program aimed at identifying illegal immigrants arrested for crimes has gone into effect in Massachusetts, despite concerns raised by Gov. Deval Patrick and others.

WBZ NewsRadio 1030’s Carl Stevens reports.

The Secure Communities program, which shares arrestee fingerprints with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security, was activated statewide Tuesday.

Supporters say it will help identify illegal immigrants arrested for crimes in Massachusetts.

But the Democratic governor has expressed concerns of it opening the door to racial profiling. Patrick said the program will result in increased fear in minority communities.

According to a spokesman from U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, 44 states and Puerto Rico have now implemented the information sharing program.

Federal officials have said the program doesn’t authorize local police departments to enforce immigration law.

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press.

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