Advocates gathered via Zoom Feb. 3 to promote the refiling of the Safe Communities Act. It did not pass last session but was reported favorably from the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security and was immediately refiled for the 2021-2022 state legislative session.
Sponsored by Rep. Liz Miranda, Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Ruth Balser, the Safe Communities Act limits state law enforcement’s involvement in federal immigration enforcement. Advocates consider this a part of public health policy as well as immigration policy, since so many of Massachusetts’ immigrants are essential workers during the pandemic.
“COVID-19 has underscored the impact of longstanding state and local involvement in deportations — undermining testing, treatment, contact tracing and vaccination efforts in immigrant communities, and impeding access to court and police protection,” said Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition President and CEO Eva Millona. MIRA coordinates state-level advocacy for over 130
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