Lawrence community to discuss participation in ICE’S Secure Communities program

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LAWRENCE, MA — The Patrick-Murray Administration announced a series of community meetings to promote an open dialogue and address the concerns that several community organizations and immigrant advocates have expressed about the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Secure Communities program.

Representatives from Governor Patrick’s office will be in Lawrence on Saturday, April 2, from 9-11 AM at Lawrence High School, 70-71 North Parish Rd.

It has always been the Administration’s policy that serious criminals who are here illegally ought to be deported. The federal government is committed to proceeding with this program, and the Patrick-Murray administration is fully committed to making sure its implementation in Massachusetts is transparent, responsive to the community concerns and consistent with our values.

We fully support the Commonwealth’s vibrant immigrant community, and state agencies are currently engaged in dialogue with community leaders and public safety officials across the Commonwealth on this important issue.

We expect to move forward with Secure Communities once outreach has been completed, and we will continue to work closely with communities and stakeholders to promote understanding about this program and its implementation, and to share any concerns that are raised with federal officials.

Over the next several months, the Executive Office of Public Safety in collaboration with the Governor’s Office of Community Affairs and the Office for Refugees and Immigrants will be holding community meetings across the Commonwealth. The goal of these meetings is to inform the community about the Administration’s work on behalf of immigrant communities, the details of the Secure Communities program, and to gather feedback on the program and its potential impact in Massachusetts.

To date, several non-governmental organizations have agreed to take part in these meetings including: Chelsea Collaborative,The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, The Brazilian Women’s Group, The African Council, the Governor’s Advisory Council for Refugees and Immigrants, and ¿Oíste?, among others.

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