Call to Action: Support the Safe Communities Act in Brewster, Dennis and Eastham
Correction: Dennis Town Meeting is the 2nd
On April 26, the third night of Wellfleet’s town meeting, the Safe Communities Act Article was passed. It is a victory for immigrants on Cape Cod and for the members of the Cape Cod Coalition for Safe Communities whose members are working on issues that effect local immigrants. Thank you Wellfleet! Cape Cod Women for Change sees this issue as one that impacts women and families and supports any efforts to create Safe Communities, including this state legislation. More links and info about immigration at the bottom of the page.
Three more Cape town meetings with these articles are coming up next week. We need to encourage people from these towns to support their Safe Communities articles:
- Brewster – article #31, Town Meeting 5/1/17
- Eastham – article #35, Town Meeting 5/1/17
- Dennis – article #19, Town Meeting 5/2/17
There is a lot of misinformation out there generating unnecessary concerns. The best way to handle misinformation is with facts, a fact sheet from the Cape Cod Coalition is pasted below, and here as a printable pdf. If you know anyone who lives in one of these three towns, or if you are a resident, please use and share this information.
Additionally, there is a forum in Brewster, Monday April 30, that will help people better understand the issue:
April 30: Immigration : Pieces of the Puzzle
First Parish Brewster’s Alliance for Immigration is holding a forum April 30, 2:00 pm – 4:00 at their meeting house, 1969 Main St, Brewster, MA 02631 (directions) pm that will focus on stories of detained undocumented immigrants on the Cape and Islands, and local and state efforts to create safe communities.
Speakers: Representative Sarah Peake, who has sponsored state Safe Communities legislation,Collin Mickle, Esq. of the Immigration Resource Center in Hyannis, Sarah Leidel and Emily Leung, attorneys with the Justice Center of Southeast Massachusetts. Questions and Information Monica Goubaud at 541-760-5554. Downloadable poster here
SAFE COMMUNITIES VOTE YES!
A BRIEF LOOK AT “SAFE COMMUNITIES”
Background: 2003-2004, many Cape towns (including this one) adopted a resolution in response to several invasive provisions of the Patriot Act. Resolved was to protect and preserve fundamental rights: privacy, right to counsel and due process as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution. Now, again, essential human rights values are being challenged. Town Meeting’s non-binding article re-affirms the ’03-’04 resolution stressing again the civil liberties and the safety of ALL residents at this critical time.
What It Says:
1) Local resources will remain devoted to local purposes. It is unconstitutional for the federal government to assign tasks to local law enforcement, such as enforcing federal immigration laws. Local officers already have plenty to do. If they were required to execute federal duties, it could require added personnel at taxpayer expense. The execution of federal duties is solely the responsibility of federal agencies per the US Constitution, Amendment 10.
2) Personal privacy will be protected. Except in cases where there is a valid warrant, personal information of residents, visitors and workers will remain off limits to access by federal agencies.
What It Will Do:
1) Public safety will be strengthened. Why? Without fear of detention or deportation, the un-documented are more likely to come forward to report crimes, serve as witnesses, or volunteer for public service.
2) Families will not be broken apart at taxpayer expense. Children born in the U.S. of undocumented parents are legal citizens. If parents are detained or deported, their children are traumatized and likely to be assigned to the Department of Children and Families.
3) It will help to prevent individuals from unlawful search and seizure. Being in the U.S. without documentation is not a “crime;” however, unreasonable search and seizure, without a proper warrant, is a violation of the 4th Amendment. Undocumented is not synonymous with “criminal.”
4) Residents, visitors and workers of our town will know we are a town which values civil liberties.
What It Does Not Say:
1) It does NOT GRANT ASYLUM to those arrested for present or past major offenses. criminals, who are arrested and where applicable reported to federal authorities.
2) It does NOT PROHIBIT, PREVENT OR RESTRAIN federal agencies, i.e. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE), from doing their job. There is nothing in federal immigration law that requires state or local law enforcement to collaborate with ICE. The 10th amendment prohibits such coercion.
3) It does NOT EXPOSE THE TOWN TO FEDERAL FUNDING RETALIATION – Courts have ruled that it is unconstitutional for federal funds to be withheld in the absence of any violation to specific terms of that funding.
4) It does NOT COMPROMISE PUBLIC SAFETY – Rather, by promoting an atmosphere of greater trust and cooperation with local law enforcement, it results in a safer community for ALL residents.
PLEASE VOTE YES FOR SAFE COMMUNITIES
more on immigration:
National Women’s Law Center: Choosing Justice: Why We Must End Harsh Immigration Policies