BOSTON (WWLP) – The immigration debate is heating up in Massachusetts. Pro-immigration advocates made sure their voices were heard by many on the State House steps.
Immigrants and state lawmakers rallied in the summer heat, frustrated by Governor Charlie Baker’s views on immigration. They’re in support of a bill known as the “Trust Act,” that would restrict local police from enforcing federal immigration laws unless it involves a dangerous criminal.
“The job of immigration and the job of local police enforcement should be kept separate because they’re two different distinct areas,” said Cesar Boc of Centro Presente.
Baker threatened to veto the bill if it were to reach his desk. Governor Baker believes local police should be able to use a person’s immigration status as a tool to keep communities safe. One state lawmaker argued many law-abiding undocumented immigrants are being targeted.
“They are ramping up law-abiding citizens in one way or another, to bring them and to deport them,” said State Rep. Evandro Carvalho (D-Boston).
Governor Charlie Baker told 22News Tuesday that he’s against statewide immigration legislation. Centro Presente Executive Director Patricia Montes said, “he has to take responsibility too. He is the governor of the state of Massachusetts and here in the state of Massachusetts we also have people who do not have documents and he also needs to take care of them.”
Activists hope lawmakers will tackle the issue after they return from August recess.
Baker traveled to the state of Ohio Tuesday to bring his daughter to college.