It was all over the news yesterday. Here’s the Globe piece, After policy shift, State Police can now detain immigrants for ICE.
And here’s my response:
As a long-time advocate for immigrant rights, I deplore Governor Baker’s policy change regarding complying with detainer requests from United States Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE). While the Obama Administration is stepping up raids on immigrant communities and has deported over two million people, Baker is directing law enforcement to spend resources to enforce punitive federal immigration policies that facilitate deportations, separating families and destroying communities.
Why does Governor Baker want the state to shoulder the additional cost of holding people without warrants at the behest of ICE? Sheriffs across the country have stopped complying with ICE detainers following several federal court rulings holding localities liable for unconstitutional holds, including a Rhode Island case, Morales vs. Chadbourne, where a United States citizen was held unconstitutionally.
Compliance with ICE detainers is not mandatory. Immigrant rights advocates have asked law enforcement not to hold anyone on ICE’s behalf without a judicial warrant or other legal justification. ICE issues detainers without probable cause, the legal standard required for an arrest. Baker’s policy will fuel suspicion in immigrant communities, discouraging cooperation with police and force law enforcement to reprioritize spending, threatening public safety as a whole.
Baker’s policy discriminates against certain categories of immigrants, denying them protection because of past contact with the criminal justice system or past orders of deportation. To protect human rights, keep families together, and avoid Fourth Amendment liability, Baker should reverse course. Massachusetts should stop complying with all immigration detainers and limit access by ICE to county jails.
There’s a whole lot more info at the Immigrant Legal Resource Center website.