Republican lawmakers on Beacon Hill are calling on Governor Patrick to reconsider his position on Secure Communities, the federal program that shares the fingerprints of people arrested by police with immigration officials.
The move comes in the wake of a Milford crash which claimed the life of 23-year-old Matthew Denice on Saturday.
Denice was riding his motorcycle when he was struck and killed, allegedly by Nicolas Guaman, an illegal immigrant with a criminal record who police say was driving drunk.
In June, Governor Patrick announced Massachusetts would not sign onto the program.
The republican lawmakers believe if Secure Communities had been in place, Guaman may have already been deported after one of his previous arrests, therefore preventing Denice's death.
“When is enough, enough?” said Assistant Minority Whip Elizabeth Poirier (R-North Attleboro). “We’ve seen it over and over and over again and I believe it’s time the governor take this bull by the horns and show the example that we’re not going to stand for it anymore.”
A spokesman for the governor says the administration's policy is that serious criminals who are here illegally should be deported.
But the republicans plan to file a bill to force the governor's hand on Secure Communities, however at this point that may not be worth the effort.
ICE, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, has already announced it doesn't need states to sign off on Secure Communities after all.
ICE is rolling out the program everywhere by 2013, and ICE says part of the reason it's going to take that long is because of the limited resources of ICE.
An ICE spokesman also says ICE isn't convinced the illegal immigrant in the Milford case would have been deported earlier, even if Secure Communities had been in place.