The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police Association and the Major City Police Chiefs Association sent a letter to state legislators asking them to support Gov. Charlie Baker’s “commonsense” bill that would allow the police to honor ICE detainer requests. The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled last month that holding people beyond their jail sentence, even for an ICE detainer, violated state law.
When ICE issues a detainer request it asks jails to hold a criminal alien for up to 48 hours after they have completed their sentence so that immigration agents can get there and take the suspect into custody. The Massachusetts court ruled that this amounted to a new arrest for a civil violation, which is not permitted under state law.
Gov. Charlie Baker responded to this verdict by introducing a bill that specifically gives the police the power to honor ICE detainers for certain categories of criminal aliens.
In the letter the police chiefs wrote, “This change will enhance public safety in our respective communities by preventing these dangerous criminals from being released back into our cities and towns to potentially commit further crimes.”
The chiefs agree that this bill would fix this “gap” created by the court ruling.
“While we are in agreement that civil immigration enforcement is primarily a federal law enforcement responsibility which should be decoupled from state and local police enforcement priorities, we remain steadfast in our commitment as officers sworn to protect and serve the public that we should be utilizing every strategic resource at our disposal to optimize and enhance the safety and security of our communities within legal boundaries,” they wrote.
The bill is currently pending in the state legislature’s Judiciary Committee. The letter was sent to the co-chairs of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary Sen. William Brownsberger and Rep. Claire Cronin.
Read more on this story at The Daily Caller.
Updated: Thu, Sep 7th 2017 @ 11:35am EDT