Two Massachusetts law enforcement agencies have halted a controversial program that authorized them to enforce federal immigration laws, says the Boston Globe. The move thrills advocates for immigrants but is drawing criticism from those seeking tougher restrictions. Nationwide, 66 law enforcement agencies are enrolled in the program, and 13 more have been approved to sign an agreement with the federal Department of Homeland Security.
The Framingham Police Department pulled out because the federal government had urged the force to detain and deport immigrants more aggressively, and the chief feared that would erode trust in the community. The Barnstable County Sheriff's Office said federal officials suspended their involvement a few months ago, leaving the state's Department of Correction as the only participating unit in Massachusetts. “It doesn't benefit the Police Department to engage in deportation and immigration enforcement,'' Framingham's chief, Steven Carl, said yesterday. “We're done. I told them to come get the computers.''