LETTER: Demystifying Sanctuary Cities

A persistent fake news is being spread about what is a sanctuary city and the consequences of a city/town becoming “sanctuary”.

A few upfront comments

[1] A federal judge recently ruled that withholding federal funding from a city/town is unconstitutional if done so on the ground that the city/town labelled itself as a “sanctuary” city/town. This ruling is applicable nation-wide.

Ruling here >>> https://www.nytimes.com/2017/04/25/us/judge-blocks-trump-sanctuary-cities.html?mcubz=0

[2] MA Supreme Judicial Court ruled that “ICE Detainers” are unconstitutional in MA.

Ruling here >>> https://www.bostonglobe.com/opinion/editorials/2017/07/24/momentous-sjc-immigration-ruling-still-needs-legislative-support/nVr21OzlF8T2SvkdOcmFEL/story.html

[3] Violation of immigration law is a civil infraction – not criminal.

[4] Framingham police discontinued the 287g agreement with Department of Homeland Security. The agreement  authorizes utilizing local law enforcement as ICE agents.

Lessons learned – 287g agreement does not help law enforcement, general public safety and community policing. 287g is a lose-lose proposition.

A sanctuary city is not a city which harbors criminals or fugitives from law. There is no law which can prevent federal or local law enforcement from pursuing (with appropriate warrants) criminals and fugitives from law.  The only thing that a sanctuary city asks is that local law enforcement focuses on local law & order and not work as federal immigration law enforcement agents.

Some say we will lose federal funding if we label Framingham as a Sanctuary City – not true as per [1] above.

Some say Framingham police should cooperate with ICE in detaining people on their civil detainer request – not true as per [2] above.

Some say undocumented immigrants are criminals – not true as per [3] above.

Some say Framingham police should work as ICE agents to enforce immigration law. Not true – lessons learned in [4].

How does Sanctuary City relate to Safe Communities Act? Roughly, Sanctuary City movement is local where as Safe Community Act is state-wide.

Why do we need Safe Communities Act when a city is a “sanctuary city”? Because people cross city lines for work or otherwise.

Why do we need sanctuary cities if we have Safe Communities Act enacted?  Because regional movements strengthens state / national movements. Sanctuary city movement will expedite adoption of Safe Communities Act.

Some say we are already a “sanctuary city” – why draw attention of the federal immigration authorities by labeling our city as a sanctuary city. This is a very dangerous argument. Is the federal government stupid? They will just look at a label and take decisions? They won’t look at what a city is practicing?

See the examples set by Cambridge and Somerville. Does any one think these two cities are infested with criminals and the crime rate is increasing there?

Do what is right for Framingham. Support immigrant justice. Take a stand on controversial issues without the fear of losing something , including votes – that is the hallmark of leadership.

Dhruba Sen

Framingham Mayoral Candidate

Smart City Framingham – Innovating to better serve the tax payers.

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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