For Immediate Release - March 15, 2011

PATRICK-MURRAY ADMINISTRATION TO HOLD COMMUNITY MEETINGS RELATIVE TO THE SECURE COMMUNITIES PROGRAM

BOSTON - Monday, March 14, 2011 - The Patrick-Murray Administration today announced a series of community meetings to promote an open dialogue and address the concerns that several community organizations and immigrant advocates have expressed about the Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Secure Communities program.

"It has always been the Administration's policy that serious criminals who are here illegally ought to be deported. The federal government is committed to proceeding with this program, and the Patrick-Murray administration is fully committed to making sure its implementation in Massachusetts is transparent, responsive to the community concerns and consistent with our values," said Undersecretary of Public Safety John Grossman. "We fully support the Commonwealth's vibrant immigrant community, and state agencies are currently engaged in dialogue with community leaders and public safety officials across the Commonwealth on this important issue. We expect to move forward with Secure Communities once outreach has been completed, and we will continue to work closely with communities and stakeholders to promote understanding about this program and its implementation, and to share any concerns that are raised with federal officials."

Over the next several months, the Executive Office of Public Safety in collaboration with the Governor's Office of Community Affairs and the Office for Refugees and Immigrants will be holding community meetings across the Commonwealth. The goal of these meetings is to inform the community about the Administration's work on behalf of immigrant communities, the details of the Secure Communities program, and to gather feedback on the program and its potential impact in Massachusetts.

To date, several non-governmental organizations have agreed to take part in these meetings including: Chelsea Collaborative, The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, The Brazilian Women's Group, The African Council, the Governor's Advisory Council for Refugees and immigrants, and ¿Oiste?, among others.

The following dates and locations have been determined for the community meetings: Click here for an update on Secure Communities meetings.

Worcester :
Saturday, February 26, 2-4pm
Worcester Public Library
3 Salem Square
Worcester, MA 01608

Framingham :
Saturday, March 12, 2-4pm
Mass Bay Community College, Framingham Campus, Room 205-206
Framingham, MA 01702

Lawrence :
Saturday April 2nd 3-5pm
Lawrence High School
70-71 North Parish Rd
Lawrence, MA 01841

Waltham :
Saturday, April 16, 2-4pm
Arthur J Clark Government Center
119 School Street
Waltham, MA 02452

Chelsea :
Thursday April 28, 6-8pm
Chelsea High School
299 Everett Avenue
Chelsea, MA 02150

Brockton :
Saturday May 14, 12-2pm
Massasoit Community College
770 Crescent Street
Brockton, MA 02302

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