FILE – In this July 8, 2019, file photo, a U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officer looks on during an operation in Escondido, Calif. Advocacy groups and unions are pressuring Marriott, MGM and others not to house migrants who have been arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents. But the U.S. government says it sometimes needs bed space, and if hotels don’t help it might have to split up families. (AP Photo/Gregory Bull, File)
On Wednesday, Boston doubled down on its commitment to oppose the federal government, further positioning itself as a haven for those in the country illegally.
The city council voted unanimously to update its half-decade-old Trust Act, which limits the ability of law enforcement to cooperate with Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
Previously, it restricted police from holding illegal immigrants based on ICE detainers.
But the new plan also bars cops from sharing information with ICE’s enforcement division.
In fact, as reported by The Daily Caller, “Besides an exception for illegal aliens accused of heinous crimes, the updated rules prohibit Boston police from working with ICE in almost any capacity.”
New amendments require Boston PD to provide annual reports listing the number of ICE retainers received and the number of individuals turned over, along with reasons for those custodial transfers.
Marty Walsh, mayor of the “Pahk the cah at Hahvahd yahd” capital, assured everyone this has nothing to do with “taking powers away from the police.” It’s simply, rather, about balance.
Here’s what he told the Boston Herald:
“We want to make sure it’s a good balancing act. It allows the opportunity for people who are immigrants in this city to feel protected and safe, but it also allows our police department to do the job they need to do to keep us safe.”
Of course, the council’s actions have no effect on immigrants, who are those coming into the country via its immigration system. The changes solely impact any who have bypassed immigration and entered by other means.
Marcos Charles, — who heads up Beantown’s ICE office — sees it a tad differently than Marty, as he relayed to the Dally Caller News Foundation:
“This is a public safety issue, not a political issue. It’s only common sense that ICE be able to take custody of criminal aliens in a secure environment such as a jail, instead of sending officers out to attempt the often dangerous task of arresting criminal aliens in residential communities.”
In case you’re wondering how it works, when local cops bring in an illegal immigrant, ICE lodges a request that the PD hold the individual for no more than 48 hours — enough time for them to show up and obtain custody.
But 2014’s Trust Act squashed that.
Hence, war between entities.
More from TDC:
ICE’s Enforcement and Removal Operations division, for example, launched a sweeping operation in September that specifically targeted jurisdictions in New England that refuse to cooperate with their agency. The enforcement action resulted in the arrest of 80 aliens who were violating U.S. immigration laws. Of those arrested, more than 60 were convicted criminals or had pending criminal charges — highlighting ICE’s priority of criminal illegal aliens.
So which is it? Are sanctuary policies more or less safe?
Marcos lamented the release of criminals:
“In jurisdictions where local authorities choose to willingly release criminal offenders back onto the community rather than to ICE custody, the agency has no choice but to send ICE officers into those communities to arrest those individuals that could have been taken into custody at local jails. This increases the likelihood of other removable aliens being encountered as well.”
The council update comes on the heels of a monumental discovery earlier this year: The ACLU got hold of documents proving a particular officer had been BPD’s liaison to ICE for years, and that the department was still working with immigration enforcement.
They put the kibosh on that — the cop was removed from the position, and the city council nipped it in the bud with amendments widening the divide between federal and local law enforcement.
This seems to me a bad idea. I would think there’s much to be gained from our various law enforcement agencies working together, in general.
Subsequently, I’d say we’re losing a lot from cities’ revolt against the Trump administration and anything trickling down from it.
We’re not safer when the institutions created to keep us that way fragment over politics.
But what kind of politics is it? Is it principle or partisanship? Am I wrong — is it not about the President? What do you think — once Trump is out of office, will deep-blue states realign with the government where law enforcement is concerned? Let us all know in the Comments section.
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