It doesn’t benefit the Police Department to engage in deportation and immigration enforcement. We’re done. I told them to come get the computers.
Framingham Police Chief Steven Carl
They should be putting more of an effort to go after them. They could be pulling them in every minute of the day.
Jim Rizoli, spokesman for a Framingham group called Concerned Citizens and Friends of Illegal Immigration Law Enforcement.
Two Massachusetts law enforcement agencies have halted a controversial program that authorized them to enforce federal immigration laws, thrilling advocates for immigrants but drawing criticism from those seeking tougher restrictions.
The Framingham Police Department pulled out this week because the federal government had urged the force to detain and deport immigrants more aggressively, and the chief feared that would erode trust in the community. The Barnstable County Sheriff’s Office said federal officials suspended their involvement a few months ago, leaving the state’s Department of Correction as the only participating unit in Massachusetts.
“It doesn’t benefit the Police Department to engage in deportation and immigration enforcement,’’ Framingham’s chief, Steven Carl, said yesterday. “We’re done. I told them to come get the computers.’’
The program, known formally as 287(g), grants state and local law enforcement agencies the power to enforce federal immigration laws after they sign an agreement with US Immigration and Customs Enforcement and undergo training. The program underwent a sweeping nationwide overhaul in July following criticism that it led to racial pro filing, intimidation, and the deportation of immigrants for such minor crimes as speeding.
The Government Accountability Office had criticized the program, which is supposed to focus on hardcore crimes such as murder and drug smuggling. Other complaints led to a federal investigation of an Arizona sheriff’s office that had used the program to launch an unusually aggressive crackdown.
Nationwide, 66 law enforcement agencies are enrolled in the program, and 13 more have been approved to sign an agreement with the federal agency, according to the Department of Homeland Security.
Click here to read the full story that ran in today's Globe.
On the beat
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