Massachusetts Lawmakers Refile "Safe Communities Act" On Beacon Hill

BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — A coalition of Massachusetts lawmakers are introducing the Safe Communities Act to Beacon Hill for the eighth year in a row.

The bill would prohibit police and courts in Massachusetts from asking anyone about their immigration status when an unrelated matter is involved.

In a virtual press conference on Tuesday, Massachusetts State Senator Jamie Eldridge of Acton proposed that the measure is good for society as a whole. The bill is co-sponsored by Eldrige, along with Representative Ruth Balser of Newton and Representative Liz Miranda of Boston.

“[To] ensure that everyone can seek medical care, emergency assistance [and] protection without the fear of deportation,” Eldridge said. "There is no reason that someone who is pulled over by a police officer in a car or interacting in a court has to be asked about their immigration status."

The bill made it out of committee for the first time during the last legislative session, but did not advance beyond that for passage.

"Just as the new administration in Washington is taking steps to make the United States a more welcoming home for immigrants and refugees, so, too, we are proposing the Safe Communities Act to send the same message about Massachusetts,” Balser said in a press release. “By making clear that immigration enforcement is a federal responsibility, and by ending local and state involvement, we will ensure that the people of Massachusetts will feel safe turning to local law enforcement and health care resources when necessary."

Governor Baker has said he opposes the bill. More information about the Safe Communities Act can be found here.

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Written by Rachel Armany

Photo: Getty Images

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