Originally posted on Citizen Orange.
Barack Obama, through his Department of Homeland Security (DHS), wants to turn every local police officer into a border patrol agent by 2013 through his Secure Communities program (S-Comm). Boston Police Commissioner Edward F. Davis, whom we all thought used to be a friend to the pro-migrant community, is not only happy to support Obama doing it, he’s throwing the entire U.S. justice system under the bus in the process.
According Immigration and Custom’s Enforcement’s (ICE) own statistics, Boston has one of the worst records in the nation of deporting actual criminals under S-Comm. According to ICE, of the 256 people who were deported from Boston under S-Comm between
Nov. 2008 and Sept. 30, 2010, only 24, or 10.67% were level 3 offenders
and over half, 135, or 52.73% were non-criminals.
It was in the face of statistics like these, and a strong statewide campaign led by Centro Presente, that Gov. Deval Patrick decided to take a stand against S-Comm.
Call Gov. Patrick to thank him at 617-725-4005 and tweet him at @massgovernor if you get a chance.
What does BPD Commissioner Davis have to say about this? (Emphasis is mine):
“I have not been able to find anyone who is completely innocent who has been deported as a result of this program,” Davis said. “These are not people who are stopped for motor vehicle violations; these are not people who we encounter on the street day in and day out. These are people who get arrested.”Maria Sacchetti – Boston Globe (7 June 2011)
So if you get arrested in Boston, you’re no longer innocent? I grew up in Guatemala and sometimes I’m a little slow to learn, but I thought people were innocent until proven guilty in this country. Or maybe Davis thinks we can save money and skip the whole deportation process by making Boston more like the majority world police states that migrants flee from. “Caught you ALIEN! I’m deporting you too…East Boston.” (Believe it or not, this latter position is not too far from the mainstream policy position nativists advocate for “attrition through enforcement.“)
It was only recently that we found out how deeply Davis had betrayed the pro-migrant community. I had been speaking out against programs like S-Comm all over the nation when a WBUR report informed us that Boston had been participating since 2006. Davis had spoken out against former Governor Mitt Romney trying to use state resources to enforce federal immigration law, only to end up doing exactly that right under our noses. S-Comm turns every local cop into a border patrol agent. It turns every arrest into an immigration check, and Obama is forcing this on all local communities by 2013.
I would call Davis a hypocrite, but he still insists he favors community policing. I think it’s more likely that he enjoys the power allowing the Boston Police Department to decide who is guilty or innocent with a phone call to ICE.
Thankfully Mayor Thomas Menino is asking Davis to review the program. I recently started working part-time at Neighbors United for a Better East Boston (NUBE) on Secure Communities (I speak for myself here, of course), and I’ve already heard three secondary stories of migrants in East Boston who have been negatively affected by S-Comm or programs like it and I’m sure that soon I will come across someone with the courage to come forward with their story.
Please let Mayor Menino know that it’s time that Boston make clear it’s opposition to this threat to our communities by calling him at 617-635-4500 or tweeting him at @mayortommenino.