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

    Laurie Noble

  2. 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.

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

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

  5. 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 ?

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. 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 ?

  12. 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. 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.”

  16. 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 .

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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

  20. 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

  21. 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.

  22. 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.

  23. 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


  24. 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

  25. 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.

  26. 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 ?

  27. 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.


  28. “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.

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

  30. 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. ]

  31. 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?

  32. 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.

  33. 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.

  34. 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:

  35. 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.

  36. 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.

  37. 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.

  38. 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.


  39. 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.

  40. 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.”

  41. 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

  42. 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.

  43. 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.

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