"Secure Communities" | "Comunidades Seguras"

The federal "Secure Communities" or "S-Comm" program creates an automatic pipeline of information from every city and town in Massachusetts to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), feeding it tens of thousands of names and fingerprints a year—most of them from U.S. citizens. Such information-sharing is triggered when there is an arrest in any and all instances, including a misdemeanor such as operating a car without a license. Even in the case of a wrongful arrest where the charge is thrown out, the fingerprints and information will still be sent to ICE.

El programa federal de "Comunidades Seguras," también conocido como "S-Comm," crea un conducto automático de información entre cada ciudad y pueblo en Massachusetts y el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduana (ICE), suministrando decenas de miles de nombres y huellas digitales cada año—la mayoría de ciudadanos estadounidenses. Este intercambio de información se activa cuando ocurre un arresto de cualquier tipo y en cualquier caso, incluso por la ofensa de manejar un automóvil sin una licencia. Aun en los casos en los que el arresto ha sido injusto y los cargos han sido retirados, las huellas digitales y la información recolectada es compartida y enviada al ICE.

In May 2012, the federal government forced Massachusetts to participate in S-Comm, over the objections of Governor Patrick, the City of Boston, legislators, law enforcement officers, and community members.

En Mayo de 2012, el gobierno federal forzó al estado de Massachusetts a participar en S-Comm, a pesar de las objeciones del Gobernador Patrick, la ciudad de Boston, los legisladores, las autoridades policiales y los miembros de la comunidad.

Regrettably, S-Comm has also driven a wedge between police and the communities they serve. People have come to learn that ordinary interactions with local police can lead to deportation, so they live in fear of those whose mission is to protect and serve.

Lamentablemente, S-Comm también ha abierto una brecha entre la policía local y las comunidades que estos sirven. La gente ha entendido que las interacciones comunes con la policía local pueden conducir a la deportación, y por eso viven con temor de aquellos cuya misión es protegerlos y servirlos.

But around the country, states, cities, and towns are pushing back. The ACLU of Massachusetts is working hard to create policies in Massachusetts ensure that help mitigate the impact of S-Comm.

Sin embargo, en todo el país, estados, ciudades y pueblos, están luchando contra los efectos de este programa, y la ACLU de Massachusetts está trabajando duro para crear políticas en Massachusetts que ayuden a mitigar el impacto de S-Comm.

Graphic updated May 2014


What is S-Comm? (PDF)
Educational flyer about S-Comm


Trust Act Legislative Briefing


"Show me your papers" comes to Massachusetts
Boston.com blog by ACLU of Massachusetts legal director Matthew R. Segal


Operation Endgame
S-Comm isn't the first worrisome government policy proposed to deal with immigration. Read the chilling documents detailing "Operation Endgame".


S-Comm: ICE's Program in Massachusetts (.pptx, 9 MB)
PowerPoint presentation with audio, by ACLU of Massachusetts staff attorney Laura Rótolo


Remarks at S-Comm rally (PDF)



Fed deportation rules fail to focus on the violent
Boston Herald op-ed by Laura Rótolo, staff counsel and community advocate


Despite Local Opposition, Secure Communities To Expand


Obama doesn’t know how to take a hint
On Liberty blog, Boston.com


Secure Communities" is not a crime-fighting tool
On Liberty blog, Boston.com


City Council Just Says No to Federal Deportation Program
Northampton Media


Springfield City Council OKs resolution urging mayor to refuse to participate in 'Secure Communities' immigration initiative
Mass Live


Menino threatens to quit plan targeting crime by immigrants
Boston Globe

Read Mayor Menino's letter to Homeland Security about "Secure Communities" (PDF)

Mayor Menino takes stand against S-Comm
News Release


Let's deport this program
Boston Globe


Traffic cases settled, but deportations loom: Minor offenders snared in immigration program aimed at serious crimes
Boston Globe


Governor Patrick rejects S-Comm deportation program
News Release | Blog: Governor Patrick walks the walk on community policing and immigration


Policing can't be immigration enforcement
Boston Herald op-ed by Brian A. Kyes, chief of the Chelsea Police Department, and Gladys Vega, executive director of the Chelsea Collaborative


127 organizations ask Governor to say NO to "Secure Communities"
News Release | Read the sign on letter to Governor Patrick (PDF)


Watch our latest video, detailing the 4.28.11 S-Comm demonstration in Chelsea.

Please note that by playing this clip You Tube and Google will place a long-term cookie on your computer. Please see You Tube’s privacy statement on their website and Google’s privacy statement on theirs to learn more. To view the ACLU’s privacy statement, click here

Mass. Weighs Pros And Cons Of Controversial Immigration Program


Immigration program comes under fire
Boston Globe

Clash over Secure Communities brings immigration debate to Massachusetts


Hundreds protest in Chelsea over immigration enforcement program

Photos from Chelsea S-Comm protest
ACLU of Massachusetts Facebook page


Secure Communities scheme undermines actual safety
Carol Rose's "On Liberty" blog

Rally targets Mass. plan for immigration checks
Boston Herald

Live, from the S-Comm rally! -- Photos on Facebook


Mass. Police to Join Immigration Checks Program
WCVB TV Boston
Interview with education director Nancy Murray