Baker bill would change state policy on immigration detainers

Governor says detainers would only be allowed for "violent and dangerous criminals"

BOSTON (AP) — Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker has proposed legislation that would allow state and local police officers to cooperate with federal immigration officials by holding people who have committed violent crimes.

The bill was filed Tuesday in response to a recent decision by the state’s highest court. The justices ruled that current Massachusetts law does not allow police and other law enforcement officers to hold individuals solely on the basis of a federal immigration detainer request.

The Republican governor says the proposal would not authorize police to enforce federal immigration law, but instead address a “statutory gap” identified by the Supreme Judicial Court.

He says the bill would allow “violent and dangerous criminals” who face deportation to be held if a valid detainer request has been issued by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

22News State House reporter Elisha Machado is covering this story, and will have reaction to the proposal tonight on 22News at 5:30.


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