Immigration

Our challenge

Failure to protect vulnerable immigrants

Every day we hear horror stories about families ripped apart [1], toddlers dying of dehydration in ICE custody [2], and the federal government setting up a Muslim registry [3].

Many cities have responded by becoming sanctuary cities: This protects immigrants and prevents spending our taxpayers’ money on Trump’s draconian policies. Instead our police force focuses on public safety.

MA has one of the lowest levels of support for Trump [4]. Our state legislature should reflect the will of voters and stand up to Trump too.

Our choice

Bill: Safe Communities Act (SCA) [5]

Protects immigrant communities, people of color, and our communities by:

  1. Limiting spending of local police resources on Trump’s policies
  2. Prohibiting police from asking questions about immigration status
  3. Protecting people of color from racial profiling by police

Without SCA, many immigrants are afraid to access public services. Reports of domestic violence drops by 16% after passing anti-sanctuary city law in Houston, Texas [6].

Our power

What can you do?

Call your representative

Commit to calling your state rep, we will contact you when your voice is needed most.

Join our phone bank

Call voters who live in districts with state reps who still don't support this bill.

Knock on doors

Engage voters at the door step about this issue and many more.

Common questions

Will dangerous criminals be released without punishment because of SCA?

  • No. The Act merely provides some due process protections for all residents. Those who are deemed a threat to public safety will not be released, just like under current law. Law enforcement will still be able to work with ICE to make arrests and detain people, as long as a judge issues a warrant. The Act was carefully crafted to allow law enforcement to go after criminals, while still respecting the civil rights of everyone.

Will SCA cause an increase in crime?

  • Absolutely not! There are already plenty of sanctuary jurisdictions across the nation, and studies have found that sanctuary jurisdictions are actually safer than comparable non-sanctuary jurisdictions.

Won’t Trump cut off funding to sanctuary jurisdictions?

  • Unlikely. Trump has ordered that federal funds be withheld from sanctuary jurisdictions, but he probably doesn’t have this power. Its constitutionality is being challenged in court, and a federal court issued a temporary nationwide halt against enforcement of the order. So it looks like the threat to cut funding is an empty one.

  • And, the “Sanctuary” status that they would like to punish is VERY specific, and Safe Communities does not conform to those features. So, there’s zero worry here.

Learn more

  1. Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA Coalition)
  2. Progressive Massachusetts on Safe Communities Act
  3. ACLU Massachusetts

References

  1. Cramer, Maria, “ICE arrested 7 people as they sought permanent status in Mass., R.I.,” Boston Globe, February 21, 2018. https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2018/02/21/january-ice-arrested-people-they-sought-permanent-status-mass-and-rhode-island/EE4jLM6HkytwrHDUjYpdqL/story.html?event=event12
  2. Miroff, Nick, “Hours before her collapse in U.S. custody, a dying migrant child’s condition went unnoticed,” Washington Post, December 14, 2018 https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/national-security/hours-before-her-collapse-in-us-custody-a-dying-migrant-childs-condition-went-unnoticed/2018/12/14/1c454d18-ffb8-11e8-862a-b6a6f3ce8199_story.html?utm_term=.ea0322a5b189
  3. Phillip, Abby, Hauslohner, Abigail “Trump on the future of proposed Muslim ban, registry: ‘You know my plans’,” Washington Post, December 22, 2016 https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2016/12/21/trump-on-the-future-of-proposed-muslim-ban-registry-you-know-my-plans/?utm_term=.0005486f8361
  4. Reiss, Jaclyn, “Trump’s approval rating in Massachusetts is second-lowest in the US,” Boston Globe, July 24, 2017 https://www.bostonglobe.com/news/nation/2017/07/24/trump-approval-rating-massachusetts-second-lowest/5qbFYlIph5D9Ys0kjdadrN/story.html
  5. Bill SD.926/HD.1520 An Act to protect the civil rights and safety of all Massachusetts residents https://malegislature.gov/Bills/191/SD926
  6. Engelbrecht, Cora, “Fewer Immigrants Are Reporting Domestic Abuse. Police Blame Fear of Deportation,” New York Times, June 3, 2018 https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/03/us/immigrants-houston-domestic-violence.html
  7. Parker, Claire, “Officials, residents pack State House hearing to debate immigration bill,” Boston Globe, JUNE 10, 2017 https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2017/06/09/officials-residents-pack-state-house-hearing-debate-immigration-bill/gITZCJDHf5Dnh0TeQwbuLO/story.html
  8. Cheng, Alice, Guillaume, Kristine, “Thousands Protest Immigration Order in Boston” Harvard Crimson, January 30, 2017 https://www.thecrimson.com/article/2017/1/30/boston-protests-immigration-order/
  9. Young, Colin, “After Tense Debate, Mass. Senate Adopts Safe Communities Amendment,” WBUR, May 24, 2018 https://www.wbur.org/news/2018/05/24/mass-senate-safe-communities-amendment