|It's time to stand up for the immigrant community!
A hearing on the Safe Communities Act, H3573/S1401, is scheduled for Friday, January 24, at 11 a.m. in Gardner Auditorium at the State House before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. Jennifer Muroff, our specialist on immigration, will testify.
The Safe Communities Coalition, which includes LWVMA, is planning a media event at 10 a.m. immediately preceding the hearing. We are recruiting supporters to attend the hearing in shifts to ensure a crowd in the auditorium all day for what promises to be a lengthy hearing.
If you can sign up for a shift at the hearing or volunteer, please fill out this form. And if you find you can come at the last minute, no need to register, just come! Before or after you attend the hearing, be sure to stop by your legislators' offices and ask them to support this bill.
If you cannot attend the hearing, please call or email your own Senator and Representative that day, January 24, and let them know that you and the League support the Safe Communities Act and our immigrant neighbors. You can find contact information on the Legislators tab at www.malegislature.gov. To find your legislators, click here.
Please share information about the hearing with your network and on Facebook. A toolkit with information and graphics is here.
In the current climate, many immigrants in Massachusetts are unwilling to avail themselves of key services, forgoing medical treatment, 911 services, and court or police protection for fear that they or other family members will be reported to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). The
Safe Communities Act restores confidence in our public institutions by allowing our police and court officials to focus on public safety, providing clear guidance for their interactions with ICE. The bill:
- Ensures police and court officials do not inquire about immigration status unless required by law.
- Protects basic rights by ensuring that people in police custody are made aware of their rights and consent to questioning before ICE interviews.
- Creates guidelines limiting when law enforcement and court officials can notify ICE of someone's impending release from custody, such as when a charge is dismissed or a person is released on bail.
- Prevents contracts with ICE that allow county sheriffs and the Department of Corrections (DOC) to act as federal immigration agents, at taxpayers' expense.
- Requires law enforcement training on this guidance.
This email was sent to all members.