SEPTEMBER 27, 2011
A few months after Massachusetts’s governor rejected a federal program that checks the immigration status of local arrestees, a drunk illegal alien with a criminal history killed a motorcyclist in the state and another who had been deported racked up his sixth drunk- driving charge.Had the state participated in the federal Secure Communities program, both men would have been turned over to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for deportation long ago. Instead, they were released by local police and allowed to continue committing crimes in their respective communities.That’s because the state’s governor, renowned open borders advocate Deval Patrick, refuses to participate in the initiative that requires local authorities to check the fingerprints of arrestees against a federal database. The idea is to deport dangerous criminals, many of whom have fallen through the cracks over the years.Two alarming cases have surfaced in Massachusetts since Patrick officially rejected Secure Communities in June. In Milford, a 15-square-mile town with a population of about 27,000, a drunk illegal immigrant from Ecuador struck and killed a motorcyclist after dragging him a quarter of a mile. The illegal alien had several encounters with local police, but was never reported to federal immigration officials. Milford’s police chief says Secure Communities could have made a difference in this tragic case.In Boxborough, a quaint little town with only 3,300 residents, police arrested a previously deported illegal immigrant on his sixth drunk-driving charge over the weekend. The Mexican national got pulled over when police noticed an expired inspection sticker on his pickup truck as he drove onto an interstate. The officer saw an open beer bottle in the vehicle and detected a strong odor of alcohol, according to a local news report, and the illegal alien failed a sobriety test.It turns out that the illegal immigrant, 48-year-old Eduardo Torres, had been convicted for driving drunk three times in two different states; once in California and twice in Massachusetts. He had also been deported at least once, according to authorities quoted in the local news story. Never the less, Torres lived and worked as a landscaper in Massachusetts for about five years.These are the types of criminals that Governor Patrick, a former Clinton Administration official, is protecting by forbidding local police to participate in Secure Communities. Since getting reelected in 2010 Patrick has madehelping illegal immigrants a cornerstone of his agenda. He even created a special council to help them integrate into society by, among other things, granting illegal immigrants drivers’ licenses and discounted in-state-tuition at public colleges and universities.Reporting illegal immigrants who have been arrested locally to federal authorities for deportation is bad public policy, according to Patrick. “We run a serious risk of ethnic profiling and frankly fracturing incredibly important relationships in communities that are important for law enforcement,” the governor said when he opted out a few months ago.
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