Tuesday, July 25, 2017

Mass. Supreme Court : officers can ignore federal requests to detain immigrants

The Boston Globe reports:
The state’s highest court ruled Monday that under Massachusetts law, local law enforcement officials cannot hold a person who is wanted solely for immigration violations, a ruling that provides a legal basis for sanctuary cities to refuse to cooperate with federal officials.

The Supreme Judicial Court ruling is believed to be the first court decision in the country to forbid local authorities from enforcing federal immigration laws, unless the state Legislature passes a law that specifically allows it.

Republican lawmakers said Monday that they would work to do that, while advocates for immigrants said the ruling provided “much-needed clarity.”

Federal authorities have historically issued what are known as detainers — requests to their state and local counterparts to hold an immigrant who is wanted for deportation for up to 48 hours until federal agents can retrieve him or her. Some local law enforcement officials, including court officers, have historically complied. Aides for Governor Charlie Baker say that since June of 2016, State Police have held 27 people on detainers from Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. Other agencies have refused to honor the requests.
Illegals get a big victory.