S-Comm

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.

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.

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.

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.

Background

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

5.15.14

Trust Act Legislative Briefing

5.9.12

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

5.24.11

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

1.19.11

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

12.22.10

Remarks at S-Comm rally (PDF)

Media

5.15.14

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

5.9.12

Despite Local Opposition, Secure Communities To Expand
WBUR

9.16.11

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

9.15.11

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

8.20.11

City Council Just Says No to Federal Deportation Program
Northampton Media

7.18.11

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

7.11.11

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

7.4.11

Let's deport this program
Boston Globe

7.3.11

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

6.6.11

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

6.4.11

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

5.27.11

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

5.23.11


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
5.13.11

Mass. Weighs Pros And Cons Of Controversial Immigration Program
WBUR

4.29.11

Immigration program comes under fire
Boston Globe

Clash over Secure Communities brings immigration debate to Massachusetts
WBUR

4.28.11

Hundreds protest in Chelsea over immigration enforcement program
WBZ-TV

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

12.22.10

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

Rally targets Mass. plan for immigration checks
Boston Herald

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

12.17.10

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