Thursday, October 1, 2009
A tip of the hat to two Massachusets Sheriffs!
Maria Sacchetti, writes for the Boston Globe:
Two Massachusetts law enforcement agencies – the Framingham police and the Barnstable County sheriff’s department – are no longer enrolled in a controversial program that let them enforce federal immigration laws.
The program had stirred anger and fear among advocates for immigrants who said it would terrify immigrants and deter them from reporting crimes.
Framingham Chief Steven Carl said he withdrew from the program today because federal officials pressured the department to broaden its enforcement. He said he signed up two years ago exclusively to tap into federal databases to investigate crime, and balked when federal officials wanted him to detain immigrants, transport them and even testify in immigration court.
Carl said that could hurt the police’s relationship in the community, where 26 percent are immigrants.
“It doesn’t benefit the police department to engage in deportation and immigration enforcement,” Carl said today. “We’re done. I told them to come get the computers.”
Barnstable County Sheriff James Cummings said federal officials suspended their involvement in the program a few months ago, before it ever got off the ground.
“They told us that they were going in a different direction,” Cummings said of federal officials. “They said they weren’t going to operate the program [here] any longer. They may be back sometime in the future.” Click here for the full story.