The following is a statement from Middlesex Sheriff Peter J. Koutoujian, Boston Police Commissioner William Evans, Chelsea Police Chief Brian Kyes, Somerville Police Chief David Fallon and Framingham Police Chief Kenneth Ferguson:
Today we join with colleagues from across the country asking Congress to support legislation allowing “young people brought to the United States as children – to remain in the United States and continue contributing to our communities and our nation.”
Individuals previously protected under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program have graduated from our schools and have honorably served our nation in the armed forces. Their stories are inspirational and they are as much members of our communities as we are. We believe they deserve the clarity that can only come with federal legislative action.
A clear and consistent federal immigration policy benefits not only these young men and women as individuals, but our communities as a whole.
We urge Congress to act quickly to find an effective solution to protect these individuals – the vast majority of whom know no other home than the United States.
The full letter submitted to Congress is published below.
As law enforcement leaders who support commonsense immigration reforms to ensure the protection of our communities, we write to express our support for a bipartisan legislative solution to allow Dreamers – young people brought to the United States as children – to remain in the United States and continue contributing to our communities and our nation. With the announcement of the end of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), we believe it is essential for Congress to work across party lines to find a solution to protect these young people.
Our support for a legislative solution for Dreamers is consistent with our longstanding support for bipartisan reform of our immigration system. We support measures allowing law-abiding people to feel safe and secure in their communities, which reinforce trust and cooperation with state and local law enforcement. Beyond the significant contributions Dreamers make to our communities, we are concerned that, absent action by Congress, the Dreamer population will be driven back into the shadows and be hesitant to report crimes or cooperate with investigations.
Such an outcome would risk undermining community safety. When Dreamers, and all immigrants, feel safe engaging with local police, all of our communities are safer.
We have seen members of Congress from both sides of the aisle express support for young people who will be affected by the end of DACA, which suggests that there is significant
bipartisan support for a legislation solution. These statements are encouraging, suggesting that Congress has the opportunity to move forward constructively on immigration. We have also been encouraged by President Trump’s comments in support of a legislative solution to protect Dreamers. It is our hope that Congress move expeditiously to enact legislation to protect Dreamers.
In addition, we hope that such bipartisan action on Dreamers can pave the way for additional bipartisan legislation to broadly fix other aspects of our immigration system, including proposals to secure our borders, reform outdated visa programs, and to provide otherwise law-abiding immigrants with avenues to achieve earned legalization. As law enforcement leaders, we urge Congress to work on a bipartisan basis to find a solution to protect Dreamers and keep them in the U.S. We believe such bipartisan cooperation could pave the way for additional, future work aimed toward fixing our broken immigration system.
We urge Congress to pass a solution to help the Dreamers and pursue reforms that allow law enforcement agencies to build community trust and protect public safety.