As promised, Governor Patrick today formally rescinded the
political stunt agreement that ex-Gov Romney engineered between the State Police and federal immigration authorities that would have allowed certain staties to arrest illegal immigrants on immigration charges. Instead, Patrick proposes to allow specially-trained corrections officers to initiate deportment proceedings — you know, for the ones that actually are criminals. From the release:
Governor Deval Patrick today rescinded a policy established by former Governor Mitt Romney that would have allowed Massachusetts State Police Troopers to detain illegal immigrants. Governor Patrick rejected the policy, saying that the time and effort of state police troopers are better spent working with local communities to combat violence, drug abuse, and gun trafficking.
Also today, Governor Patrick directed Public Safety Secretary Kevin M. Burke to negotiate a Memorandum of Agreement between the Massachusetts Department of Corrections and the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that will allow specially-trained corrections officers in two state detention facilities to perform limited immigration law enforcement functions, including initiating deportment proceedings against convicted criminal illegal immigrants….
“With all that the State Police have to do to enforce the laws of this Commonwealth, I do not believe that it is either practical or wise to ask them to enforce Federal laws as well. That is the job of the Federal government, and it should be done by the Federal government,” said Governor Patrick. “At the same time, I do believe that convicted criminals housed in our prisons who have violated immigration laws should be turned over to Federal authorities for appropriate handling, including deportation. Today’s MOU directs the correctional authorities to do just that.”
Sounds sensible to me. And the Commander of the State Police thinks so too:
The commander of the state police has broken his silence on former Gov. Mitt Romney’s controverisal plan to use troopers to detain illegal immigrants, telling the Herald tonight it would have hurt efforts to fight urban crime. “You need to have cooperation and trust from immigrant and minority populations,” Delaney said, adding that Romney’s plan “would have been a little conflict in our mission” to prevent gang and gun violence….
“We had the manpower and we could have carried out the mission,” Delaney said of Romney’s plan, which would have empowered gang and narcotics officiers to detain illegals. “It was more a question of is it going to be a benefit and is it the best use of resources.”