In a speech berating Massachusetts Gov. Deval Patrick’s opposition to a controversial federal immigration program, a Republican state legislator said that illegal immigrants who were victims of rape should be afraid to come forward. State Rep. Ryan Fattman brushed aside the claims of immigrant advocates that the program, which would allow local police officers to refer undocumented immigrants they arrest for any reason to federal authorities, would damage the relationship between law enforcement and immigrant communities or lead to racial profiling.
The Worcester Telegram & Gazette reports that Fattman even claimed that undocumented immigrants who are victims of rape should be afraid to talk to the police:
Mr. Fattman dismissed concerns of some law enforcement officials — cited by the governor — who said using local police to enforce immigration laws could discourage reporting of crime by victims who are illegal immigrants.
Asked if he would be concerned that a woman without legal immigration status was raped and beaten as she walked down the street might be afraid to report the crime to police, Mr. Fattman said he was not worried about those implications.
“My thought is that if someone is here illegally, they should be afraid to come forward,” Mr. Fattman said. “If you do it the right way, you don’t have to be concerned about these things,” he said referring to obtaining legal immigration status.
“If they are here illegally, they have committed a crime,” he said. However, under federal law, illegal status is usually a civil offense.
“My philosophy is a little different,” Mr. Fattman said. He said he believes all illegal immigrants should be deported, including the children of immigrants who came with their parents to the U.S.