, a federal program that identifies illegal immigrants who are charged with crimes for deportation will be introduced this month in Massachusetts.
The Secure Communities program, run by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, will begin next week, May 15 in Massachusetts. New Hampshire started the program yesterday.
Under the program, local police will continue to send fingerprints of people arrested for offenses to the FBI. But, under Secure Communities, the finger prints are then sent to Homeland Security, where they are matched against information in that agency's immigration databases.
The program sends fingerprint information to the federal immigration authorities for all people arrested, regardless of their race or ethnicity. This then enables the immigration agents to contact local police if they want the suspect held.
Carl did not return phone calls or requests for a comment on Wednesday.
U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, a supporter of the program, told The Boston Globe Tuesday it is "an important tool in keeping our citizens safe and giving our law enforcement officials, especially the sheriffs, the tools and resources they need to do their jobs."
"The people of Massachusetts will finally have the protection they deserve from violent criminals who have entered our country illegally," Brown told the Globe.
Although the Massachusetts Governor has been opposed to the federal Secure Communities program, it was scheduled to start in 2013.
Ross Feinstein, a spokesman for ICE, told the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, “Secure Communities has proven to be the single most valuable tool in allowing the agency to eliminate the ad hoc approach of the past and focus on criminal aliens and repeat immigration law violators. In fiscal year 2011, for the first time ever, 55 percent of all of ICE’s removals were convicted criminals and over 90 percent of all removals clearly fell into” other high priorities for removal.
The federal government gave no reason for the move up date to next week.