Milford motorcyclist killed: Everything about this is horrible

The Globe’s account of the hit and run killing of  23 year old motorcyclist Matthew Denice in Milford Saturday evening strikes me as unusually grisly and graphic.  I hope his family does not read it.  What a horrible way to die.  To its credit the Globe also includes a less horrific but no less salient fact that is being studiously ignored by other news outlets:

Police say Nicolas Guaman, 34, an illegal immigrant from Ecuador who had his 4-year-old with him in the truck, was drunk when he ran a stop sign and hit Denice’s motorcycle. They say Guaman continued slowly weaving his way around the corner of Congress and Fayette, then onto West Street, and later Bancroft Avenue.

In a bit of tragic irony, just over a month ago Governor Patrick sat in a park in Milford just a stone’s throw from the site of Denice’s killing and explained his recent decision to bar Massachusetts from participating in the federal Secure Communities program, which in a nutshell would allow local law enforcement to share arrest data – fingerprints, primarily – with federal immigration authorities (more on the program here).

The Milford Patch has video posted here (can’t seem to embed, but you should click through and watch it).  The gravamen of the Governor’s response to aggressive questioning by a Secure Communities advocate is the observation that law enforcement already shares arrest data with the FBI.  Secure Communities, the Governor suggests, is mere window dressing – a redundant program that would provide only “the impression that we are doing something else.”

Of course there is more to it than that.  If it were true that in fact Secure Communities represents nothing more than a bit of bureaucratic redundancy, one presumes that the Governor could find better uses for his political capital than opposition to the program.  For one thing, Secure Communities make information sharing routine and automatic, when it is currently sporadic and largely discretionary.  For another, the sharing in question would be with ICE, the federal agency specifically tasked with immigration enforcement, rather than with the FBI, which has one or two other things on its jurisdictional plate.

Milford is one of a handful of communities in the Commonwealth where the debate over illegal immigration is more than academic – it is the stuff of every day life in a town with a huge and growing illegal population.  Now it is even more so.  That is why when the Governor made his announcement last month, local officials were quick to condemn the move… READ THE REST at CriticalMASS

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