Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney will sign an agreement with the federal government Wednesday that gives the state police the authority to detain illegal immigrants and charge them with violating immigration law, his office said Tuesday. The agreement will give 30 state troopers the power to interrogate people whom they determine to be illegal immigrants, reports the New York Times. The suspects can then be arrested without a warrant on the immigration charge.
Massachusetts would become the ninth jurisdiction to train its officers to enforce federal immigration law. Alabama and Florida have agreements with the federal government involving their state police, and Arizona has an agreement involving corrections officers. Counties in California and North Carolina are also participating in the program, which was created by the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act of 1996.