The issue of public safety is beginning to enter the political process in Massachusetts, now that concerned citizens have noticed that politicians would rather exempt illegal aliens from the the laws that the rest of us must follow. One example is the community anger over the preventable death of Matthew Denice in Milford.
Senator Scott Brown, who won a 2010 special election to fill the seat vacated by Ted Kennedy’s death, spoke up this week to support Secure Communities to better administer the government function of policing foreign criminals.
Under Secure Communities, the fingerprints of a person who has been arrested are sent to be analyzed for immigration status as well as to check for criminal background. Common sense, most Americans would agree — not “controversial” as many dinosaur media reports portray.
Senator Brown sent a letter (see below) recommending the adoption of the program to Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick, who refuses allow his state to take part in it because participation might lead to “profiling.”
Interestingly, Senator Brown might be running against consumer advocate Elizabeth Warren in the 2012 election, who says that she opposes Secure Communities.
The idea that a consumer advocate could be against improving public safety is another oddity of today’s upside-down politics. Warren says she is concerned that diverse peoples will fear reporting crimes to the police because they face bad consequences. However, not a single victim has ever been deported for reporting a crime where Secure Communities is in effect, according to an article by CIS researcher Jessica Vaughan.
Sen. Brown urges Gov. Patrick to back illegal alien measure, Boston Herald, Sept 14, 2011
U.S. Sen. Scott Brown asked the governor today to back a controversial measure that would allow law enforcement to track illegal aliens, playing to his Republican base on the same day a tough new challenger joined the race for his job.
In his letter, Brown writes to Gov. Deval Patrick urging for “full and immediate Massachusetts participation” in the Secure Communities program.
“During a Senate Homeland Security committee hearing yesterday, President Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano described Secure Communities as ‘a key tool in our immigration enforcement efforts to identify those in the country illegally who are also committing other crimes, are fugitives from existing warrants, are multiple illegal entrants or security concerns,’?” Brown writes. “I agree with Secretary Napolitano, and believe that Secure Communities plays an important role in keeping America safe.”
Brown’s letter comes as former Obama administration official and Harvard professor Elizabeth Warren enters the Democratic primary for Brown’s Senate seat. She backed the governor’s stance on Secure Communities during a campaign stop in Framingham today.
“I think there’s a real question about whether or not this bill really makes communities more secure,” Warren said. “If people feel like they can’t go to the police … that doesn’t make us more secure. I think we really have to think much harder about the ways to make American communities more secure.”
Brown, in his letter to Patrick, cited “three tragic deaths” at the hands of illegal aliens in Brockton and Milford.
The Secure Communities program requires participating law enforcement agencies to share data on criminal suspects with federal immigration authorities. The goal of the program, which the Boston Police Department has used successfully since 2006, is to identify and deport violent criminals.
Patrick is not backing the measure.
Here’s the complete letter Senator Brown sent, as posted on his website:
WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Scott Brown (R-MA) sent the following letter to Governor Deval Patrick urging him to work with the Obama administration to ensure Massachusetts’ “full and immediate” participation in the Secure Communities program:
Dear Governor Patrick,
I write to you today to express my support for the Secure Communities program and to urge full and immediate Massachusetts participation in the program to help combat the very serious problem posed by illegal immigration.
During a Senate Homeland Security committee hearing yesterday, President Obama’s Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano described Secure Communities as “a key tool in our immigration enforcement efforts to identify those in the country illegally who are also committing other crimes, are fugitives from existing warrants, are multiple illegal entrants or security concerns.”
I agree with Secretary Napolitano, and believe that Secure Communities plays an important role in keeping America safe.
Recently, three tragic deaths at the hands of illegal immigrants in Brockton and Milford have highlighted the clear need to address this very serious problem. In both cases, the perpetrators were in the country illegally and had amassed violent criminal histories.
Had the Secure Communities program been in place, it is possible that law enforcement would have been able to identify and remove them from the country before they tragically took three lives.
In her testimony, Secretary Napolitano expressed her willingness to work with states in order to address any of their concerns. I urge you to work with the Obama administration and the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement to address your concerns so that Massachusetts may fully participate in this program as soon as possible.
I welcome immigrants who come to this country legally. But we are also a nation of laws and those laws need to be observed. Secure Communities is an essential tool to assist immigration authorities in enforcing the law.
Thank you for your attention to this matter.
Scott P. Brown
United States Senator