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.
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
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
Springfield City Council OKs resolution urging mayor to refuse to participate in 'Secure Communities' immigration initiative
Menino threatens to quit plan targeting crime by immigrants
Read Mayor Menino's letter to Homeland Security about "Secure Communities" (PDF)
Mayor Menino takes stand against S-Comm
Let's deport this program
Traffic cases settled, but deportations loom: Minor offenders snared in immigration program aimed at serious crimes
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.
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Mass. Weighs Pros And Cons Of Controversial Immigration Program
Immigration program comes under fire
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
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