SCA: When Lawmakers Won't Make Laws

 

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APRIL 1 - PRINTER FRIEINDLY - Here's more on the policies we'll be pushing via the budget process: 

These 3 provisions have broad public support, and extend critical protections to all immigrants.

ALL are from the Safe Communities Act–and are endorsed by the two MA police chief associations.

ALL comply with federal law. Federal law prohibits limiting communications between local and federal agencies about immigration status. It does not require local law enforcement to collect this information.

PRES. Trump is increasing ICE’s power, and their indiscriminate, racist, dragnet is deporting mothers, fathers, workers, students, friends, neighbors, and family, sowing terror and fear in our communities.

Massachusetts legislators literally have the power to provide some guarantees of community safety for all of us. But they have not.

Rank and file legislators will tell you all kinds of juicy insider tales as to why…. “it is Leadership…”  “it is the Governor…” “it is colleagues from “more conservative districts”...” …

Sorry, no. Our elected legislators are there to serve justice and make laws. Not to please Leadership or pre-concede to racism coming from the corner office or defer to reactionary electoral fears.

And here’s an open secret: “Leadership”’s power is responsive to the members (legislators, rank and file). If members make noise, Leadership will listen.

Legislators have power--but they have to use it. They have to get loud and insistent.

We have power--but we have to use it. We have to get loud and insist: “Legislators--use your power.”

If they do not, it may be time to make what John Lewis calls “good trouble.”  Nothing difficult was ever achieved without it.

More info on the provisions above:

  1. The current climate makes immigrants vulnerable to exploitation and crime -
    domestic violence, wage theft, housing code violations, and other offenses go unreported because of fears that contact with police will lead to deportation and separation from family members, especially children.
  2. Costly 287g agreements, a cornerstone of Trump’s expansive deportation project,
    co-opt public safety resources for immigration enforcement, and undermine  community confidence in law enforcement.
  3. Noncitizens are often unaware that they have these rights, which can have dire consequences.
    “Miranda” warnings are not constitutionally required to be given for civil immigration violations. Our jails are a major entry point into the deportation pipeline. Without these protections, people charged with minor offenses lose the right to challenge their deportation.

PRIOR UPDATES: 

MARCH 22 - We were hopeful--with all of the activism and energy and commitment from the Massachusetts electorate to resist the Trump Agenda and PROTECT our communities most vulnerable to its racist agenda--that Beacon Hill would rouse from its normal phlegmatic state. 

That the call of history and doing the right thing in response would be the massive catalyst such a timid body would need. 

Instead, we have gotten more of the same from Beacon Hill: delays, pretenses of support, and...nothing. 

And so, the Safe Communities Act, as legislation, has run out of steam... Not because of any parliamentary reason or time--but simply because of political cowardice by the Massachusetts legislature, with a super majority of Democratic members who say they want to "resist". 

But this was never about one single piece of legislation; it is about justice.

And we will keep organizing for results --real, actual, helpful policy changes--thru every means.

And this is why, though the legislation may be "dead" (not really, but you'll hear legislators say so; it's easier than saying"we do not have political courage")--we are not done.

We are gearing up to pass key provisions of the SCA legislation through the budget process.

Look for more from our organizing team soon (is your immigration reform point person plugged in? do so here!) on how you can engage your teams to make this happen (hint: overwhelming politcal pressure needed!).

Meanwhile, here's a quick overview of the pivot we're making, from LEGISLATIVE to budget advocacy: 

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