Martha Coakley on Immigration
All five Democrats said they supported Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone's recent decision to sign an executive order limiting the city's cooperation with the Secure Communities program, which partners local police with federal authorities to hold undocumented immigrants for possible deportation. Coakley said the program was designed to help federal authorities remove threats to public safety from communities. "We know it's gone far too far," she said, by targeting many undocumented immigrants with no criminal background.
A distinction should be made between hardened criminals here illegally and those whose only crime is immigrating without going through proper channels, she said, though, "I think there have to be some penalties involved" for those who have broken the law in coming into the country illegally.
Violent criminals and drug dealers should be deported, but the federal government "doesn't have the ability to deport" every person in this country who is here illegally, she said. "As attorney general, I have gone after the companies that have exploited workers," and getting employers to pay fair wages helps American citizens compete in the marketplace as well, she said.
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