Safe Communities Act

There is legislation pending in Massachusetts called the Safe Communities Act to support civil rights, particularly applicable to immigrants. I’ll let the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Coalition explain, with a summary four points:

No state support for Muslim registry. Prohibits access to information in state databases for use in any federal registry program based on national origin, religion or other protected characteristics.

Ensures Basic Due Process Rights for people detained in state and local facilities for civil immigration violations. Requires informing detainees that they have the right to decline an interview with ICE agents, and to have their own attorney present (at their own expense) if they so choose.

Use police resources to fight crime, not separate families. Ensures that state, local and campus police don’t participate in immigration enforcement activities, including inquiries, investigations, raids, arrests or detentions that are based solely on immigration status.

Prohibits agreements with DHS that deputize local officers as immigration agents. 

The Safe Communities Act still lacks support from state legislative leadership. But my representatives support it. So today, I called Governor Baker’s office to ask for his support. I was told, rather bluntly, that the Governor hasn’t taken a position and wouldn’t comment on legislation that hasn’t crossed his desk. So I asked if he would consider supporting the bill should it be submitted. The reply? “Yes, I’ll take not of it. *click*” Not a very promising approach to constituent engagement from the Governor’s office.

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