I always have supported legal immigration. I believe the arrival of new people to our shores has strengthened us as a country. But we are also a nation of laws and even as we say yes to legal immigration, we must take steps to end illegal immigration.
Illegal immigration erodes respect for the law and it compromises our ability to maintain secure borders. One of the ways we can address the problem of illegal immigration is through programs like Secure Communities.
Over the last year, our state has experienced a series of violent crimes committed by illegal immigrants who had no business being in the country in the first place. Last summer, three tragic deaths in Brockton and Milford highlighted the clear need to identify and deport people who come here illegally and then commit new crimes. In Brockton, a woman and her child were murdered.
In Milford, a man was killed by a drunken driver. In both cases, the perpetrators were in the country illegally and had previous run-ins with the law. If these individuals had been deported following their previous arrests, it’s possible the lives of three people could have been saved.
As a state, we need to make every effort to prevent tragedies like this from happening again. That is why I support Secure Communities, and believe that Massachusetts needs to be fully participating in this very important program.
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This story first ran in the Lowell Sun on April 5, 2012.