Safe Communities Act Hearing

MA State House
Boston Workmen's Circle is proud to endorse the Safe Communities Act, a critical piece of legislation that would protect the civil rights of all state residents by making sure our tax dollars are not used to deport immigrant families or create a Muslim registry. 
Our Immigrant Justice & Sanctuary Committee is turning out BWC members to support the bill's hearing before the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security at the State House on Friday, June 9th from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. (or later)! 
Trump supporters are organizing across the state, so we're mobilizing our networks rooted in the values of Jewish social justice to come out in large numbers for this hearing and encourage you to do the same! 
Can you join us on June 9th? BWC members will be meeting at the General Hooker (front) entrance to the State House at 9:45 AMContact Liz if you have any questions. 
Take Action - Testify or attend the hearing June 9th
Members of the BWC Immigrant Justice & Sanctuary Committee 
meet with Senator Cynthia Creem about the Safe Communities Act
The Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) seeks compelling testimony and support to educate the Joint Committee about the impact that Trump's aggressive enforcement and rhetoric are having on the ground, driving immigrants away from seeking public services and assistance, including public school, healthcare, and police assistance. Written testimony is also needed. 
Arrive by 9:15 a.m. to sign up as an individual or a panel (3 or 4 people testifying together - sign all your names together). Expect to wait in line - it's first come, first serve. Three minute maximum per person.


IF YOU ARE UNABLE OR DON'T WANT TO TESTIFY it's critical that you come to show your support. Plan to stay all day if you can. If the hearing room is full, use that time to visit your legislators. Find out who your representatives are here. No signs allowed in the building, but MIRA will have stickers to wear inside.




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.