Mayor Thomas Menino sent Police Commissioner Ed Davis to Washington yesterday, with letter in hand, to withdraw Boston from a controversial federal immigration initiative.



At a news conference yesterday morning, Menino said he planned to back out of the Secure Communities program, established so Immigration and Customs Enforcement can remove criminal aliens who pose a threat to public safety, because he felt the federal government was implementing the program like a crusade.



The program will be implemented in 2013, regardless of whether state officials sign on, according to reports.



Menino said America was built on immigration and he didn’t want Boston to be a city where immigrants were afraid of being deported for simple acts.



He said people shouldn’t be deported for crimes like stealing a car.