Keeping Communities Safe

Original Post Text from January 2017

The events of the last few days make clear that we should expect rapid change, arbitrary harshness and continuing confusion in federal immigration policy.

That makes it essential that Massachusetts define its own clear policies as to the role of local and state criminal justice authorities in enforcing federal immigration policy. That is why I intend to sign on as a cosponsor of the “the Safe Communities Act“.

The first job of local and state governments is to keep the domestic peace. We in state and local government should, of course, generally support the work of the federal government, but should not get involved in federal work where it may conflict with local work.

In practice, making local law officers into immigration officers creates some unacceptable conflicts. If a man is abusing a woman, or if violent gangs are terrorizing a neighborhood, we want that woman or the people in that neighborhood to feel free to go the police without fear that the police will pounce on them and check their papers.

If there are many undocumented people in a community, it is especially dangerous to make the police into immigration enforcers. If everyone in the community (likely a mix of documented and undocumented) is afraid of the police, then no one will talk to the police, which, in turn, will make it impossible for the police to solve crimes and community problems.

Whatever one thinks of federal immigration policy — in every community, there is a range of views — we should not ask local police to carry the burden of enforcing it. They have more than enough to do and should not compromise their main mission which is keeping the domestic peace.

The Safe Communities Act needs public vetting as a piece of legislation. It may not do enough in some ways and may do too much in others.

We should be most concerned to separate law enforcement officers on the street from the business of immigration enforcement. The bill prohibits law enforcement officers from arresting or holding people based on immigration violations, and the latest version does attempt to go further and limit the inquiries that law enforcement officers may make as to immigration status.

It may do too much in that when a person has been lawfully arrested based on probable cause that they have committed a crime, it sharply limits the power of law enforcement to cooperate with the federal government to remove them from the community.

This might be harmful, for example, when there is overwhelming evidence that a defendant has committed a serious crime, but as a result of a procedural violation, not all the evidence can be used. Not to minimize the importance of police procedural violations – police procedures are designed to protect important rights — but today, if that defendant had an immigration problem, local law enforcement might turn him over to the federal authorities for deportation. The Safe Communities Act could prevent law enforcement from turning him over to federal authorities even if the federal authorities had lodged an immigration detainer against him – that might not be the best outcome for other immigrants who might be the likely future victims of that defendant.

We need to have a public conversation about the appropriate boundaries on the role of law enforcement in both the street context and the post-arrest context. I think the Safe Communities Act starts that conversation, so I will be pleased to cosponsor it.

Response to comments, 2/4

Thanks to all who have weighed in here. I feel supported by the strong positive response on this.

I do hear those who have strong concerns — Travis, DM, Jerome, Dee — who have engaged in multiple comments on this piece. I think it is worth emphasizing that this bill is not about defining immigration policy — that is the difficult task of the federal government. This bill is about how local law enforcement should define their jobs.

The Massachusetts Senate has spoken to some of the broader issues in this resolution.

Alert: It appears that there is a single individual operating from one Comcast network computer who is posting multiple comments on this thread under different pseudonyms — “Travis”, “William”, “Billy”.

Please contact me if you wish to take responsibility for one or more of these pseudonyms and we can clean up your message and get it out in a fair way.

Published by Will Brownsberger

Will Brownsberger is State Senator from the Second Suffolk and Middlesex District.

202 replies on “Keeping Communities Safe”

  1. I strongly urge you to cosponsor the Safe Communities Act. Thank you for your leadership.

  2. Sen. Brownsbeger

    Your decision to cosponsor the Safe Communities Act is one of moral and political courage. In these uncertain times citizens and politicians alike must defend the constitution and American values.

    thank you,
    Gabriel Camacho

  3. Sen. Brownsberger,

    I support your decision to sign on as a co-sponsor of the bill. This can hopefully serve as a positive example to the rest of the country.

  4. I agree, this starts the conversation, and while it may not be perfect, it’s something – and we desperately need that something. Thanks for co-sponsoring this.

  5. I want all members of immigrant communities to feel safe to call the police when they need to. I’m in favor of the Safe Communities Act. Thank you!

  6. I do not have an opinion on specific immigration policies at state level, But here is a suggestion. Go to the DOR and IRS and find out how much revenue Mass gains from data sharing with the Feds. If it is not much, I suggest we withdraw from that agreement. This would be jst one tool to push-back the Feds.

  7. It is comical if not pathetic to see the democratic party which cannot get enough government intervention in legal citizens life’s, become federalists. State rights now should supersede federal laws.

  8. Senator Brownsberger,

    Thank you for cosponsoring the bill, as it a step in the right direction toward galvanizing our communities against discriminatory and single-handed federal action against refugees.

    Is it possible to insert language into this bill (Safe Communities Act) that limits the contextual interaction, of ICE and Massachusetts law enforcement authorities, strictly to those already convicted of a crime? The severity (i.e. misdemeanor or felony) of the crime defines the extent of ICE access is debatable. But if such language was used, then effectively Massachusetts would be protecting *law-abiding temporary citizens* and cooperating to transfer to ICE those who are a danger to our community.

    Thank you for your efforts.

  9. If I understand this, violent criminals who are preying on their communities can be detained by police but not automatically cross-referenced with Federal Immigration lists? If a gang member comes into the MA police system he or she can’t be turned over ever? Even if convicted? Immigrants that I know have said “a lot of bad people” have come into the states along with the good. They would want protection, especially if the gang member is convicted.

  10. Excellent! Thank you for taking this initiative.

    Could we also ensure law enforcement does not inquire about religious beliefs or keep records of religious affiliations?

  11. This leads to one of two outcomes: There is no enforcement of immigration laws because there is no one to enforce them (acceptable if you believe in a borderless world). Or there will be a move to create a specialized and/or national policing agency (acceptable if you don’t believe in individual or states rights).

  12. P.S. I see lots of anecdotal evidence from interested parties in support of the idea that enforcing immigration laws cuts police off from valuable information, but very little actual evidence.

  13. How many Americans have been killed here by terrorists from those countries? Zero, isn’t it? The ban is just a way to hurt innocent people.
    We need to welcome more refugees and more immigrants, not less. I am actively working to help settle refugees here, and know that they are wonderful people who have suffered a lot.
    Please continue to support and protect immigrannts and refugees. Thank you for all you do.

    1. May I remind you that the first job of government is protecting its people. Since 9-11-01 politicians have not done a very good job in eliminating terrorists.
      This is not about religion. Irish, Italian, Portuguese and other Christians from Ireland, Italy, Portugal and other countries are not where these terrorists come from. They come from Muslim countries. Until we can figure out how to keep the bad guys out, we do not need to keep letting them all come in. Does the system need tweaking? Yes. But our Politicians haven’t done it. About time we let a civilian at least try to get it done. Extreme Jihadist call for extreme measures.
      Not all Muslims are terrorists, but you must agree that all terrorists for hundreds of years have come from Muslim countries.

      1. “…but you must agree that all terrorists for hundreds of years have come from Muslim countries.”

        This is simply not true, even under the US government’s rather narrow definition of “international terrorism.”

        For example, look at this map from the State Department’s 2000 publication “Patterns of Global Terrorism,” in which we see that MOST of the attacks of international terrorism perpetrated against the US came from South American countries, particularly Colombia.

        Here’s another map showing the number an intensity of terrorist acts over the past 45 years:

        As you can clearly see, your claim that “all terrorists for hundreds of years have come from Muslim countries” is simply false.

      2. And of course there is the example of the notorious Muslim terrorist Timothy McVeigh, who killed 168 people in Oklahoma after entering the country from … oh, right, Michigan.

    2. Enough housing in Belmont for illegals at a price they can afford?
      Enough room in schools?
      Jobs for them?
      Health care?

  14. I fully support the bill.
    We are a nation of immigrants. The police is intended to keep us safe, not to enforce harassment for political gains.

    1. Poor use of language.

      We are a nation of legal citizens, legal immigrants, and legal visitors.

      We are not a nation of anyone can walk in, swim in, tunnel in, or fly in anytime they want.

  15. I am strongly in favor of the Safe Communities Act and fully support your decision to sign on as a co-sponsor. It is not the job of local law enforcement to act as federal immigration officials. Forcing them to do so jeopardizes the willingness and ability of vulnerable individuals to report crime and thereby threatens all of our safety, regardless of immigration status.
    Thank you very much for your courageous position on this issue!

  16. Thank you for cosponsoring this bill. Protection of the community is the number one duty of local law enforcement. This includes enforcing local laws with respect to theft, violence, etc. Federal laws such as income tax violations and immigration are to be handled by Federal officials. These are my principals in this matter. Putting them into practice may not be easy to do. For instance the federal government may have information on a potential terrorist in the community. This may require a need for federal and community officials to share and act in conjunction with each other.

  17. Thank you for your email and request for our thoughts.

    I don’t want the police to become immigration officers if that’s what the act is suggesting. That scares me.

    I don’t have the time to read the whole Sage Communities Act, I’m sorry, but I am strongly against the current ban on entry of anyone from 7 countries,or any other ban for that matter.

    Charlo Maurer

  18. Thank you, Will. I read the text of the bill, and it makes me proud (once again) to live in Massachusetts. We need to be strong dealing with a maniac.

  19. Good idea, this bill. I am glad you are co-sponsoring it. Does the House agree it is needed?

    In response to your summary that it does not limit inquiries, the bill contains this provision:

    Section 41(2) No law enforcement agency shall inquire about a person’s immigration status, unless such information is required by law, or is an element in a crime for which the law enforcement agency is investigating the person.

    Does this not go far enough?

  20. Thank you for co-sponsoring a common sense tool that would facilitate policing of real, immediate threats to community safety.

  21. I completely support you in co-sponsoring this bill. Thank you, Will, for continuing to stand up for and defend the rights of all our citizens.

  22. We need to make these Executive Orders compliant with the Constitution and the Bill of rights. Any changes need to be through the established legislative process to prevent unintended consequences and this chaos experienced during the last week.
    I sup[port your proposed Safe Communities Actlegislation.

  23. Thank you, Senator Brownsberge, for opening this important conversation. I agree with the provisions of the Safe Communities Act. I think immigration status is not the purview of the police at any time in the process. Our media have shared Mr.Trump’s views, but the humane treatment of individuals is my concern. Our ancestors, with the exception of those who descended from slaves, came to this land freely and stayed, I believe in humane treatment.

  24. This is off-topic, but my son is here as an unaccompanied refugee minor (even though he is no longer a minor, he’s still here under that program). In order to collect his college benefits, he cannot become a citizen. We have been told this by multiple social workers. He was not able to vote in the last election, and will not be able to vote for many elections to come. He remains stateless. Please consider resolving the problem that unaccompanied minors in MA cannot realistically even begin to become citizens until they’re 24.

    With respect to the Safe Communities Act (SCA), obviously, we need to be able to trust and work with police and we cannot do that if we believe that they will break apart our families.

    Immigration policing is a full-time job and is considerably different than community policing. Asking community policemen to also take-on the responsibilities of immigration officials is akin to a hospital making the edict that all X-Ray techs will also draw blood because the phlebotomy dept. is overwhelmed.

    The police are not, and should not be, immigration agents.

    That much said, I agree that there is a narrow (and I hope, infrequent) problem that when a procedural violation occurs, the offender would not be removed from the community. However, I think that the police wood look to improve their ability to follow procedures rather than resting on the fall-back position that an offender could just be deported if they screw up!

  25. Will, This has my full support. I wonder if it will hold up in court if challenged by the federal government. Has anyone given an opinion on whether it falls within the constitutional rights of states to enforce such a law?

    I would fully support this as a law of the Commonwealth even if that meant it would result in a battle in the courts that we would be likely to lose. We need to stand up in this manner, asserting our “states rights” in a way I have never imagined in the past.

  26. President William Jefferson Clinton is his State of the Union address stated ” We are a nation of immigrants but we are also a nation of laws.” His comments were directed at the issue of border security and were received with a standing ovation from the democratic house and senate.

    We have established laws that need to be enforced to the letter OR the law(s) needs to be debated in congress and changed if it is the will of the people. It’s as simple as that!

    1. I completely agree, John.

      Donald Trump is bending the laws by executive order.

      But that’s not the issue in this piece — the question is who enforces immigration law. There is a federal agency for that purpose.

  27. I don’t have a good answer, but feel that it is important to define government enforcement rules and limitations. It seems desirable to have both rules (regulations) and their enforcement procedures. I wonder whether or not laws are the best place to also define which agency is to enforce the law.

    On the other hand, leaving that question unspecified and thereby putting enforcement into each community’s hands may also not be desirable.

    So perhaps after all law enforcement is best assigned to the civic body which was charged with that role in the first place, namely the local police. I come to this conclusion cautiously, but I would prefer to see a single law enforcement entity rather than several, which inevitably creates more uncertainty and confusion than we already experience.

    If the police departments of our communities were to have expanded responsibilities, then their professional training should perhaps also be expanded.

  28. Thank you for supporting this important legislature. I agree that it is imperative for community protection and interaction that everyone feel safe to talk to police. Mixing local police and immigration hinders that communication freedom.

  29. This is an excellent idea – I think too to have the input from folks who are the local police – state police – and the immigration officials and examples of what would work in the discussion – and to develop procedures and training for the entities involved – and then to include communities in learning about the act and how it would be implemented – and also to have a monitoring and reporting approach back to the community on a regular basis on how it is working – kind of a quality assusrance piece – to keep folks grounded. Ann Capoccia

  30. Please be careful, Will, because it is against Federal law to harbor an illegal alien or assist in harboring. See here:

    We have laws, Will, and you have a responsibility to US citizens. You took an oath.

    We also have immigration quotas. You think they’re too low? Come up with a new higher figure. Once you do that though, you must then acknowledge that anyone who enters illegally, above that quota, cannot stay.
    Name a figure. 10 million per year? 50 million? Does Belmont have room?

  31. Sometimes in an attempt to correct an error we go overboard and over-correct. I appreciate your reasoned approach to separation of police duties and immigration duties. Glad to have you supporting this bill.

  32. Wil
    Thank you for co sponsoring this.
    Like many citizens I have hopes
    and believe it vital to take whatever
    opportunities, in whatever places
    to raise up the “whole” of the democratic process.
    To focus on the Constitution and the legislative process comes first.
    George Kenrick
    Belmont Pct. 4

  33. It seems fairly written in terms of protecting local law enforcement, and requiring the federal government to do ‘its own work’and not depend on local to do it for them. Peter’s words say it better than I.

  34. This act has my full support. Local police should not be bound to enforcing federal agencies’ work. As a US citizen married to an immigrant, I can assure you there is enough fear and mistrust of police as it is. Local police need to be people we can trust. This act is a step in that direction.

  35. Thank you Senator Brownsberger for supporting this legislation, for explaining it, and for raising some of the issues that need to be examined. I no longer live in your district, but I continue to appreciate your thoughtful consideration of the issues we face. I support the legislation.

  36. Your summary says ” The Safe Communities Act could prevent law enforcement from turning him over to federal authorities even if the federal authorities had lodged an immigration detainer against him – that might not be the best outcome for other immigrants who might be the likely future victims of that defendant.” How often is an immigration detainer issued not because of a known criminal act but because of a suspicion of an immigration violation? My impression has been that someone turned over to immigration authorities loses many constitutional protections, not as a matter of law but because the immigration system blocks most assertions of such protections.

    tl;dr version: I support your cosponsoring this bill.

  37. Immigrants should absolutely feel secure when contacting and communicating with local police. Without this safeguard, our communities will be less united and less safe. Thank you for considering co-sponsoring this bill as a means of addressing how best to protect the rights and security of all of the inhabitants of Massachusetts in these uncertain times.

  38. There is no easy answer to this since we do need to follow both federal and state laws. I do believe though that each governing body have specific responsibilities and having our local and state law enforcement officers immigration officers is not within their scope of responsibilities. I support the Safe Communities Act.

    On a personal note, I am an immigrant who is a legal US citizen. Neither the citizens nor our local and state law enforcement are equipped to undergo legal status verification. I do not make it a daily practice to walk with my US passport to prove I am a US citizens. My husband and daughter who were born in the US do not walk with their birth certification as part of their id. Having to previously go through the process of verifying I am a citizen, it takes hours to get confirmation. Asking our local law enforcement to spend time on verifying the legal status of each individual they come across is not realistic. Random selection can be translated as profiling. Whatever the outcome, my family and I are applying for my US passport card today.

  39. Our immigration laws have been ignored. Trump wants to clamp down but hasn’t thought this one through. Think it would be best to work with the Feds and advise on how to control the influx of illegal immigrants. In Europe the rules are clear and followed. We need to be absolutely clear was the law is first, then follow through. Polly

  40. Thank you for bringing up this important piece of policy. I agree that the onus of applying federal immigration law should be on federal law enforcement and that we can improve local law enforcement by enforcing that separation. You have my support in sponsoring this bill.

  41. It is a tough balance among responsibilities of local, state, and federal law enforcement. If there could be a problem, I would err on the side of the individual’s rights. The Safe Communities Act is a good starting point. With time, it can be modified.

  42. The safe community act makes sense. It is a good beginning to the conversations we need to have on protecting civil liberties and promoting responsible law enforcement without burdening law enforcement officers.

  43. I support your cosponsorship of the Safe Communities Act. I would suggest that a person accused, even with probable cause, of a serious crime not be turned over to ICE until that person has had a trial comporting with due process and been found guilty of the crime of which he/she is accused. Our criminal law has a presumption of innocence for those accused of crime, even in the face of “overwhelming” evidence.

    1. Was thinking part 10 of the new section 41 maybe accomplishes what you want (which I agree with):

      “(10) No law enforcement agency shall provide or allow United States Department of Homeland Security agents access to booking lists or information regarding the incarceration status or release date of a person in its custody, unless such person is serving a sentence for a serious violent felony. ”

      This relates too I think to the opposing considerations the Senator raises in the end of his message. I haven’t given it a huge amount of thought, but to limit cooperation to violent offenders as determined by the same judicial process the accused non-immigrants go through strikes me as the right balance. Plus the computer programmer in me likes the efficiency / one place to fix problems aspect of there not being a separate process to determine whether enough evidence exists to brand one a violent offender for the purposes of deportation.

      Full disclosure: I’m not a citizen yet. When I become one you can count on my vote. On this issue as on so many, certain non-profits tell me to contact my representative and senators and I find you (and the federal ones often too) are one step ahead of me.

  44. What you wrote makes clear the policy conflict: federal versus state/municipalities. Thank you.

    Then, equally, do our State and Local police stop facilitating the unmarked black helicopter, army reserve staffed, USDEA raids on growing marajuana?

    I think yes in both cases.

  45. I am very glad that you are doing this. I had intended to contact you and suggest you do something of this sort. Don’t back down!!

  46. Here’s an example:
    If a person comes into this country unlawfully, is driving, and is pulled over for a driving violation. What should the police do? They can’t cite them for anything, because they don’t have a license, and they can’t cite them for no license because they aren’t in the system.
    To me it’s simple. They are arrested and given to ICE. That’s not a burden on law enforcement; because it probably makes their jobs a little easier, and us safer (at least on the road).

  47. The basic principle here–separating immigration from local law enforcement–seems sound to me, and urgent in this present climate. The exception you raise–the suspected criminal who may not be prosecuted due to technical procedural flaws–feels exotic to me, not worth crafting a legal exemption around, and I would also question using deportation in lieu of criminal justice to ‘punish’ people who can’t otherwise be criminally convicted–a slippery slide down the wrong slope.

  48. Immigration is a FEDERAL responsibility. However, if the Federal Government thinks enforcement of very controversial policies should be done by LOCAL POLICE then in effect the Federal Government seeks to FEDERALIZE State & Local Officials and States, Cities, Towns, no longer have any rights. And we then live by Executive fiat and give our democracy a pass. So no, the State needs to step in and enforce the State Right for its own policies regarding law enforcement that is largely paid for by State TAXES and State taxpayers. The Federal Government has no business trying to federalize our State Police of local police. Frankly, Mr. Trump created this mess and his orders may not even be Constitutional.

  49. I read the statute and have the following thoughts:
    (5) No officer or employee of a law enforcement agency shall continue to detain a person solely for immigration purposes or solely on the basis of a civil immigration detainer request or an administrative warrant once that person has been released from local custody.
    “civil immigration detainer request”, At this point, are the officers aware that this is an illegal immigrant? If so, are they harboring an illegal immigrant?
    “administrative warrant”, the word “warrant” makes me worried that now, the officers are somehow not following some kind of direct order, which I think would put the officer in the position of either following the Safe Communities Act or following a directive.

    In (8), if the officers are aware that the person in custody is illegal (they still might not be), wouldn’t they be harboring an illegal?

    (9) is good, we want to inform the person what is going on, but once there is a directive from the government that the person must be deported, what will happen? Are the officers supposed to harbor the illegal?

    in (10), aren’t booking lists public information? How is my local paper publishing arrest reports each week if not? Obviously, if booking lists are public information, then I don’t see how the law enforcement agency could decline the request for the booking list.

  50. The portion about law enforcement officers is appropriate, but my concern is the lack of detail concerning the qualifications and behavior of immigration officers, in addition to how many would be available nationwide and locally to perform the tasks that might be needed.

  51. I read the statute and have the following thoughts:
    (5) No officer or employee of a law enforcement agency shall continue to detain a person solely for immigration purposes or solely on the basis of a civil immigration detainer request or an administrative warrant once that person has been released from local custody.
    “civil immigration detainer request”, At this point, are the officers aware that this is an illegal immigrant? If so, are they harboring an illegal immigrant?
    “administrative warrant”, the word “warrant” makes me worried that now, the officers are somehow not following some kind of direct order, which I think would mean the officer would have to choose whether to follow the Safe Communities Act or follow a directive from the US government.

    In (8), if the officers are aware that the person in custody is illegal (and it seems they would be, since the language says “for immigration enforcement purposes”), wouldn’t they be harboring an illegal?

    Also, I’m assuming that DHS can conduct other interviews that are not related to immigration enforcement in the way they were done prior to the Act taking effectt?

    (9) is good, we want to inform the person what is going on, but once there is a directive from the government that the person must be deported, what will happen? Are the officers supposed to harbor the illegal?

    in (10), aren’t booking lists public information? How is my local paper publishing arrest reports each week if not? Obviously, if booking lists are public information, then I don’t see how the law enforcement agency could decline the request for the booking list.

  52. This is a very serious issue which needs to be addressed as soon as possible given the unsettling climate, and I am for open and honest discussion to set in place a good standard procedure that keeps a good balance of right and wrong, and safety within the community.

    I support you Will in doing the right thing with all my confidence in your good judgment
    My fear is that these executive orders are running amok with our state and city governance, and if we allow this, we will be loosing the most important freedoms we adhere to. OUR COMMUNITIES.
    Police should not be enforcing any form of illegal deportation. A crime of robbery is just that and should be handled as such. This is going to move into many gray and black areas. Hopefully our thoughtful representatives will hold all of our communities with the respect and safety in good judgement.

  53. I support this, it looks good to me.

    I don’t want people to fear to talk to local police, and I am certain that the safety “risks” of immigrants and refugees to the rest of us have been grossly inflated for political purposes (I can read mortality stats — my shower is more dangerous than “terrorists”, us crashing into each other in cars is 100x that, and my own overeating is 10x riskier than that).

  54. Good points! But there is yet another reason that our state and city law enforcement officers should not be involved in enforcing immigration matters. It is very difficult for anyone to know by looking at a person whether he/she is an American citizen. Immigration lawyers are the ones who know how to assess that and it is not always easy and quick for them to do it. Just because a person is unable to say what his/her immigration status is does not make him/her an illegal alien and that is often the case. For example, the child with an American citizen step parent used to be able to acquire citizenship through that parent — did the child know that? No. The immigration attorney working on behalf of the child would have. Therefore, the police should not be authorized to question the immigration status of a person; you cannot tell a person’s immigration status by looking at him/her or listening to his/her accent. Also, as a woman of Scandinavian heritage, it is extremely unlikely that the police would ever stop ME to question ME about my immigration status. There is no way to implement this suggested empowerment of the police in a useful manner and I think the city and state police force should perform the job it was trained to do.

  55. State and local role should always comply with the arrest of anyone who has committed any violation of the law, does not matter what type of law. Any enforcer agency, no matter State or Locals, should be charge of a DERELICTION OF DUTY if not comply or follow lawful orders or national regulations.

  56. Innocent until proven guilty. Only allow the local police to cooperate with
    immigration authorities after a person has been convicted. Allowing police to use perceived immigration status as leverage in an unproven charge is very dangerous to the integrity of our legal system.

  57. Your reasoning appears sound; I generally trust your judgement (and certainly not the current POTUS).
    We should either respect immigrants, or give it all back to Native Americans.

  58. Yes- Thank you for cosponsoring this legislation. It is extremely important. People living in the US need to be able to work with law enforcement, not hide from them.
    Kim McMaken-Marsh

  59. Enforce the law at all levels. It’s absurd that there is a litmus test as to which illegal immigrants can stay. Matt Denice is dead because of Politicians catering to Illegals and failing to enforce our laws. We have US Citizenship for a reason. We have borders for a reason. The cost of illegal immigration is great to the US economy. 62% of Americans don’t have $1000 in savings to cover a major expense so why this is even a question to debate is shameful.

  60. Thanks for providing this nuanced analysis of the Safe Communities Act. I support your support of it. I want people, regardless of their status, to feel like they can rely on their local policy. Thanks for doing what you can do at the state level to resist the negative policies of this new administration.

  61. Very glad you’re on board with this act – in order to oversee the delicate balance between enforcement authorities.

  62. Many politicians and judges caused our illegal immigration problem by not enforcing our current immigration laws. In addition, politicians enabled the illegals to receive tax funded benefits. Word of lawlessness and handouts spread very fast. Hence our present and increasing problems. Is a $20 trillion dollar debt not enough to convince us we are heading for economic collapse trying to save the world? Illegal border entry and visa overstays must stop for us to survive as a nation. U. S. Citizenship is a privilege, not a right to anyone. A country without borders is not a country and will fail. Our immigration laws protect us from illegals who are dangerous, unhealthy, and have no intention of assimilating to our culture. Failure to enforce our laws and sanctuary cities encourage illegal immigration. Where did being nice get the American Indians? As with the door to your own house, control must be maintained who enters our country. Pres. Trump will not deport law abiding illegals, but he will surely close the borders, eliminate visa overstaying, remove them from tax based assistance, have them register and initiate immigration procedures, and deport criminals. For the survival and safety of our country, these new initiatives must be supported fully. We must learn from our mistakes and the mistakes of other countries. Massachusetts laws for benefits are loopholed in that they only require residency. Residency is a very easy threshold to overcome. Our benefit laws should in addition to having residency, should also require proof of citizenship.

  63. Thank you for signing on as a cosponsor of this bill. I do not think that the bill goes too far, and you make excellent points about the conflicting responsibilities of police officers, whose primary responsibility must always be to local residents, even if they are noncitizens or undocumented.

  64. I think we (the state officials and legislative members) should not worry about wether or not the federal government can deport any state resident. Let Massachusetts law govern how we treat state residents and let the federal government control what actions it proposes to take.

    I am much more concerned by the legality of the federal government actions than I am about the few cases, within our state, where there is a procedural problem about an undocumented alien.

    I believe the majority of the non-citizens, in our state, are productive people who benefit our society rather than harming any of us.

  65. I think all of our local and state police should attend the US Holocaust Museums training for law enforcement. Unfortunately, our federal government seems to be heading in the direction of asking us to do some unthinkable things. We need to be able to keep everyone safe. And state and local law enforcement should be sources of protection not intimidation.

  66. I very much support the intent of this bill. The only time our local and state police should be handing anyone over to federal authorities for potential deportation is if they have been convicted for committing a serious crime.

    1. So you are going to wait for the police to do something until one of them hits you over the head and you’re in a coma ?
      It’ll be too late then ?

      Or like Kate Steinle walking with her father in San Francisco was shot by an illegal who the San Francisco police refused to hold for ICE.

  67. It is likely you deserve praise for your co-sponsorship of the generically named “Safe Communities Act.” After all, who opposes safe communities? Perhaps this is the best you can do legally, perhaps we can do much more. As I am not an expert in the specifics of the Act, I will need to trust you with the details. However I cannot offer you my trust or support without a clear and unequivocal statement of your opposition to Trump’s executive order and travel ban. Mayor Walsh, Congressman Capuano, and both Senators Warren and Markey have participated in rallies and spoken unequivocally in opposition and resistance to the ban. What is your position? What will you fight for?

    Like the invasion of Iraq in response to non-existent WMDs, Trump’s ban is the wrong answer to the wrong question. It is racist to scapegoat and vilify the innocent and it is unconstitutional to target Muslims. It will not and cannot make us safer. Governor Baker courts neutrality with tepid statements, but I believe history will not be kind to those who sat by waiting for the other shoe to drop. Certainly cowardly or racist politicians will not be receiving my support or vote.

    We need strong leadership now, I hope you will consider making stronger public statements of condemnation, and personal appearances at rallies in opposition to racist policies.

    1. Why is it called “The Safe Communities Act?”
      It is an immigration enforcement act. Are you implying that immigration creates unusual safety issues in our community? Do immigrants and refugees, documented or not, pose an increased threat? Is there data supporting this?
      This name can easily be construed as supporting Trump’s unsubstantiated assertions that immigrants pose an imminent threat to US Citizens.

  68. Will,
    As the son of a woman who came here as a refugee from a country where asking for papers was a horrible threat, I appreciate your thoughtful response to this. There will never be a perfect solution, but our country has been built on a purposeful bias toward the rights of the accused with the understanding that the guilty sometimes go free. Criminals should be handled in the criminal justice system and those with immigration issues in the immigration system. The crossover should probably only happen when a criminal trips up immigration status rather then the other way around.

  69. Thank you for co-sponsoring this bill. Those who violate the law will be prosecuted through the criminal justice system. That seems sufficient in terms of public safety. Intimidating ordinary citizens undermines public safety by creating mis-trust with law enforcement.

  70. Just read over this with my daughters. It’s thorough and well-written. We definitely support it. Thank you!

  71. If a individual is arrested for criminal violations separate from an immigration violation local authorities should be encouraged to work with the federal government. In the same sense if someone has a criminal warrant out by the federal government local authorities should make every effort to cooperate.
    Those with criminal violations, if allowed to continued free in our neighborhoods both in danger the residents and also give those (Trump) the excuse they need to attack the whole immigrant population.

  72. I am very glad that you are cosponsoring the bill. I believe it is critical to pass this legislation especially in light of current events. Regarding the issue you raised, I think that in a case where someone is accused of a serious crime, an accusation, is not the same as being found guilty of that crime, so I am comfortable in that regard with the way the current Safe Communities Act has been drafted. it seems like a slippery slope to begin to carve out exception areas based upon accusation rather than conviction.

  73. Definitely important to begin the conversation about implementing the best policies to protect the peace of our local communities.

  74. Immigration enforcement should be conducted by the federal government. All levels of American government should put Americans first. The American government, in all its forms, needs to protect the American citizens’ safety, jobs, homes, finances & education. That is what the government is there for. Why are so many American citizens homeless while so much of government resources is spent on foreigners?

    1. Who says “so much of the government resources is spent on foreigners?” That’s a hard number to break out, but I have not seen numbers that would establish that “foreigners” are taking up a lot of the budget at any level of government.

  75. Great Job again Will.
    Definitely the local police would not get into enforcement of federal immigration laws.
    Local police work with the community. That relationship helps keep us safe and helps us to work together.

  76. Will, I support your co-sponsorship of the act and appreciate, as ever, your thoughtful and carefully considered response to this situation.

  77. This story is from around 2010.

    Poetic Justice: Massachusetts State Rep. Mike Moran (D-Libturd) Rear-Ended by Drunk Driving Illegal Alien…

    It’s great to see a liberal Democrat receive the benefits of the illegal immigration he supports…

    BOSTON (FOX 25 / – A serious car crash involving a local lawmaker and a suspected illegal immigrant is threatening to reignite already heated debates about immigration on Beacon Hill, according to police reports obtained by FOX25.

    State Rep. Mike Moran of Brighton was rear-ended by a suspected illegal immigrant this week. The suspect was wearing a Mexican costume at the time of the crash where he slammed into Moran at 60 mph.

    The suspect, 27-year-old Isaias Naranjo, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a valid license. According to the report, when told of the serious charges he would be facing, he just laughed.

    What I remember, he was dressed in a mariachi outfit and in a drunkin’ stupor told the police that “You can’t do anything to me.” The is because Gov. DeVille Deval $10,000 Damask Drapes Patrick who also wanted $7500 per day to “push” the Olypics in Boston, would cooperate with the Feds. to round up DANGEROUS illegal aliens.


  78. Thanks, Will, once again for your explanation. I support keeping the roll of the police on community safety. They have no training and no time to be dealing with immigration issues. These issues are going to get more complicated as we go forward.

  79. Why is it called “The Safe Communities Act?”
    It is an immigration enforcement act. Are you implying that immigration creates unusual safety issues in our community? Do immigrants and refugees, documented or not, pose an increased threat? Is there data supporting this?
    This name can easily be construed as supporting Trump’s unsubstantiated assertions that immigrants pose an imminent threat to US Citizens.

  80. Thank you for cosponsering this legislation. I support it without reservation. ( i have first hand knowledge of a high school student in Massachusetts, here with a slightly older sibling, and their parents can’t return from one of the “Middle East 7”)

  81. I do think that it is something that we have to thoughtfully and carefully move forward with. I share the concerns voiced and I would add another. Having a well staffed police force is important. If we are adding new responsibilities do different towns and cities have adequate police staffing to absorb that work?

    And finally, in the current climate I would want to make sure any information gathered was not used with intent to limits individuals’ freedoms.

    1. Do you realize that if the City and the State don’t follow the Federal Law, you won’t have a “fully staffed” police force ?

      Rep. Culberson of TX will cut off Federal police funding and continue with other kinds of funding that will affect everyone’s life. He said he will also ask for a “refund” for any Federal funds already given.

      The State has already had trouble balancing the budget for the last 2 years. There were “buy outs” for State workers, hiring freezes and they canceled the “sales tax free holiday” that we usually have in August to buy our kids back to school stuff.

      So with a shortfall, will the police that are left standing, start giving out traffic tickets to make up for shortfalls ? Will you or I be stuck getting a “surchargeable” ticket leading to 6 years of $600 per year surcharge plus higher auto insurance rates ?

      This has happened before with the Feds demanding we mandate the “seatbelt” law in our State. They cut off Federal Highway Funds until we complied.

      Are you willing to sacrifice all this for a person that’s not supposed to be here ? You’d be better off donating to “Save the Children” or another charity to foreigners.

      Here’s the link to Rep. Culberson’s plan that is ready to ROLL.

  82. I support the proposal and am open to modifications which protect communities. An example is repeat charges or convictions for violent behavior would be reasonable case for deportation.

    If someone is convicted of a felony and is undocumented i am also very ok with deporting them.

  83. I agree with your support for the Safe Communities Act and compliment your decision to co-sponsor. It is an important step in putting the Commonwealth on record as opposing use of the local police as immigration enforcers, for the good reasons that you state. Particularly given the long-fought contentious nature of immigration policy at the federal level, it would be wise for our state to detach itself from the enforcement role of a policy subject to wild and unfortunate changes dependent on personalities of those in power. Overall, I support the terms of the legislation as currently drafted.

  84. Thank you , Will, for cosponsoring the SCA.
    Local police need to continue fostering trust through even more community policing rather than becoming spies for the Feds. I know too many immigrants already who would never willingly call the police or the fire department for help in times of need.

  85. Will, I support the Safe Communities Act and appreciate that you are co-sponsoring it.

    Amanda Tarbet, Allston

  86. I am fully in support of this and it is so needed at this troubled time. Thanks for getting out front on this

    Laurie Noble

  87. I support this act and am glad you are cosponsoring it.

    The situation you are concerned about, that a person who is a danger to the community but cannot be report to the ICE because procedural errors (by the police and prosecutors?) would prevent his conviction, seems to me as contrived. The police and prosecutors should be discouraged from making procedural violations, which this provision does, and if the culprit is truly a danger, it is because he either has committed other crimes or is very likely to do so in the future. Escaping punishment once due to a prosecutorial blunder doesn’t immunize the perpetrator for life for other crimes, past and future. And if there are no other crimes, past or future, then the culprit is *not* a danger.

    On the other hand, overturning the principle of “innocent until proven guilty” for allegedly illegal aliens is a bad bargain that chips away at all our rights.

  88. I too strongly support the act and am happy that you will be a cosponsor–it seems a desperately important bill.

  89. Start the conversation beefore enacting this act. Police should be allowed to protect our community.

  90. Thank you for standing up to keep America open to citizens of the world so they can build better lives and enrich ours.

    1. No one has a right to come here because they feel like it. We have procedures to follow to do it legally. We have the right to choose by quota and by the allegiance the new citizens pledge. We have to be careful we don’t let in terrorists. We should do it slowly and methodically so that the new immigrants can integrate into the new society.
      You sound like an Irish illegal the way you glowingly refer to immigrants. Are they going to greet me with a bouquet of flowers and a bottle of Jameson ?

  91. The training of law enforcement officers seldom includes empathic role playing. Right or wrong leaves little room for the nuance of the struggles endured by people seeking refuge in our country. Federal enforcement is for a real offense; seeking asylum, wanting a chance to achieve, being with your loved ones at all costs are local, social issues.

    1. You know, at one time we had factories galore. The shoe industry, wool and cotton industries among others. My friend’s mother used to sew children’s clothing at Carter’s in Canton. Her hubby worked at GM Framingham. People used to get out of high school (or not even finish high school) and go to work for a company for 20 to 30 years.

      The United States started getting too many people APPLYING for immigration so they instituted QUOTAS. Countries like Australia would not let you immigrate unless you had a “trade” or “profession” that they needed.

      We don’t have the jobs we used to have for the citizens already here. You are talking about subsidizing (paying all expenses-housing, food & Welfare) for hundreds of thousands of people for LIFE ! These people have already been categorized in Europe as “unemployable”. We can’t afford this. There was one case where a refugee in France held a mayor at knifepoint demanding a job as a lifeguard even though he couldn’t swim.

      After a war in Iraq that was based on a lie and Wall St. causing the financial collapse and the subsequent bailout, we have squandered our national treasure. The Government can’t keep printing money for everything. We have to stop putting everything on the credit card. The people that feel bad for refugees and think we can afford to pay for them think that the other guy is going to pay the bill. They are living in LaLa Land. The money is going to come out of THEIR pockets too. We are all going to suffer with less money and less services

  92. I do agree with separating the work of law enforcement officers on the street from those enforcing immigration laws. I hoped that the Safe Communities Act, since it is addressing issues related to federal immigration policy, would address discrimination against immigrants and would offer support to refugees. I would like to hear you speak out against Trump’s ban on immigration from seven predominantly Muslim countries.
    Thank you.

  93. Thanks for reponding promptly to the federal action. I am not capable of suggesting any improvements, being upset most of the time. One must start somewhere and starting with reason and respect for the rule of law is a really good idea.

  94. I will vehemently oppose this bill. Making Massachusetts a sanctuary state for illegal immigrants would be a grave mistake. It would attract many more illegals into the bay state. Massachusetts has a big spending problem. Massachusetts has a very serious welfare abuse problem. This state has very challenging budget gaps and this would make them worse. Massachusetts will lose federal funding further sinking the state into future deficits. Many cities and towns are facing very serious issues with school overcrowding and skyrocketing educational and special needs costs. Property taxes are increasing in many communities as a result. We cannot sustain continual growth of financial support for an increasingly dependent population. Increasing gang activity and drug related crimes and acts of terrorism will only continue to grow if we continue to refuse to enforce our existing federal immigration policies and laws. I am not opposed to legal immigration for anyone from anywhere. Why is it wrong to want the laws enforced?
    Senator, I doubt you see any of these issues close up and in real-time living in beautiful immune Belmont. I doubt you are overly concerned about growing tax burdens on the working people in this state. You can always vote yourself another pay raise, the rest of us cannot. You should be working to find ways to help our local law enforcement work with federal authorities to remove any individuals who threaten our safety in our communities, and not trying to hinder it.

    1. I heard they will be the highest salaried State Legislature in the country with this proposed pay hike.
      The last 2 fiscal years they had trouble balancing the budget. They had to offer State workers “buy-outs” and early retirement incentives. This COST will come back down the road to bite every citizen in Massachusetts in the butt in the future.
      Senator Rosenberg said we couldn’t afford to give a sales tax holiday to the people in August. When Sen. Rosenberg was elected President of the Senate, his partner or husband was bragging that he had all this POWER now and was ready to wheel and deal. Who does this sort of thing out in the open so overtly ? We expect it in secret after having people like Charlie Flaherty, Tom Finneran, Sal DiMasi and Robert DeLeo (the Probation Dept. scandal).
      The other 2 Governor’s, Romney and Deval Patrick raised our license, registration and inspection FEES (among other fees). Note they are FEES. They can then claim that they didn’t raise your taxes. Romney as Governor was MIA for more than half the time (the Governor needs a housing allowance ?) He didn’t care about Massachusetts and it’s people. We were just a stepping stone at his attempt to become President. Deval Patrick never shied away from any useless boondogle that wasted money. Like buying that spur railroad track going to Foxboro Stadium. No local Rep wanted it. Aren’t there only like a handful of Patriot’s games played there each year ? Mr. Kraft suppose to operate on the principle of free market capitalism not “graft”. It’s more like, I’ll give a few thousands to politicians as political conributions and get millions back in return ! Maybe we should call it “Kraft Graft” ? He also got some of the “shovel ready” public works money after the market crash in 2008. They built a pedestrian footbridge from one of Mr. Kraft’s auxiliary parking lots at Foxboro Stadium across the road. I’m sure that was a priority with all the crumbling bridges and roads in the State. I guess Deval Patrick OWED Kraft something ?
      No wonder they call us “Mass-holes”.

    2. Thanks Dm very well said he did nothing to protect my due process rights my civil rrights or forth amendment rights i suppose now that the info i shared with his office was used to protect Illegal Aliens time for him to go its clear that mmy isssu are not his concern

    3. I agree. MS 13 is already putting graffiti up the street in Belmont, they initiate their members by having them KILL or RAPE some random person. I lived in CA in the 80s and they were all around and there were places you just didn’t GO after a while. We have our own problems and expenses and a leg that just gave itself a hefty raise (ahem) so… really, MORE benefits for illegals? on my dime? No.

  95. I enthusiastically support this act. I feel we have steadily eroded the protections of the fourth amendment and I am heartened that this legislation is part of the ACLU’s agenda.

    1. Fourth amendment clear protect certain rights like your social security date of birth ect health and so-forth,if not then hhow come when i went to senator brownsberger with plenty of documents asking him to file bill S956 which would oof allowed me to sue my union for using mmy personal information to block my employmrnt in hotels here in boston senator also knows that this union controls who the hotels hire in boston documents show their for if he’s going to protect an illegal alien from having a background check huh documents proves what I’m saying then i was told that since my bill was not in the jurisdiction oof a state senator because thats a federal issue isn,t that double standard

    2. I was told state issue may be conflict with federal law,if not then i smell double standards not 1 of my issues concerning my forth amendment rights have bbeen filed by this office yet which i showed to this senators office myself and aa member of naacp explained a pattern of ffavortism of illegal aliens over afro americans proved that business here haid aa pattern of anti discrimination against aafro americans,so where is the bills at tthat protect my rights this is biased

  96. We don’t know WHO is here, WHERE they are and if they are dangerous. They could have been “deported” many times before for serious crimes. For example the death of Kate Steinle in San Francisco. ICE revealed that their records indicate that Francisco Sanchez had been previously deported five times. His criminal history includes seven prior felony convictions. He purposely went to San Francisco because it was a “Sanctuary City”. Miss Steinle was with her father walking at Pier 14 — one of the busiest tourist destinations in the city when Sanchez shot her. It turned out that police in San Francisco refused to hold this criminal for ICE.
    If I was doing something wrong the police would ask me for my info. So you are saying the police aren’t allowed to ask them questions, including citizenship ? Where does our safety come into play ? Don’t we elect politicians to represent us, not a bunch of trespassers ?

  97. I think it is of utmost importance in this day and age to sharply separate the work of our police force from that of federal immigration, and the Safe Community Act is a strong step in that direction. I for one thoroughly support you cosponsoring this legislation

  98. When its quite clear that the past administration was threatened not to do their jobs because of reprisals from folks in the statehouse law enforcement is suppose to work with federal agents to mmake sure people are not here for other purposes that’s why the marathon bombers got away with the bull sht because you folks in the statehouse want to keep your jobs

  99. Seems the statehouse has a pattrrn of protecting and encouraging Illegal Aliens aand allowing americans to compete forour jjobs dont want E_verify its clear this is political gain and purpose obama kept people on welfare while giving incentives tto business to hire illegal foreign workers where was the bill to stop that people need to look that up and ask the senator

  100. Passed this to my son in law who is a police officer in MA. His response below (written on duty @ 4AM!)
    Thank you for your work and for continually looking for ways to listen to those you are representing.

    “As a local law enforcement entity we do not enforce any immigration laws based solely on ones immigration status. We will not even inquire as to ones status unless there is a specific law enforcement reason to do so. As far as we are concerned someone’s immigration status has no bearing on how we take action as a police department. Our main objective is to enforce the laws of the commonwealth regardless of anyone’s immigration status. If someone is found guilty of a crime who is here illegally they would most likely have to deal with that issue. This would most likely be handled by the federal government ICE.

    Personally I do not want to enforce immigration status as along as people are here contributing positively to the community. If you are committing violent or drug related crimes and are here as an undocumented “alien” then I think you should face a consequence including removal from the United States. I would not agree with a bill that would provide protection to a violent offender.”

  101. Will, this is a good proposal. An undocumented alien (“UD”), under current law, remains a UD. There is no statute of limitations, there is no process to let a UD become legal. Most UDs are living exemplary lives, obeying laws, and raising children the right way. Yet, they live in constant fear of being deported–regardless of how many years they have lived in USA. It’s a problem that doesn’t get better with the passage of time. EVEN IF no more UDs arrive, there are 11 million or more UDs who only want to be good citizens of USA. Since it is impossible to deport them all, we need a process to accommodate them .

  102. If you look back on The presidencies of Obama and Carter, they initiated the same added vetting in the nation when necessary. I take offense to the term ‘additional harshness.’
    There are safety concerns that extend into the fabric of our society, and our local authorities are front line. If an illegal immigrant has committed a crime, are you suggesting that they turn a blind eye to the fact that they shouldn’t be here in the first place. It’s heartbreaking to listen to citizens who have lost someone to the actions of illegals who have a long list of violations.
    I don’t think anyone is talking about illegal immigrants who have been here for years working and assimilating into our society, but whether you are here on a visa, green card, or illegally, there has to be a vetting system in place in case the ‘reasons’ someone is on the USA has drastically changed.
    Making our nation safe comes first, and a couple of hours of inconvenience as a safety measure, is a small price. Anyone who travels consistently is detained now and again for additional screening.
    This safety measure is making a particular group implode because they are seeing their vision of open boarders go the way of the dodo, but history shows us that it initially stems from who issues the executive orders.

  103. Thanks for your thoughtful statement. Though state and local police ought not to be required to make enquiries or arrests for violations of federal immigration law, it strikes me as appropriate that if an arrest is made on other grounds, that immigration status may be determined, and a defendant held for a reasonable period of time to permit federal authorities to assume custody.

  104. Tthe other thing not mentioned is how does this senate give them selves pay raises but refuse to give other people the same pay,i mean it dont take a rocket science to do legislation and to pass bills based on zipe codes or to file bills only for those in your own neighborhood huh,on the news wbz they found a glitch in the pay raises hope people are paying attension at 5pm

  105. Senator Brown, your analysis seems reasonable. Local law enforcement should definitely not be in the business of enforcing immigration law. The issue of limiting the inquiries that officers can make is more subtle and I’m not sure where I stand there.

    1. I beg you to reconsider. Do you remember State Rep. Michael Moran getting rear ended by an illegal who was drunk, no license, leaving the scene of an accident and was dressed in a mariachi costume right here in Brighton. Rep. Moran was hit by the other car going 60 mph ! He could have been killed ! Do you really want to play Russian Roulette with your life with someone that doesn’t even belong here ? When the police caught him and told him the seriousness of the charges, ne laughed and told them “You can’t do anything to me.” He was referring to Gov. Patrick’s refusal to sign onto the Federal program to contact ICE.

      Rep. Moran started “spewing” the party’s line on illegals that it was OK. I don’t know if he had a concussion, but it was equivalent to come and hit me anytime.

      This video comes from LiveLeak.
      Massachusetts Democrat State Rep. Hit by Drunk Driving Illegal Alien Spews His Liberal Insanity About the Crash…

      Is this guy really as stupid as he sounds or is he insane?

      This is the mentality that is destroying this country…


      Massachusetts Democrat State Rep. Hit by Drunk Driving Illegal Alien Spews His Liberal Insanity About the Crash…Is this guy really as stupid as he sounds or is he insane?This is the mentality that is destroying this country…Read more at

  106. Unitarian Universalist Mass Action Network supports the Safe Communities Act. For my comment, I’d like to share this excerpt from the documentary, “The House I Live in.” The film’s focus is on the effects of the Drug War, but the “links in the chain” is an apt description of what’s happening with immigration. As the granddaughter of Armenian Genocide survivors, I’m terrified by what’s happening in this country right now.

    In the film, Richard Miller, a historian, shared these words, “Raul Hilberg wrote about the destruction of European Jews in the Holocaust. We’ve long known that the process of destruction is an undertaking step by step. I realized that there was a chain of destruction, – what he was talking about could be expressed by links in a chain.

    Around the world in more than one society people do the same things again and again, decade after decade, century after century. Now, this chain of destruction begins with a phase we can call “identification” in which a group of people is identified as a cause for problems in society. People start to perceive their fellow citizens as bad, they’re evil. They used to be worthwhile people but now all of sudden for some reason their lives are worthless.

    The second link in the chain of destruction is “ostracism” by which we learn how to hate these people; how to take their jobs away, how to make it harder for them to survive. People lose their place to live, often they’re forced into ghettos where they’re physically isolated, separate from the rest of society.

    The third link is “confiscation.” People lose their rights, civil liberties. The laws themselves change so it’s made easier for people to be stuck on the street, patted down and searched and for their property to be confiscated. Now, once you start taking people’s property away, you can start taking the people themselves away.

    And the fourth link is “concentration,” concentrate them into facilities such as prisons, camps. People lose their rights, they can’t vote anymore, have children anymore, often their labor is exploited in a very systematic form.

    The final link in the chain of destruction is “annihilation.” Now, this might be indirect, by say withholding medical care, withholding food, preventing further birth. Or it might be direct where death is inflicted, where people are deliberately killed.

    1. You are exaggerating the situation and comparing apples to oranges.

      Jews were always citizens in their own countries, though not liked. Didn’t the Turks invade Armenia and try to exterminate the people in the new captured territory ?

      These people in the USA are NOT LEGAL. They don’t belong here.

      We don’t have the jobs we once did. If an illegal can’t pay his rent, will he mug you and rob you to get the money ? Maybe even maiming or killing you !

      Americans as legal U.S. Citizens have 4th Amendment rights pertaining to searches and seizures. Illegals (not legal citizens) don’t get 4th Amendment rights.

      And where have you been about losing rights ? Geo. W. Bush began spying and recording everything we did on the pretext of security so that we weren’t attacked by terrorists again. Those 9/11 terrorists had overstayed their visas. Where were the Feds and their “extreme vetting” back then ? Condoleezza Rice was told of “chatter” that someone talked about flying a plane into a building. A flying school contacted the FBI that there were Arabs, paying cash for flying lessons and they were only interested in making the plane “take off”.

      Under Obama he intensified the spying and it took Edward Snowden to spill the beans. All the “millenials” say they don’t care. If I’m not doing anything wrong I have nothing to worry about. They can tap my phone all they want. We have already lost our right to privacy. I suggest you watch the Front Line documentary, “The United States of Secrets” (Parts 1 & 2) It/s free.

  107. I took a computer skills/writing a resume class for getting a job. I was one of 2 of the only “locally” born (Allston-Brighton) citizens. The rest of the approximately 15 students were “newly” arrived LEGAL citizens from foreign countries. After an hour we would have a coffee break and we would kibitz (chat). I brought up the subject of “illegals”. 13 out of the 15 foreign born believed it was wrong for them to come here. They did it the right way and it drew attention to them. They didn’t like the looks/feeling that people had “Are they legal or are they illegal ?”

    I see so many here on the streets now. I hardly ever see any of my old friends and neighbors.

    Someone mentioned the Old Roach Theory. If you see ONE, there’s probably 10 more. I don’t think the immigrants that did it the RIGHT WAY want to be compared to “roaches”. There is evidently a WAVE of illegals that goes beyond the stated estimates.

  108. I’ll say it again, are you willing to get hurt, lose your livelihood and/or mobility or even DIE for someone who is NOT here legally ? With greedy bosses that cheat these illegals out of even minimum wages. These people going from part time job to part time job trying to make ends meet. Getting depressed and start to drink.

    This is the Live Leak story from Fox 25 News coverage of the incident.

    Poetic Justice: Massachusetts State Rep. Mike Moran (D-Libturd) Rear-Ended by Drunk Driving Illegal Alien…

    It’s great to see a liberal Democrat receive the benefits of the illegal immigration he supports…

    BOSTON (FOX 25 / – A serious car crash involving a local lawmaker and a suspected illegal immigrant is threatening to reignite already heated debates about immigration on Beacon Hill, according to police reports obtained by FOX25.

    State Rep. Mike Moran of Brighton was rear-ended by a suspected illegal immigrant this week. The suspect was wearing a Mexican costume at the time of the crash where he slammed into Moran at 60 mph.

    The suspect, 27-year-old Isaias Naranjo, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol, leaving the scene of an accident and driving without a valid license. According to the report, when told of the serious charges he would be facing, he just laughed.

    But because of action taken by Gov. Deval Patrick, state pol


  109. You know, at one time we had factories galore. The shoe industry, wool and cotton industries among others. My friend’s mother used to sew children’s clothing at Carter’s in Canton. Her hubby worked at GM Framingham. People used to get out of high school (or not even finish high school) and go to work for a company for 20 to 30 years.

    The United States started getting too many people APPLYING for immigration so they instituted QUOTAS. Countries like Australia would not let you immigrate unless you had a “trade” or “profession” that they needed.

    We don’t have the jobs we used to have for the citizens already here. You are talking about subsidizing (paying all expenses-housing, food & Welfare) for hundreds of thousands of people for LIFE ! These people have already been categorized in Europe as “unemployable”. We can’t afford this. There was one case where a refugee in France held a mayor at knifepoint demanding a job as a lifeguard even though he couldn’t swim.

    After a war in Iraq that was based on a lie and Wall St. causing the financial collapse and the subsequent bailout, we have squandered our national treasure. The Government can’t keep printing money for everything. We have to stop putting everything on the credit card. The people that feel bad for refugees and think we can afford to pay for them. Everyone else thinks that the other guy is going to pay the bill. They are living in LaLa Land. The money is going to come out of THEIR pockets too. We are all going to suffer with less money and less services

  110. I think the Safe Communities Act is appropriate for Massachusetts at this time. You’ve presented a nicely balanced explanation. It could be tweaked for the handling of sensitive evidence post-arrest to prevent the recurrence of a Tamerlane Tsarnaev operating freely in our midst.

  111. An Illegal Alien Steals $1.6 Million of “gold flakes” off the back of a truck.

    Is that Grand Theft or is it like Bank Robbery ?

    You left out an important detail ? The man’s name. Police have identified a man, Julio Nivelo, 53 years old who is also known as David Vargas among other names. He is also committing identity fraud. How many EBT cards does he have fraudulently that the US Taxpayers are paying for ?

    He fled to Florida. Knowing the police were on his trail he then fled to Los Angeles. According to The Associated Press, Nivelo is a career thief from New Jersey and has been arrested and deported back to his home country of Ecuador on several occasions was an illegal alien !

    So he’s an “illegal alien” committing the crimes that Americans can’t be bothered with committing ?

  112. The Boston.Com Morning Show with Kim & VB asked Massachusetts Residents about
    “Mayor Walsh vows to protect immigrants” – 1-27-17

    Kim and VB are pretty objective, fair and middle of the road take questions about “illegal aliens”.

    Matthew Denice’s mother talks about the loss of her son to an illegal alien.

    This would be good to copy and listen to as a podcast.


  113. “Mayor Walsh is angry… So are the listeners” 1-26-17

    Mayor Walsh announces he’ll house illegal aliens IN City Hall (aka Sanctuary City)

    Here’s the link from the radio broadcast
    on Thursday morning on Boston?Com Morning Show about “illegal aliens”.

    You can listen, copy or read the transcript. Very informative opinions from widespread bunch of listeners.

    1. Its easy to put up a municipal building, built and paid for by citizens for their own use (not those from other countries). Doing so is a gross abuse of his position. Perhaps Mayor Walsh would prefer to house immigrants in his OWN house? Share space with his own family… I highly doubt it… nor would any of these other “pro-immigrant” contributors. Perhaps all of you supporting this bill (including you Senator) could chime in and share exactly how many immigrants and refugees you are sharing your home with? How many are you feeding from your own fridge? How many tents are set up in your own backyard? Don’t bother, I know the answer is zero because its much easier to bully everyone else into paying for your won ideology.

  114. I applaud your co-sponsoring of the Safe Communities Act, and agree that the conversation needs to begin NOW.

  115. An out-of-state story.
    A Previously Deported Illegal Alien has been Charged after Driving While Intoxicated and Having Rundown and Killed a Father of Three.

    Margarito Nava-Luna, 34, was hit by a car while walking and was left to die, investigators said. While police canvassed a neighborhood looking for the hit-and-run driver, someone reported a possible drunken driver roaming near 144th and Fort, which prompted a countywide search.

    [ “We need the police dealing with our local problems, not dealing with federal issues.” You don’t think this is taking up local resources and distracting from local policing ? ]

    Soon after, a Douglas County Sheriff’s Office deputy arrested Edwin Elvir-Palma, 28, near 134th and Camden.

    “Prior to him spotting the vehicle, he was flagged down by another motorist who said that a man had been following them and harassing her and her passenger,” Chief Deputy Tom Wheeler said. “Making every turn that she was making, and she was concerned about what was going on.”

    [ Let’s cause mayhem and terrorize local residents with ‘road rage’ while we’re at it. ]

    Police said evidence on the SUV Elvir-Palma was driving indicates the vehicle struck Nava-Luna. Elvir-Palma reportedly also had no driver’s license and is an undocumented immigrant from Honduras. Police said Elvir-Palma was tested at nearly three times the legal limit for alcohol. Elvir-Palma will probably be charged with driving under the influence and for homicide related to the fatal hit-and-run when he appears before a judge His family told KETV NewsWatch 7 that he is from Honduras and has several children in Omaha.

    [ But we can’t send him to jail or deport him ! We can’t separate or break families apart ! We’ll be paying for jail time probably until he’s old a and gray.]

    A friend of the dead man Nava-Luna, created a GoFundMe page to support the family. Those interested can donate here:

    [ This man has been separated “permanently” from his family and they’ll have to go on Welfare = meaning our taxes are going up. ]

  116. I wish to amend my previous comment to make clear that I am completely pro-immigrant. Having just scanned a number of the comments already posted, I am surprised and disturbed by the vehemence and volume of anti-immigrant sentiment reflected in so many of them. Immigration is not, nor has it ever been, a zero-sum game in this country, not with regard to jobs nor with regard to crime, nor in any other arena. The majority of violent crimes in this country are/have always been committed by citizens! And the majority of immigrants, legal or otherwise are looking for safety, work, and improved opportunities. It’s clear that we are in great need of engaging in the conversation that the Safe Communities Act will generate.
    Susan Heideman

    1. I hope you are pro “legal” immigrant ? Because I am. The stories here were not made up. They are true.

      In the past, there was a “process” one had to follow to become a citizen. People came thru Ellis Island and were checked for contagious diseases to protect the citizenry. No one had a RIGHT to just walk in and no one had a “right” to demand citizenship either. From the PBS documentary here are excerpts.

      “Most patients in the hospital or Contagious Disease Ward recovered, but some were not so lucky. More than 120,000 immigrants were sent back to their countries of origin, and during the island’s half-century of operation more than 3,500 immigrants died there.”



      “Ellis Island waylaid certain arrivals, including those likely to become public charges, such as unescorted women and children. Women could not leave Ellis Island with a man not related to them. Other detainees included stowaways, alien seamen, anarchists, Bolsheviks, criminals and those judged to be “immoral.” Approximately 20 percent of immigrants inspected at Ellis Island were temporarily detained, half for health reasons and half for legal reasons.”

      People were afraid when World War I broke out in 1914. It was after all started by a terrorist/anarchist assassinating Archduke Ferdinand and they didn’t want it to spread to our shores. Sound similar to our present time ?


      “When America entered World War I in April 1917, anti-immigration sentiment peaked. People in favor of restricting immigration judged the newcomers racially inferior, and warned of the danger of allowing a “melting pot” made up of an impoverished, criminal, radical and diseased horde.”

      The idea was to protect the people already here. After all, the hackneyed phrase seems appropriate, “Those who do not learn from the past are doomed to repeat it.”

    2. You did not cite any sources for your statement about violent crime being committed primarily by citizens, however, anyone with a brain can figure out that the only reason this may be true is because (at least for now) the vast majority of our population is made up of legal citizens. If our population were 50/50 legal citizens/illegal immigrants would your statement still be true? How many additional violent crimes are you “okay” importing?

  117. A city in California worries about losing Federal “housing” funds because of non-compliance of Federal Immigration Laws on “sanctuary cities”. Not only that, but paying back 10 years worth of Federal money already given to them ! They are jeopardizing all the people in the city. Their housing, their taxes, their police and fire departments funding.

  118. Cutting Off Federal Funds to Sanctuary Cities (to start with)

    Representative Culberson (R) Texas is familiar with the law and has the system ready to go. I heard him on the radio. He calls it “Stepping on the Air Hose”. He cuts off the Federal funds until the town or municipalities cry “uncle”. If they don’t comply he “steps on the air hose” again saying he wants all Federal funds that were previously given, to be sent back ! Repeat Steps 1 and 2 until compliance.

    I know Marty Walsh and Joe Curtatone are pro illegal immigrant and vow to remain steadfast, but I’m afraid he is no match for a Republican President, House and Senate.

    As they say, “Don’t mess with Texas.” We are ALL going to suffer from the cut off of Federal funds because the local governments are breaking the law.

  119. The costs will bankrupt this entire country sooner rather than later. We can accept the facts and begin to do something about them, or continue to ignore them and accept the end results. US National debt as of right now $19.97 Trillion!! Massachusetts current debt: $88.4 Billion! Massachusetts current spending: 90.1 Billion! MA unemployed 103,094. MA food stamp recipients 766,509.
    We just keep kicking the can down the road. Wake up people!!

    The Cost of Welfare Use
    By Immigrant and Native Households
    By Jason Richwine
    In September 2015, the Center for Immigration Studies published a landmark study of immigration and welfare use, showing that 51 percent of immigrant-headed households used at least one federal welfare program — cash, food, housing, or medical care — compared to 30 percent of native households. Following similar methodology, this new study examines the dollar cost of that welfare use.
    • The average household headed by an immigrant (legal or illegal) costs taxpayers $6,234 in federal welfare benefits, which is 41 percent higher than the $4,431 received by the average native household.
    • The average immigrant household consumes 33 percent more cash welfare, 57 percent more food assistance, and 44 percent more Medicaid dollars than the average native household. Housing costs are about the same for both groups.
    • At $8,251, households headed by immigrants from Central America and Mexico have the highest welfare costs of any sending region — 86 percent higher than the costs of native households.
    • Illegal immigrant households cost an average of $5,692 (driven largely by the presence of U.S.-born children), while legal immigrant households cost $6,378.
    • The greater consumption of welfare dollars by immigrants can be explained in large part by their lower level of education and larger number of children compared to natives. Over 24 percent of immigrant households are headed by a high school dropout, compared to just 8 percent of native households. In addition, 13 percent of immigrant households have three or more children, vs. just 6 percent of native households.

    The full study report can be viewed at the following link:

  120. Doesn’t make much sense, does it ??

    Homeless go without eating.

    Elderly go without needed medicines.

    Mentally ill go without treatment.

    Troops go without proper equipment.

    Veterans go without benefits that were promised.

    Yet we donate billions of dollars to other countries, and excessive immigration before HELPING OUR OWN FIRST.

  121. This “new” definition of “refugee” and we will pay for ALL your expenses is ludicrous. Some of these people are coming from countries that aren’t even at war ! All you have to say is that your neighbor is being MEAN to me or that I’m being OPPRESSED, gets you into the USA all expenses paid !

    Immigration lawyers have made a “cottage industry” out of the situation, giving the said refugees a “script” to read from insuring the approval process.

    See the case of the President of the World Bank and a hotel maid immigrant from African Guinea given asylum on a story that was completely fabricated.

    She accused him of rape and was then going to blackmail him. The more they investigated the rape case, they kept finding out that she had lied repeatedly about ALL her stories, including the one to get into this country. Yet we are TOLD that we “vette” every asylum seeker thoroughly.

    She was also able to make deposits of almost $100,000 in the bank within 2 years ! On a hotel maid’s salary ? And she had 5 cell phones ! How many EBT cards did she have ? People of the USA, we are being taken for as suckers. No one’s minding the store !

    I’m sick of it ! The Democrats say the sky is “blue” today and the Republicans say no, it’s “green” today. And vice versa. They are all taking corporate money trying to maintain their exclusive clubs, (Congress) while saying to hell with the peasants (us). We’re getting poorer and they’re getting richer. Bernie Sanders should have been elected, but the system was crooked.

    I don’t think any of you protestors over the weekend know ANY immigrants that were stuck in this travel red tape, unable to make it back to this country.

    It’s the Democrat/Republican thing on steroids because you hate Trump. Protesting out of extreme anger whether the policy is right or wrong. Obama did the same thing back in 2011 and not a peep. Our country is doomed.

  122. Will – I want to add my appreciation for your co-sponsorship of the Safe Communities Act. I attended the State House rally before it was filed and was impressed with the large and diverse turnout. Massachusetts must stand forward in humane protection for our immigrant populations, especially with the increasingly vicious rewriting of ICE guidelines coming from the Trump administration. I hope the House and Governor can be convinced how vital this is to maintain our Commonwealth’s values.
    Thank you.

  123. It appears that the only thing that makes ssince is for one of your family members bto become a victim of an illegal immigrant felon.
    I can’t understand the mindset of anyone wanting to protect a felon of any kind. You and those like you are only serving one segment of society. You took an oath to serve and protect all. Grow a pair and do your job

    1. JJ,

      Everyone agrees that non-citizens who commit felonies should be subject to deportation as provided by long-standing law.

      The Safe Communities Act is about limiting the involvement of local police in enforcing immigration law on a day to day basis.


  124. Dear Senator… I sent you an individual email which is below and to which you responded

    “I understand that people have different views, but I do support the bill.”

    You then referred me to your web site for your reasoning to which I am compelled to re-post my email that refutes your reasoning based on untruths: Namely, the police are being asked to enforce Federal law; they are not! Secondly, that sanctuary policies are needed to protect witnesses; again false.

    If you are concerned about safety and the primary role of government to preserve the peace, please reread my email to you, check your facts (and reasoning) straight do NOT support S. 1305.

    I am a Massachusetts voter who wants you to vote NO on S. 1305. Sanctuary cities aid violent gangs like MS-13 to boost their ranks and put innocent lives at risk. This legislation would extend these risks statewide and bring down the wrath of the Trump Administration.

    It is false for the bill’s advocates to claim that sanctuary policies are needed to protect witnesses or crime victims who are unlawfully present. They are already protected under the federal “U” visa, and there is no research that suggests crime reporting
    increases in sanctuary jurisdictions.

    It’s also false to claim Trump is making police departments enforce federal immigration law. Police are just being asked to not obstruct ICE.

    Preventing police from communicating with ICE about criminal aliens is dangerous. Police may not know what convictions or other offenses are on a person’s record, or who that person really is, unless they communicate with ICE.

    The Obama Administration acknowledged the dangers of sanctuary policies. Now, the Trump Administration will cut off millions in federal grants if you pass this bill. They have ample authority to go after Massachusetts under 8 U.S.C. Section 1373 and 8 U.S.C. Section 1324.

    This legislation presents a risk to our pocketbooks as well as our lives.

    Do not play politics with our safety and well-being.

    Vote NO on S. 1305.

  125. Dear Senator,

    I find your arguments for preventing State law enforcement from cooperating with Federal immigration officials disingenuous and entirely unconvincing. Unless you support “open borders,” then you must believe that illegal immigration is a bad thing for Massachusetts and the country. All States should do their part to assist OUR Federal government to enforce U.S. immigration laws.

    The following is part of a press release from 4/27/17 —

    “Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly announced on Wednesday the official launch of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s office for victims of illegal immigrant crime, and a program to help track the custody status of violent, illegal perpetrators.

    ICE’s Victims of Immigration Crime Engagement Office (VOICE) was created in response to President Trump’s executive order to enhance public safety, which directed the Department of Homeland Security to create an office to support victims of crimes committed by criminal aliens.

    “All crime is terrible, but these victims are unique — and often too ignored,” Kelly said on Wednesday. “They are casualties of crimes that should never have taken place — because the people who victimized them often times should not have been in the country in the first place.”

    Kelly outlined objectives of VOICE, including a “victim-centered approach” to support victims and their families, along with promoting awareness of available services to crime victims, such as the new automated service, DHS-Victim Information and Notification Exchange, which was created to help victims track the immigration custody status of those illegal alien perpetrators of crime.”

  126. Leave this issue to the USA government not town representatives
    It is more dangerous with your ideas cut off funding to this state and town
    Do you think Trump will allow this
    People should apply to come into this country legally and follow our laws
    Anti safe communities is your opinion
    All Belmont residents and senior citizens need their opinions heard

  127. Senator, your reasoning is false. This bill does not require local authorities to enforce immigration laws, only to allow ICE to do theirs. Preventing our federal government from enforcing immigration laws (currently what MA does) IS NOT beneficial for its citizens. You have an obligation to the people to pay due diligence when evaluating these bills and make the best decision for the people. This comes before your own political (or your parties’) political agenda.

  128. Im pretty sure we all said WE DO NOT SUPPORT. But you people dont listen to who pays there taxes?

  129. Good news: BLS reports 6.8% unemployment for black workers in December – lowest in 45 years. Legal and illegal immigration to the US has been most threatening to the skill and education levels of our black population. I wonder how much of the unemployment improvement is due to economic growth vs hostility towards illegal immigration? If the latter, can we Democrats espouse strict immigration policies for the sake of cohorts we typically defend?

    Regarding ‘Safe Communities Act”, can we stop using the term ‘undocumented’. It is disingenuous. The point is whether a person is in the US illegally. If I forget my drivers license before heading to work, I am undocumented. If someone is in the US illegally, they are ‘illegal’.

    We lose the trust of the ‘other side’ when we obscure these issue. Another example is trying to make TPS (TEMPORARY Protected Status) permanent.

    Back to “Safe Communities”:
    We live in a Federal system, and because Massachusetts is judged NOT to secure its drivers licenses, I have to remember to bring my passport when entering secure Federal buildings anywhere in the country. As one who flew out of Boston on 9/11 it is a hassle and embarrassment to be from a state that does not take security and citizenship seriously.

    Second, my main professional community is the law enforcement profession and that sector wishes to be left alone to make policy in this area. Local law enforcement is of course critical to enforcement of many Federal statutes. Give them the latitude to intercept actors they know to present risk.

    Third is that immigration is holding up much important work to be done, and serious problems to be addresses at the state and Federal levels. As I said in my recent Globe Letter (attached) Let’s stop talking about immigration and get back to education, the environment, criminal justice etc.

    1. Local law enforcement is of course critical to enforcement of many Federal statutes.

      Yes, but there are many others that we leave entirely to the feds. Immigration should be in that category.

      Give them the latitude to intercept actors they know to present risk.

      I agree with this, within the bounds of the constitution. At the legislative level, most recognize that there exist cases — proven high risk offenders — where cooperation with ICE is appropriate.

  130. Thank you for sending the video update on Safe Communities, outside the Facebook platform.

    It seems this legislation is at an impasse. That may be a good thing. If the issue is one of trust, it is a new day. It is President Trump’s turn. He was elected (and is moving with consensus from American electorate) to secure our borders (wall etc.), tighten immigration laws (like E-verify, end chain migration, lottery etc.), and meaningfully enforce those laws to get rid of the criminal element that is here illegally. That is the best way to restore and regain the trust of the American people.

    As for the communities of non-criminal illegals here, they should have a choice. I don’t buy the argument that these people are in the shadows and afraid of coming out.

    Our company once hosted a former Premier of a middle eastern country. He told me he was very insecure at home because of assassination attempts against him in his own country. He felt completely safe in USA however, and welcomed (was thankful for them) to be searched, to have his passport taken, to be questioned (he was once strip searched), because it demonstrated we were serious about adhering to our laws and screening out the bad guys. He has since passed away but I can imagine his reaction to sanctuary jurisdictions in this county.

    If you want to ensure greater trust and security for all, end sanctuary cities that erode our laws, create confusion and instead, encourage local police to fully support and work with/communicate and collaborate with ICE in the enforcement of our immigration laws.

  131. The heartless policies of the Trump administration cause fear and trauma for innocent children, even 5 year-olds, who do not deserve it.
    I felt obliged to calm my students by telling them that I would stand up for them. I do not know, or wish to know, the immigration status of those in my classes.
    It would be even worse if I were a law enforcement officer ordered to arrest children.
    Our neighbors who are working to give their families a path to success need our support and we need them for the work they do.
    A large majority of U.S. citizens and of Congress have a very different approach from that of the president to DACA. Trump’s statement that he loves and wants to protect DACA is belied by his holding them hostage until he gets something in return.
    Demand a clean DACA bill vote now. Stop spreading fear and hopelessness and get on with building our nation together.

  132. I am so dismayed that Governor Baker has lied and misrepresented the Safe Communities Act and has not stood up for Massachusetts families. I have repeatedly phoned his office only to be able to leave a voicemail. I with my whole heart support this small bit of comfort for families so that they know that the people of Massachusetts welcome all and support everyone’s rights.

  133. I am deeply opposed to any resolution or law that declares that Massachusetts supports illegal immigration by directing non-cooperation with federal immigration authorities. The residents of Massachusetts have always shown great respect and support of immigrants living in our communities. Nothing to my knowledge has changed that to this day. I am troubled that fringe left and special interest groups have directly influenced members of this Senate to use the Massachusetts legislation process as a political platform to advance their national agendas and exert their radical beliefs on all who live here. They do not speak for all as they so often claim that they do. They certainly do not speak for me. The continual push to pass nationally politically motivated laws onto the MA commonwealth is widening existing divisions among the people of this state. How people choose to view illegal immigration does not change the fact that it is a federal crime. Federal immigration laws play a vital role in the protection of all citizens. We are and always have been a nation of laws. To choose to be non-compliant with our laws will only lead to further lawlessness and then anarchy. I do not believe that this is the right thing to teach the youth of our communities. If people oppose any laws, then they have the right to protest and work to change them, not openly violate them. That is how our system has worked successfully since this country has come to exist. It is not the MA state senate’s responsibility or its business to debate or pass judgement on the merits of federal laws. That is the role of our elected US senators. The state senate should remain focused on the many issues and challenges facing the commonwealth that it has been elected to legislate. It should not allow itself to be influenced or distracted by anti-Trump activists. This bill is a slap in the face to the law abiding people working to gain legal citizenship in this country, and to the federal and local law enforcement trying to keep our communities at their safest. ICE agents are tasked with the difficult mission to remove dangerous criminal felons from our streets across the country. Releasing known criminals that ICE has issued immigration detainer requests for does not make our communities safer. It creates the exact opposite. These agents will then be exposed to the greater risks of making a repeat arrest out in the communities themselves rather than taking custody of a criminal that has already been apprehended. Attempting arrests of criminals within the communities is always a very high risk situation. It is the most dangerous thing a law enforcement officer must do. Not only is the law enforcement officer(s) in danger, but also are the innocent people in the vicinity while the arrest attempt is being made. Anything can happen or go fatally wrong. No federal immigration agency asks local law enforcement to perform in their role or engage on their behalf. These are the facts. Close cooperation between local and federal law enforcement in transferring custody of dangerous felons is imperative and should never be interfered with.

  134. It is very critical to distinguish the roles of law enforcement in the street context and the post-arrest context. As an immigrant myself, I do not wish any police check my paper, though I have all of them. The U.S. police are not very nice, they use fear to make people “tell the truth”. I do not want them to “test” people by threatening their immigration status, such as “if you do not tell me xx, I will hand you to ICE”. If they are not allowed to know a person’s immigration status, this particular interrogation tactic cannot work. For the post-arrest context, a real dangerous criminal should be and must be deported if the law required so, this same law applies to legal alien residents and undocumented residents. Also, I would urge all politicians and advocates, especially the ones from the left to make the distinction between documented immigrants and undocumented immigrants. Nowadays, too many people refer to undocumented immigrants as “immigrants”, which is not correct in the sense of immigration law, because “immigrants” only refer to green card holders, which do not include even international students or foreign workers. Making this distinction allows us knowing what population we are talking about since people with different status face different challenges. Besides, I read a few other people’s comments, some mentioned special interests group’s role here. I share their concerns as well, though I do not know exactly where their interests lay. I saw quite a few organizations support both Asian data disaggregation bill (which call for every government agency, including law enforcement agencies, to ask Asian people their national origin), and support safe community act (which is banning law enforcement branch of the government from asking national origin). This level of self-contradiction is very upsetting, and it makes me do not trust these advocates anymore.

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