Boston to limit detentions of immigrants

Boston Trust Act passed City Council unanimously

FILE - In this June 25, 2014 file photo, a group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are stopped in Granjeno, Texas. Many of the immigrants recently flooding the nation’s southern border say they’re fleeing violent gangs in Central America. These gangs were a byproduct of U.S. immigration and Cold War policies, specifically growing from the increase in deportations in the 1990s. With weak dysfunctional governments at home, U.S. street gang culture easily took hold and flourished in these countries. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
FILE - In this June 25, 2014 file photo, a group of immigrants from Honduras and El Salvador who crossed the U.S.-Mexico border illegally are stopped in Granjeno, Texas. Many of the immigrants recently flooding the nation’s southern border say they’re fleeing violent gangs in Central America. These gangs were a byproduct of U.S. immigration and Cold War policies, specifically growing from the increase in deportations in the 1990s. With weak dysfunctional governments at home, U.S. street gang culture easily took hold and flourished in these countries. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

BOSTON (AP) — Boston has joined a growing number of cities that won’t hold immigrants suspected of being in the U.S. illegally for possible deportation unless a criminal warrant has been issued for that person’s arrest.

The city council on Wednesday unanimously passed the so-called Boston Trust Act.

Through a spokeswoman, Mayor Martin Walsh reiterated his support for the ordinance, which advocates say will improve relations between local law enforcement and immigrants wary of reporting crimes for fear of deportation.

The measure was proposed by councilor Josh Zakim. He says federal court rulings have questioned the constitutionality of detaining immigrants.

Critics say the measure reduces cooperation and information sharing between local and federal law enforcement.

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