Take Action on the Safe Communities Act

What the Safe Communities Act IS

What is the Safe Communities Act?

The Safe Communities Act will protect the civil rights of all state residents by ensuring our tax dollars are not used to help the Trump Administration deport immigrant families. This powerful new version of the Trust Act, sponsored by State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (S.1401) and State Reps. Ruth Balser and Liz Miranda (H.3573), does the following:

  • Prohibits law enforcement from asking about immigration status unless required by law (so that immigrants are not afraid to call 911 in the case of domestic violence, wage theft, etc.)
  • Guarantees basic due process rights for people detained in state and local facilities for civil immigration violations.
  • Limits notifications to ICE by barring police, court officers, and jail officials from notifying ICE that someone is about to be released
  • Prohibits 287(g) agreements, which allow state and county personnel to act as federal immigration agents, at state taxpayers’ expense
  • Provides crucial training and accountability

Reasons to support the Safe Communities Act

  • We believe that civil rights of all should be respected, including in the enforcement of immigration law.
  • We believe ALL immigrants are welcome in our community.
  • THIS IS AN ACTION WE CAN TAKE to defy unjust policies and not collaborate with Trump.
  • Trump’s hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric has produced a climate of fear among the undocumented, to the point that some are avoiding sending their children to school or going to the doctor. The Act will reduce this fear, by sending a clear signal that peaceful, productive residents are welcome in our community, regardless of immigration status.
  • It will protect minorities: When local law enforcement is involved with enforcing immigration law, racial profiling is likely. This harms not only the undocumented, but all people of color, who become potential targets for arrest, because they might “look” undocumented.
  • It will keep the economy strong: Deportations disrupt the economy by depleting the workforce and pushing the undocumented into the underground economy.
  • Cooperating with Trump’s orders would cost us money, both from the extra duties and expensive lawsuits over violation of due process.
  • Half of ICE’s deportations are of undocumented who have no criminal record or those arrested with minor crimes (mostly breaking immigration or traffic laws). Trump and Governor Baker have tried to portray the deportations as only targeting dangerous criminals, but this is flat-out not true. 
  • Many undocumented families have a way to gain legal status, but are deported before they get the chance.

Why is it called the “Safe Communities Act”?

Because it will make our communities safer, for immigrants and for everyone. Without it, the police will not be a source of help and protection, but of fear. When people do not trust the police, they are less likely to report information about crimes, making it harder for law enforcement to take criminals off the streets.

What the Safe Communities Act is NOT

 Will dangerous criminals be released without punishment because of Safe Communities?

No. The Act merely provides some due process protections for all residents. Those who are deemed a threat to public safety will not be released, just like under current law. Law enforcement will still be able to work with ICE to make arrests and detain people, as long as a judge issues a warrant. The Act was carefully crafted to allow law enforcement to go after criminals, while still respecting the civil rights of everyone. 

Will Safe Communities cause an increase in crime?

Absolutely not! There are already plenty of sanctuary jurisdictions across the nation, and studies have found that sanctuary jurisdictions are actually safer than comparable non-sanctuary jurisdictions. 

Won't Trump cut off funding to sanctuary jurisdictions?

Trump has ordered that federal funds be withheld from sanctuary jurisdictions, but he probably doesn’t have this power. Its constitutionality is being challenged in court, and a federal courts have ruled against him several times already. So it looks like the threat to cut funding is an empty one.

And, the "Sanctuary" status that they would like to punish is VERY specific, and Safe Communities does not conform to those features. So, there's zero worry here. 

 

How YOU can help

1. Call your state rep and state senator. Your legislators need to hear from YOU. Find their contact info, and whether or not they're already a supporter, at scorecard.progressivemass.com. We need to neutralize opponents, convert the undecideds into supporters, and the supporters into champions.

2. When making your call, use some of our reasons above, or customize your call as you best see fit.

3. Show up at the hearing on Friday at 11 am in Gardner Auditorium.

4. Submit testimony to the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.

5. Tell your friends! Can you forward this page to at least 5 of your friends?

6. Join Progressive Massachusetts to grow the community of activists!

 

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