Legislators and advocates are split over Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed bill that allows authorities to hold certain undocumented immigrants on federal detainers.
The bill, filed Tuesday, comes just days after the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that state law doesn’t currently allow state and local authorities to hold an immigrant solely to enforce immigration law.
According to a statement released by Baker Tuesday, the bill authorizes, but does not require, state and local law enforcement to honor detention requests from ICE for immigrants “who pose a threat to public safety.”
The bill focuses such efforts on immigrants convicted of serious crimes, including murder, rape, domestic violence and narcotics or human trafficking.
Any agency that wants to detain immigrants on that basis would be required to issue a policy identifying a supervisor who would initially authorize detention of people who pose a threat and have previously been convicted of one or more of the crimes listed in the proposed bill, Baker said.
Detention over 12 hours would be subject to judicial review.
A detainer is merely a request from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold an individual who has already been placed into state or local custody. The individual’s information is then sent to other state and federal agencies and if ICE notices that the person is in the country illegally, the agency can issue a detainer – a civil request to hold that person.
Area police departments said the ruling cleared up ambiguities in local immigration enforcement, but Milford and MetroWest-area legislators have differing views on the…
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