Immigrant advocates are pressing lawmakers to back legislation they say will help reduce the level of deportations in Massachusetts. Several dozen activists rallied on the steps of the Statehouse on Wednesday in favor of the bill that would instruct local law enforcement agencies not to forward information to federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials on illegal immigrants who don’t have serious criminal convictions. Sen. James Eldridge, the bill’s lead Senate sponsor, said the measure is a reaction to the federal Se Communities program, which shares arrestee fingerprints with the FBI and the Department of Homeland Security. Eldridge said most of those deported under the program from Massachusetts had no criminal convictions. He said lower level encounters with police, like traffic stops, shouldn’t end up triggering deportations.
(Originally published at Politic365.com)
Despite the fact that political winds are blowing away from Arizona-style attrition politics, some officials in that state are determined to keep their tent staked in the ground, by hook or by crook. For those living under the shadow of Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio, looking at federal immigration reform comes with a specific perspective and particular issues to be resolved. When asked what his favorite song is, Arpaio immediately snaps back, ‘My Way’ by Frank Sinatra. One can see why. Even as Congress crafts proposals to reform our immigration system, which will possibly include some form of legalization, a well-oiled deportation machine continues to churn in Arizona. Through interlocking departments, it criminalizes and deports the very people who stand to benefit from that same legislation. For such reform to be meaningful, it must improve the lives of the people of Maricopa County and reign in the immigration and law enforcement actions that were once considered rogue and now look as if they’re taking root system-wide.
Despite the fact that political winds are blowing away from Arizona-style attrition politics, some officials in that state are determined to keep their tent staked in the ground, by hook or by crook. For those living under the shadow of Maricopa County Sheriff Arpaio, looking at federal immigration reform comes with a specific perspective…
Immigrant Communities Rallied Today in Support of the TRUST Act authored by Sen. Eldridge & Rep. Sciortino
Boston, MA –
As momentum for federal immigration reform grows, Massachusetts is set to lead the nation by advancing the TRUST act, a state bill to provide immediate relief from deportations, strengthen public safety, and propel the national conversation on immigration reform towards inclusion. Specifically the bill sets a clear standard for local law enforcement agencies not to submit to burdensome requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) most often prompted by the Se Communities (S-Comm) program to detain people for deportation who have otherwise been ordered released by the courts. The bill is authored by Sen. Eldridge in the Senate and Rep. Sciortino in the House and was introduced with 34 cosponsors.
Rep. Luis V. Gutierrez (D-IL) questions ICE Director John Morton on deportations and detention at a hearing of the House Judiciary Committee on March 19, 2013. The hearing was called to look into the release of immigrants in detention, site but Rep. Gutierez explored the huge increase in deportation and detention under President Obama.