Over Thirty Community Organizations, Religious Leaders and Labor Representatives Decry Gov. Charlie Baker’s Immigration Policy

Police Accountability, Racial Justice

Over Thirty Organizations, Religious Leaders and Labor Representatives Decry Massachusetts’ New Immigration Policy as Fiscally Irresponsible and Dangerous

In a letter released yesterday, the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights (LCCR) and the Massachusetts Immigrant & Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) joined more than thirty community organizations, religious leaders, and union representatives in calling upon Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker to reverse his newly-announced policy to authorize state police to engage in federal immigration enforcement. The letter describes Governor Baker’s new immigration policy as fiscally irresponsible and dangerous for public safety.

When state and local police are co-opted into federal immigration enforcement, significant costs result from diverting personnel and prolonging detainment. In an era of scarce resources, it is fiscally irresponsible for the Commonwealth to divert limited state resources to federal immigration enforcement activities.

Governor Baker’s new immigration policy is also dangerous for public safety. When state and local law enforcement become enmeshed in federal immigration enforcement, this sows deep mistrust in immigrant and minority communities and weakens public safety overall. When police officers are seen as immigration agents, victims and witnesses of crimes become reluctant to approach police for fear that this could lead to deportation for themselves or their families. This erosion of trust in law enforcement is harmful not only to immigrant communities, but to all citizens in the Commonwealth.

Governor Baker overturned the policy of his predecessor, Governor Deval Patrick, which limited state involvement in federal immigration efforts. There has been no showing that the previous policy resulted in any harm to the Commonwealth. The letter requests that Governor Baker reverse his position in light of the adverse fiscal and public safety implications of his immigration policy.

Letter to Gov. Baker re Immigration Policy FINAL