Protecting Immigrants and Refugees

This Friday, the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security will conduct a hearing on the Safe Communities Act, legislation I co-sponsored to protect the civil rights of all Massachusetts residents by making sure state revenues are not used to help the Trump administration deport immigrant families or create a Muslim registry.

If there's one bill I would most like to vote into law right now, it would probably be this. That's because Donald Trump and the GOP are advancing a xenophobic, Islamophobic, ignorant, hateful, racist agenda, and therefore, it is up to us — in the state legislature, in our communities, and as people — to do what we can to help protect immigrants and refugees.

Friday's public hearing will run from 10 am until 3 pm in Rooms A1/A2 at the State HouseIf you plan on attending, please click here to RSVP. 

And tonight at 6 pm, I will be participating in a discussion about the Safe Communities Act at the Cambridge Public Library (449 Broadway). The discussion will feature Liza Ryan of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition and staff from the office of Senator Jamie Eldridge, who, along with Rep. Juana Matías, are lead sponsors of the bill.

To RSVP for tonight's meeting, please click here.

Finally, here's more information about what this legislation will accomplish:

  • 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.

  • Using 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, including county officers in Bristol and Plymouth sheriff's departments.