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Secure Communities Program Expands to Rest of State Next Week

The controversial program, which is intended to help catch undocumented immigrants, has been in effect in Boston since 2008.

The , which would impact undocumented immigrants, will go into affect next week throughout Massachusetts.

According to the Boston Globe, the controversial federal program will start outside Boston on Tuesday, May 15. The program requires law enforcement officers to run fingerprints of arrested individuals through a federal database to determine whether they are in the country illegally. Federal immigration authorities could then arrest the suspect and possibly deport the person.

Boston has been participating since 2008. Charlestown is home to a wide diversity of people, including many immigrants who are here legally. In Boston as a whole, 26 percent of residents were born outside the U.S., according to the 2000 Census.

Gov. Deval Patrick declined to enroll in the program previously saying it would unfairly target immigrants not convicted of any crime, according to the Globe. The Boston Police believe it is an essential way to combat crime, according to the Globe.

Massachusetts Secretary of Public Safety Mary Beth Heffernan told FOX 25 that the program will not impact how fingerprints are shared and noted law enforcement officers are already sharing fingerprints with federal authorities.

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