OB supports Demand to End “Secure Communities” Program

On Saturday, 1/28/12, Occupy Boston’s General Assembly consented to accept and endorse the following Demand:

The people of the Commonwealth of Masachussetts demand
that the Governor of Massachusetts, Deval Patrick, and the Mayor of Boston, Thomas Menino, do whatever is in their power to:

STOP THE EXPEDITED
REMOVAL PROGRAM
IN THE STATE OF MASSACHUSETTS
&
END STATE AND LOCAL COOPERATION WITH
THE “SECURE COMMUNITIES” PROGRAM

WHEREAS no human being is illegal, and people who come to the USA seeking opportunity and to contribute to their communities should not be labeled or profiled as criminals because they lack proper documentation;

WHEREAS thousands of legally admitted immigrants, residents and American citizens have been unfairly apprehended and prosecuted through the ‘Expedited Removal Program,’ which is operated by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, ICE, a division of the Department of Homeland Security;

WHEREAS President George W. Bush signed the Expedited Removal Program into law in 2003 with the USA Patriot Act;

WHEREAS the law enables the Department of Homeland Security to categorize formerly civil matters or ‘immigration violations’ as criminal acts;

WHEREAS the Expedited Removal Program, implemented by ICE, relies on the assumption that any and all ‘immigration violations’ can be classified as criminal acts, not civil matters, tantamount to the difference between being charged with a crime and getting a traffic ticket;

WHEREAS the Department of Homeland Security provides a fiscal incentive for Corrections Corporation of America and the GEO Group Incorporated, enormously wealthy private companies, to incarcerate and process the deportation of people and does so to up to 15,000 people a month;

WHEREAS the so-called “Secure Communities” program, which the federal government is forcing upon Massachusetts and its communities, results in a dangerous localization of immigration policing, and the harmful deportation of thousands of Commonwealth residents who have committed no crimes;

WHEREAS the deportation of parents and caretakers severely disrupts family life, brutally and immorally harming children and families, and placing completely unnecessary financial burdens upon the state; and

WHEREAS Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino oversee law enforcement in their jurisdictions and therefore have the power to maneuver around the immoral and unpractical enforcement of these federal laws:

BE IT RESOLVED that Occupy Boston, Occupamos el Barrio, and the undersigned demand that Governor Deval Patrick and Mayor Thomas Menino refuse to cooperate with a federal law that profiles people of color and participates in a corrupt system of jails for profit. In particular, Governor Patrick and Mayor Menino should do everything in their power to cease cooperation with the ‘Expedited Removal Program’, including rejecting federal detainer requests for people who have committed no crime, because no Massachusetts elected public official should never cooperate with a law that denies due process to suspects and tears apart families.

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