Statement by Rep. Randy Hunt of the 5th Barnstable District:
The MA state senate passed an amendment to their version of the fiscal year 2019 budget which outlaws any cooperation between MA law enforcement and U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE).
Governor Charlie Baker filed a bill to clarify the situations where coordination between the state and the feds would be allowed and, in my opinion, imperative.
The "Safe Communities" amendment would disallow cross law enforcement cooperation relative to people in Massachusetts who have ICE detainers outstanding.
Under the state senate's proposed law, people with immigration detainers who fall into the following categories would be summarily released to the street without notification of ICE. I'd love someone to defend how letting these people return to our neighborhoods makes our communities safer:
- The person has engaged in or is suspected of terrorism or espionage, or otherwise poses a danger to national security;
- The person has been convicted of an offense of which an element was active participation in a criminal street gang;
- The person has been convicted of an offense classified as a felony, other than a state or local offense for which an essential element was the person’s immigration status;
- The person has been convicted of an aggravated felony; and
- The person has been convicted of a crime of (i) domestic violence; (ii) sexual abuse or exploitation; (iii) trafficking in persons in violation of sections 50 or 51 of chapter 265 or like violations of the law of another state, the United States or a military, territorial or Indian tribal authority; (iv) drug distribution or trafficking; (vii) second or subsequent operating or driving under the influence or (viii) any other offense for which the person has been sentenced to time in custody of 180 days or more.