ICE ignores MA governor’s objections, implements Secure Communities program
By End the Lie
In yet another example of the federal government trampling on state’s rights – a battle which has recently surfaced most visibly in the fight against states’ legal medical marijuana programs which has turned into a war on the patients themselves and even their children – U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has announced that they will completely ignore Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick’s objections and implement the so-called Secure Communities program.
ICE informed leaders of local law enforcement that they would be implementing the program in coming days via email on May 8, with plants to begin the federal/state biometric data sharing program on May 15.
For those who are unaware, the Secure Communities program is part of a much larger biometric information collection program which is going on nation-wide, centralizing data in the hands of federal agencies.
Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick has been one of the few state officials to stand up to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and their unrelenting encroachment.
Most politicians at the state level tend to capitulate and kowtow to the federal government whenever possible.
Patrick said last June that he would not sign the agreement with DHS to begin participation in the Secure Communities program.
Secure Communities supposedly targets criminal illegal aliens in the United States through sharing electronic fingerprint data captured by local law enforcement with federal databases.
However, many critics say that it suppresses the efforts of local law enforcement to police immigrant communities and often ends up targeting non-criminal aliens.
Of course, it also bleeds into many other areas and ends up targeting non-aliens as well.
Some news outlets in Massachusetts linked – with no evidence that they were actually connected at all, since correlation does not equal causation – the injury of a state trooper in a car crash allegedly involving an illegal alien driving without a license.
There was also an incident where a Cape Cod florist was killed in a car crash, also allegedly involving an illegal alien driving without a license.
While these cases are obviously tragic, linking the notification from ICE to these in an attempt to make them seem justified is questionable, to say the least.
In my opinion, journalists should be a little more concerned about the fact that the federal government is essentially showing governors to be nothing more than ceremonial figures in suits with no control over what goes on in their state.
According to ICE, communities in New Hampshire are now 100% activated under the Secure Communities program as of May 8, but only Suffolk County in Massachusetts has been activated under Secure Communities since 2008.
Governor Patrick hasn’t been vocal in response to the ICE move as of yet, but the public safety secretary for Massachusetts, Mary Beth Heffernan, issued a statement on May 9.
Heffernan said that the Secure Communities program “will have no practical effect on how we handle fingerprints and information sharing here. We already send all fingerprints to the federal government, and have been doing so for years.”
Some advocacy groups, on the other hand, see it as unnecessary.
The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) said just that and have planned demonstrations in the state in opposition to the move.
Personally, I do not think that increasing centralization and biometric data collection is what America needs.
I find it especially worrisome that state governments – even their governors – are being sidelined by the federal government on an increasingly regular basis.
It appears that increasingly states have little to no power over what goes on right under their noses. It is my belief that this is ultimately destructive and potentially dangerous and thus should be stopped as quickly as possible.
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by End the Lie
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