Massachusetts State police have agreed to participate in the Secure Communities program which calls for the police to share information on the identity of arrested suspects with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). If ICE then discovers the newly arrested person is unlawfully present in the U.S. they can choose to issue a detainer, or hold, causing the person to be held for ICE to take custody of him for deportation. The program claims it is being implemented to target illegal aliens who are found to have serious criminal records and not meant as a tool to deport all immigrants without proper status.
What is taking place on the streets though is not only are illegal aliens with serious criminal histories been deported but the majority being held and put in deportation proceedings are immigrants who are stopped for offenses as minor as driving without a license. The fear by those opposed to the program is that the immigrant community will stop reporting crimes to the police out of fear they will be reported to ICE, creating a chilling effect between local authorities and the community they are to protect.
This Secure Communities program is a national program and is basically a sharing of information between local state authorities, and the FBI through the Division of Homeland Securities (DHS) which runs Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).