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(NECN: Jim Braude) - The Immigration debate in Massachusetts is heating up on two fronts: one at the State House and the other on the front lines of policing.
A group of sheriffs is taking on Governor Deval Patrick.
They say the state needs to do more to deal with illegal immigrants accused of committing crimes. They want the state to participate in the federal secure communities initiative now.
That program requires law enforcement to send finger prints of those arrested for any crime to the immigration and customs enforcement agency, allowing them to access a data base to check whether or not a person in their custody is an illegal immigrant.
But the Governor says the state won't join that program until 2013 and doesn't need to because those prints are already being sent to the FBI and that the goals of secure communities are being achieved right now.
One of those sheriffs, Thomas Hodgson of Bristol County, and Federal Policy Director of Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition Sarang Sekhavat joined Jim Braude to discuss the illegal immigrant issue in Massachusetts.