Action alert: Don’t encourage Mass. police to detain immigrants!
August 06, 2017
We are sharing this action alert send by our partners at the MIRA Coalition. Please share with your networks as well. We have posted on social media too.
#Resist #ImmigrantRights #SafeCommunities
Governor Baker wants to give police the authority to hold people for ICE, violating their constitutional rights. Call him today – and call your legislators to urge them to kill the bill.
Last month, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that police and court officers in our state don’t have the legal authority to detain anyone solely on a civil immigration matter.
It was a landmark decision that made national news: Massachusetts leading the way, standing up for civil rights and due process and rejecting the anti-immigrant policies that have stoked fear in our communities.
But where we saw cause for celebration, Governor Baker saw a problem to be solved. On Aug. 1, he filed a bill to allow police across the state to honor civil detainer requests from U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) for any “removable alien” deemed to pose a threat to public safety.
Don’t be misled by the Governor’s sales pitch. This is a needless and harmful bill.
Police can already keep dangerous criminals behind bars – by charging them with actual crimes. They can also notify ICE if a violent felon is about to get out of jail. But as the SJC explained, holding someone for ICE is an arrest. And an arrest without probable cause of a crime and due process is unconstitutional.
Even worse, for all the talk about dangerous criminals, the bill applies not only to violent felons, but to a long list of people – including anyone who, at some point, was sentenced to at least 6 months in jail.
And it applies not just to undocumented immigrants, but to any immigrant that ICE thinks is deportable. That could be someone who’s lived lawfully in this country for 25 years, but who spent a few months in jail when he was 18.
We need to stop this bill. Here’s how you can help:
- Call the Governor’s office at 617-725-4005 to register your opposition. (If you want more background info, read our web story.)
- Call or email your legislators (find them here) and urge them to kill the bill, and support the Safe Communities Act instead.
Attend a rally on Tuesday, August 8, 2017 – actions are being held in Boston, Worcester and Springfield.