Call to Action: Make your voice heard, contact state legislators, support safe communities!
Cape Cod Women for Change supports and endorses the Safe Communities Act!
Please contact your state reps and senators, and the governor – all info is at the bottom of this post.
From the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA):
Make your voice heard and support safe communities!
From the Boston Tea Party to the anti-slavery and marriage equality movements, Massachusetts has been a leader on civil rights. Today we need to see that kind of courage on behalf of immigrants and Muslims in our communities.
The Safe Communities Act would protect the civil rights of all state residents by making sure our tax dollars are not used to help the Trump Administration deport immigrant families or create a Muslim registry. This powerful new version of the Trust Act is sponsored by State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (S.1305) and State Rep. Juana Matías (H.3269).
Key features of the Safe Communities Act
1. Prohibits state support for any Muslim registry. Prohibits law enforcement agencies and the Registry of Motor Vehicles from allowing access to databases or records for enforcement of any federal registry program based on national origin, religion or other protected characteristics.
2. Ensures basic due process rights for immigrants detained in state and local facilities. Requires informing detainees – in a language they understand – that they have the right to decline an interview with ICE agents, and to have their own attorney present (at their own expense) if they so choose.
3. Ensures that police resources are used to fight crime, not separate families. Ensures that state, local and campus police don’t participate in federal immigration enforcement activities, including participation in inquiries, investigations, raids, arrests or detentions that are based solely on immigration status. When police become ICE agents, immigrant victims and witnesses of crime are afraid to call police, which makes us all less safe.*
4. Prohibits collaboration agreements between the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and law enforcement agencies that deputize state and local officers as immigration agents, like those recently concluded by Bristol and Plymouth counties.
5. Upholds constitutional standards. The bill puts citizens and non-citizens on equal footing with respect to law enforcement. It would not prevent police from arresting or detaining a person in the course of a criminal investigation or prosecution supported by probable cause of a crime, which is consistent with constitutional standards applicable to all people in the Commonwealth.
6. Conforms to federal law. The bill contains several provisions ensuring compliance with federal law, specifically 8 U.S.C. § 1373, which prohibits state and local governments from restricting the exchange of information about citizenship or immigration status.
* For example, immigrant state residents are historically twice as likely to be victims of domestic violence homicide than are the native born, in large part because they fear separation from children or other family members through deportation. Most MA immigrant families are “mixed status” families – which means that different members have different statuses. Most have U.S. citizen children.
• Download a factsheet for printing, plus a list of endorsing organizations
• Descargue una hoja de datos en español acerca del Safe Communities Act
• Baixar uma folha de dados em Português sobre a Safe Communities Act
• Download a detailed backgrounder on the Safe Communities Act
• See a list of legislative sponsors of the Safe Communities Act
• Sign a petition supporting the Safe Communities Act
• If your organization would like to endorse the Safe Communities Act, please fill out this form! (CCWFC endorses this legislation)
Who to contact and how:
Apparently, Governor Baker has taken a rare position on this bill, declaring before it has even started the legislative process that he will VETO it. We must contact the governor and our own legislators and tell them we want them to support this bill – ask each if they will. Get an answer. Don’t forget, the governor and all of these legislators are up for re-election in 2018.
Contact Governor Baker: Boston Office, phone: 617.725.4005, 888.870.7770 (in state), Fax: 617.727.9725, TTY: 617.727.3666 Massachusetts State House, Office of the Governor, Room 280 Boston, MA 02133
Springfield Office, Western Massachusetts Office of the Governor, State Office Building, 436 Dwight Street, Suite 300, Springfield, MA 01103, Phone: 413.784.1200
Email him (scroll down for form)
State Senators: The senators who are supporting this bill are listed here. For Cape residents, Senator Cyr is supporting the bill, but Senator deMacedo is not on the list – this is his contact information. Please report back to us, will he support the bill? How did he respond? For residents elsewhere, if your senator is not on that list, please contact him/her, you can find that information here.
State Representatives: The state reps who are supporting this bill are listed here (this list also includes state senators) For Cape and Islands residents this support falls right down party lines. Regardless of where you live in this state, if your state rep is not supporting this bill, find contact information here. Again, report back to us, you told him/her you want him to support this bill, what did he/she say?
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