Governor Deval Patrick has decided not to sign the program.
The federal program is already in place in 36 states. The program uses the Homeland Security database to check the status of anybody, who is arrested in Massachusetts, for immigration status. Secure Communities has been a pilot program in Boston since 2008.
According to official numbers more than 60 percent of migrants arrested and deported are workers with no criminal background.
Josiane Martinez, a press secretary for the state, confirmed that Patrick sent on Friday a letter to Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE) explaining his own reasons not to make Massachusetts part of the federal program.
Now Massachusetts becomes the third state – after Illinois and New York – to abandon the program.
“It’s not only good news, it’s great news! The power of the Brazilian community coming together and asking the officials made the difference,” said State Senator Jamie Eldridge.
Eldridge also said he will work hard to overturn some immigration measures the State Senate passed.
It’s critical for the members of the Brazilian community to ask for meetings with its representatives to talk about the budget amendments.
For Nivaldo Souza, a construction worker in Framingham, the news is a relief.
“I was scared to be driving in Massachusetts. I have a driver’s license but I don’t have a green card,” said Souza.
One of the most important arguments against Secure Communities is that it threatans the trust between the community and the police.
For Heloisa Galvão, the president of Brazilian Women Group, the community's pressure made the different. Galvão’s non-profit, who leads a group of housecleaners, some from Framingham, sent 3,000 post cards about the negative effects of Secure Communities in the migrant areas of Massachusetts.
“At some instances, I thought that the Governor would sign the program. But I always expected more from him,” said Galvão.
Tuesday, Governor Patrick will hold a news conference at the State House with the media.