The Latest: Gov. Baker working on immigration detainer bill
Jul. 26, 2017
BOSTON (AP) — The Latest on reaction to a court ruling forbidding police from holding individuals based solely on a federal immigration detainer (all times local):
Republican Gov. Charlie Baker is working on a bill in response to a court ruling that forbids police officers from holding a person based solely on a federal immigration detainer request.
Lizzy Guyton, the governor's communication director, says state police will continue to cooperate with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement by notifying ICE of the arrest and impending release of criminals sought by federal authorities.
Guyton also says the administration is "currently exploring legislative options that will give formal legal authority to the state police to further cooperate with ICE by detaining individuals convicted of violent crimes such as murder or rape when ICE is unable to respond immediately to take them into custody."
Guyton says Baker doesn't support Massachusetts becoming a sanctuary state.
Republicans are urging the Democratic-controlled Legislature to quickly change a Massachusetts law, which a court ruled forbids police officers from holding a person solely on the basis of a federal immigration detainer.
Immigration activists repeatedly interrupted the House GOP lawmakers with chants of "keep hate out of our state" during Wednesday's Statehouse news conference to discuss the bill they filed after Monday's ruling by the state's highest court.
The measure would give police officers the power to arrest and detain, without a warrant, an individual suspected by the federal government of being in the U.S. illegally.
Andover Republican James Lyons said the bill would help keep Massachusetts residents safe.
Patricia Montes, head of the group Centro Presente, accused the legislators of "criminalizing the immigrant community."