Sheriffs call for immigration change in Mass.
WEYMOUTH, Mass -- A series of high profile crimes including a murder in Marshfield led to calls for changes to the state’s immigration laws. The suspect accused in the Marshfield killing was in the hospital Tuesday, while local sheriffs prepared to make their arguments on Beacon Hill.
The suspect in Monday’s murder in Marshfield remained at South Shore Hospital Tuesday and sources said he is an illegal immigrant, this as local sheriffs look to get tough on illegal immigrants who break the law.
The murder suspect had a fake Brazilian license. Immigration officials said that they had no record that Marcello Almeida entered the U.S. legally.
Authorities said they have dealt with him on the roads before. In April 2008 and November 2011 he was charged in Marshfield with unlicensed operation of a motor vehicle. In Quincy he was charged with the same offense back in November 2008. In Scituate in 2011 he faced the same charge.
“Securing our borders, knowing who’s inside of our borders and knowing who’s committing illegal acts inside our borders, is something that is greatly needed,” Captain Phillip Tavares of the Marshfield Police said.
Many have wondered if a new federal program that reforms illegal immigration would have deported the Marshfield suspect before the crime was committed.
The program called “Secured Communities,” targets criminals. It trains officials including correctional officers in using specialized databases on illegal immigrants, including fingerprinting arrested suspects that are identified as illegal immigrants.
“In our facility they have been arrested so they have committed a crime and we don’t want them going out and victimizing people again. So we need to identify that they are not supposed to be here and if in fact they are not, we need to remove them from the country,” Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson said.
He said that alleged suspects of crimes would be flagged, including the illegal immigrant from Ecuador who was accused of driving drunk in August when he hit and killed a Milford man riding a motorcycle. Also, the illegal immigrant recently arrested in Boxboro and charged with drunk driving for the sixth time. He was also previously deported.
The ACLU of Massachusetts released a statement saying: “Secure Communities doesn’t make us any more secure because it doesn’t protect us from violent criminals -- they already get deported. Instead, S-Comm rounds up people who haven’t been convicted of any crime. It clogs jails and diverts resources from solving or stopping violent crime.”
Wednesday on Beacon Hill there will be three Sheriffs from different counties pushing for Secure Communities. In the meantime, another program may be implemented instead of Secure Communities. Come the end of 2013 this program will be implemented nationwide.
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