Citizen Orange Signs Onto To Letter Asking Mayor Menino To End S-Comm
Centro Presente has been circulating an open letter to Mayor Menino thanking him for his recent steps criticizing S-Comm but asking him to take the further step of ending the program:
Dear Mayor Menino,Full disclosure: I'm working part-time for Neighbors United for A Better East Boston (NUBE) one of the signatories to the letter:
On behalf of the Boston-area community, social justice and faith-based organizations united in favor of immigrant rights, we would like to thank you for communicating your concerns about the Secure Communities program (S-Comm) to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Standing up for a group of people who are being scapegoated and are easily demonized during economically difficult times is not an act for the faint-hearted and we appreciate the courage and moral strength you have shown in speaking out.
We would like to reaffirm our position in regards to the S-Comm. We are not seeking adjustments to the program; we feel the program must be ended in Boston. We have no problem with removing dangerous criminals from our streets. We have a problem with S-Comm for the following reasons:
- S-Comm is NOT Deporting Just Serious and Violent Criminals: The majority of immigrants caught up in S-Comm in Boston (54% according to ICE's own statistics) have not been convicted of any criminal activity. Most deportees are minor offenders, or have committed no crimes at all but have problems with their immigration status.
- S-Comm Undermines Community Policing Efforts: Many immigrant families have members of mixed immigration status and this makes them fearful of interacting with police even if they are victims of a crime. Local police may not have an interest in enforcing immigration law but S-Comm automatically makes them immigration policy enforcers.
- S-Comm Encourages Racial Profiling: Research from other states indicates that people are being arrested and having their fingerprints run because they "look like" immigrants.
- S-Comm does not address the root of our immigration problem: S-Comm is part of the federal government's "enforcement-only" approach to immigration. Rather than take on real immigration reform and address the root causes of immigration, Washington is pushing its problems on local law enforcement to resolve.
We wish to help facilitate a positive relationship between the immigrant community and local law enforcement. This effort is greatly compromised by a program (not a law) that espouses the deportation of dangerous criminals but then more than half of the time deports people with no criminal convictions. Since the statistics revealed that the program appears to be targeting all undocumented immigrants, it became clear to us that this was an effort by the Obama administration to increase their deportation statistics. Cities like Boston find themselves stuck between developing good community relations and enforcing Federal Immigration law. That situation is not right either.
So we thank you for speaking out for what is right, regardless of whether it is popular and we look forward to seeing Boston join the growing list of cities that have opted out of the program.
Alternatives for Community & Environment (ACE)
American Arab Anti-Discrimination Committee, Massachusetts Chapter
American Civil Liberties Union - MA
American Friends Service Committee, Project Voice
American Friends Service Committee - South East New England
Bikes Not Bombs
The Boston Area Rape Crisis Center
Boston May Day Committee
Boston New Sanctuary Movement
Boston Workers' Alliance
Brazilian Immigrant Center
Brazilian Women's Group
Cambridge-San Jose las Flores Sister City Project
Cambridge United for Justice with Peace
Center to Support Immigrant Organizing
The Central American Resource Center (CARECEN), Los Angeles, CA
Chelsea Uniting Against the War
La Comunidad, Inc.
Irish International Immigrant Center
Immigrant Service Providers Group/Health Somerville, MA
Immigration Task Force of First Parish in Cambridge, Unitarian Universalist
Immigrant Workers Center Collaborative (IWCC)
Jobs with Justice
Justice at Work
Latinos Unidos en Massachusetts (LUMA)
Massachusetts Coalition for Occupational Safety and Health (MassCOSH)
Massachusetts Global Action
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA)
Massachusetts Interfaith Committee for Worker Justice
MataHari: Eye of the Day
Metrowest Worker Center
Neighbors United for a Better East Boston (NUBE)
Network of Immigrant and African American Solidarity
The Partnership for Democracy and Education
Post-Deportation Human Rights Project, Center for Human Rights and International Justice, Boston College
The Social Action Committee, First Parish Unitarian-Universalist Stow-Acton
Somerville Community Corporation
Student Immigrant Movement (SIM)
Unitarian Universalist Association of Congregations
Unitarian Universalist Massachusetts Action Network
United We Dream Network
The Welcome Project
Women Encouraging Empowerment, Inc.
Women's Institute for Leadership Development