Recently, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court voted to uphold the state’s status as a sanctuary state. A sanctuary state is one in which U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers cannot detain and deport undocumented residents simply for being in the country illegally. Many viewed this ruling a victory, but Governor Charlie Baker has other thoughts.
The Proposed Legislation
Several weeks ago, Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker introduced proposed legislation that would allow ICE agents to detain undocumented residents for up to twelve hours if they are suspected of committing a violent crime or of being dangerous. If it passes, suspects already held in police custody may be detained for immigration offenses at the request of ICE agents, whether they are convicted on charges or not.
Supporters of the new legislation argue that it will keep dangerous people off the streets and get them out of the United States. Critics say that the new legislation unfairly targets foreigners who have not caused any problems and makes them vulnerable to increasingly aggressive deportation efforts by ICE agents. Opponents also argue the Governor is overstepping his authority to reverse the recent Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court’s decision.
Know Where to Turn
It is yet to be seen if this new bill will get the clearance it needs to become law. Thomas Whitney Attorney at Law provides trustworthy and effective criminal defense to people in Amherst and the surrounding areas. If you have been accused of committing a crime and fear deportation, contact our office today at (413) 256-6234 to speak with an accomplished attorney.