Before this legislative session ends on the 31st, we have a real opportunity in the Commonwealth to pass some of the common sense legislation that we’ve been putting off for years. In addition to the police reform bill which I posted about yesterday, the Safe Communities Act is a bill which is important in the fight for racial equality, and would improve things for immigrants in Mass, many of whom are Black or Brown. The bill would draw clear lines around the duties and responsibilities of local police departments with regard to immigration. Police could not be drafted into the service of DHS. This is important, not only for immigrants and their families, who would be able to come forward to as witnesses and report crimes without fear of being investigated, but also for police who couldn’t be burdened by the additional duty of immigration enforcement.
I have been advocating for this bill for several years now. Last year I wrote an op-ed about it for the Hingham Anchor (https://hinghamanchor.com/opinion-safe-communities-act/) That unflattering photo below is me testifying on Beacon Hill in favor of the SCA in January. It’s awful, but I like it, because it’s important.
Right now, as the legislative session comes to a close, we can call on our legislators to bring this bill to the floor for a vote. MIRA: Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition has developed a really easy tool for contacting your State Rep, State Senator, House and Senate leadership, and the Governor, in about 2 minutes. I just did it. I hope you’ll join me. https://p2a.co/8m19ABv