We Must Defend the Safe Communities Act

Late last year, voters received mailers from the Mass Fiscal Alliance directly attacking the Safe Communities Act (S.1305). These mailers were misleading, inaccurate, and solely designed to provoke backlash against the Safe Communities Act and the Commonwealth’s undocumented immigrant population.

In light of these deceitful and deeply disturbing mailers, I felt the need to clear up any confusion with regards to the intent of and provisions included in the Safe Communities Act. First and foremost, nothing in the Act offers protection or immunity to criminals. This is perhaps the biggest misconception about the bill and cannot be overstated. Instead of providing “sanctuary” to criminals as many have wrongfully argued, the bill instead explicitly permits police to arrest or detain a person in the course of a criminal investigation or prosecution when supported by probable cause that the person has committed a crime.

In addition, the Safe Communities Act would: (1) ensure that local law enforcement resources are used to fight crime, not to assist federal immigration enforcement; (2) prohibit state support for any federal registry program based on national origin or other protected characteristics, such as a “Muslim registry”; and (3) guarantee basic due process rights for immigrants detained in state and local facilities.

We cannot stand by while those who wish to tear us apart spew xenophobic hatred and lies against our immigrant residents. It is our duty as Americans who love our country and believe in its core values of justice, respect, and opportunity for all to fight the kind of hate and lies that organizations like Mass Fiscal Alliance knowingly perpetrate. The Safe Communities Act aims to do that in a small, but meaningful way.

I’m very proud to support and co-sponsor the Safe Communities Act and I hope the Legislature acts on it this session. To learn more about the bill, I invite you to visit https://www.miracoalition.org/safe-communities.