Barbara Solow: Lobbying needed for Safe Communities Act

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Tuesday, November 14, 2017
Lobbying needed for Safe Communities Act

Reports this week of an ICE raid on farmworkers in Hatfield highlight the urgent need for a statewide Safe Communities Act (“ ‘Targeted’ stop snags immigrant farmworkers,” Nov. 9).

The proposed bill (S 1305, H 3269) allows the feds to do their job, but prohibits a Muslim registry, and removes pressure on local police to carry out detentions and arrests based solely on a person’s immigration status.

The recent ICE raid in Hatfield — and one on a Holyoke factory that ended with the detention of Anival Gomez, an immigrant organizer with the Pioneer Valley Workers Center — are clearly meant to sow fear in a region where sanctuary city sentiment is strong.

A Safe Communities Act would shut down such bullying tactics, and protect due process rights for all of our state’s residents. Many legislators in our region support the bill, but Gov. Charlie Baker is opposed, and the measure is now bottled up in committee where it risks being watered down or ignored.

Let’s lobby our elected officials for passage of the Safe Communities Act — before the next raid occurs in our neighborhood or workplace.

Barbara Solow