Representative Marc Lombardo of Billerica filed HB 3371 An Act to clarify the jurisdiction of law enforcement officials on immigration issues. HB 3371 would give local law enforcement authorities the ability to detain a person for up to 48 hours, if there was probable cause to believe that the person violated federal laws, including immigration laws. The Judiciary Committee is holding a hearing on HB 3371 today!
Clarifying jurisdiction for local police is an issue that has arisen due to a Supreme Judicial Court decision in Lunn v. Commonwealth of Massachusetts in 2016 (Lunn decision) stating that local law enforcement officials may not detain individuals any longer than Massachusetts law permits. In practice, this means that local police who have arrested a person are not permitted to hold that person if he or she is a suspected illegal immigrant even if Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has issued a detainer request.
The Lunn decision even applies to deportable persons with dangerous criminal records. This is an extremely dangerous situation as we've seen. One clear instance occurred when an Uber driver Frederick Amfo, an illegal immigrant from Ghana, was arrested for allegedly raping Emily Murray in the back seat of his car on April 8, 2018. ICE issued a detainer request which was not honored. Amfo was released on bail, but fled the country. You can read the story on Fox 25 here.
Rep Lombardo's bill, HB 3371 is up for a hearing today at the State House at 1:00 pm. Please take 30 seconds to send your legislator a message today to ask him or her to support Representative Lombardo's bill, HB 3371.
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