In July 2011, the Springfield City Council passed a resolution urging Mayor Sarno to refuse to participate in the federal S-Comm anti-immigrant dragnet, and on Sept. 1, the Northampton City Council voted unanimously to pass a resolution expressing the city's desire to opt out as well. The ACLU worked with the American Friends Service Committee and the Bill of Rights Defense Committee on the campaign.
Gov. Patrick announced in June that he would not sign an agreement with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to implement S-Comm, and Mayor Menino of Boston told ICE that the city needs answers before Boston would continue participating. The program's future remains unclear.
The ACLU of Massachusetts opposes S-Comm for three main reasons:
- S-Comm, also known as "Secure Communities," doesn't do what it says it will--in fact, it makes us less secure.
- Violent criminals already get deported. S-Comm, instead, rounds up people who haven't been convicted of any crime. It clogs jails and diverts resources from solving or stopping violent crime.
- S-Comm undermines community trust in police. When any interaction with a local police officer can get you deported, it makes witnesses and crime victims from immigrant communities afraid to come forward--and that's why many police say they oppose it.