Last month our organization and other advocates for public safety cheered as the deadline for legislation to be reported favorably out of committee on Beacon Hill (known as Joint Rule 10 Day) came and went without advancing SB1305/HB3269, the “Safe Communities Act” or Sanctuary State Bill.
But as you probably heard in various news reports, they left-wing activist legislators don’t want this to be the end of the story, filling new “compromise” legislation that would give them 90% of what they want, while paying lip service to public safety.
Why is this bill still a threat?
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled last summer (in Lunn v. Commonwealth) that our state law does not permit officials to detain illegal immigrants solely at the request of federal immigration officials. This puts up a legal barrier to a long-running component of immigration enforcement, and may make us a defacto Sanctuary state. (Rep. Lyons and many of his colleagues filed legislation in response.)
Like so many before it, Lunn is a very controversial decision, not obvious or logical. In fact, the NY Supreme Court ruled the opposite on two recent occasions, finding that it was legal for officers to comply with ICE detainers as a form of cooperation with a fellow law enforcement agency.
Law enforcement groups are demanding action from our legislature in the wake of Lunn, and some groups have acquiesced to a terrible compromise piece of legislation that’s simply a re-drafted version of the “Safe Communities bill,” sponsored again by Sen. Eldridge and Rep. Matias.
For all of these reasons, Representatives Lyons, Lombardo, Durant, and O’Connell filed strong legislation last summer in response to the SJC decision, to fix this gap in our immigration law, and explicitly grant our state, county, and local law enforcement agencies the power to cooperate with federal authorities.
With this prolonged debate potentially heating up again, we’re asking that you take action. Please click here to send a message to your legislators today, and then share the link with friends so they can email as well.