Action Call: Safe Communities Call Script

Urge your Senator/Representative to support the Safe Communities act, sponsored by Senator Jamie Eldridge (S. 1305) and Representative Juana Matías (H. 3269). This bill would protect the civil rights of all state residents by making sure our tax dollars are not used to help the Trump administration deport immigrants and create a Muslim registry.

Before You Call

Know your REP and SEN names and phone number.  (save their contacts for next time!) Give yourself about 10 minutes for both your calls. (Probably less if you leave messages, which is likely at this time of year.)

  • Elizabeth Warren – (202) 224-4543
  • Ed Markey – (202) 224-2742
  • Niki Tsongas – (202) 225-3411

Find out if your legislators are cosponsors of the bill. (This list may have been updated since its publication.):

Sample call script:

“Good morning/afternoon. My name is __________. I’m a constituent of Senator/Representative [name] and I live in____________. I’m calling to ask Senator/Representative [name] to support the Safe Communities Act, sponsored by Senator Jamie Eldridge (S. 1305) and Representative Juana Matías (H. 3269). This bill would protect the civil rights of all state residents by making sure our tax dollars are not used to help the Trump administration deport immigrants and create a Muslim registry.

I need to know that Sen./Rep. ___________ is working as hard as s/he can to pass the Safe Communities Act, especially in light of the inflammatory, misleading anti-immigrant mailer recently sent to citizens across the state. Sen./Rep. __________ must make the Safe Communities his/her urgent, top priority. This is important to me and our communities, and we are paying attention.”

Call Governor Baker, who has threatened to veto the bill: 617-725-4005:

“Governor Baker’s statement against Safe Communities was outrageous. I am calling to register my firm support for the Safe Communities Act. I am deeply disappointed in the Governor’s position and I will be watching. It is unconscionable that he allies himself on the side of Trump against due process and dignity for all of our immigrant neighbors.”
Bill Summary

The bill is currently in the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security. Please help it pass by the deadline, which is February 7, 2018.

Background:

One in six Massachusetts residents is an immigrant. Yet under the Trump administration, our immigrant friends, neighbors and coworkers are being demonized and targeted for mass deportation. The federal government wants state and local law enforcement to serve as “force multipliers” for its crackdown on immigrants. The Safe Communities Act would stop that from happening in our state.

The Safe Communities Act protects the civil rights, safety and well-being of all residents by drawing a clear line between immigration enforcement and public safety. Sponsored by State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (S.1305) and State Rep. Juana Matías (H.3269), it ensures that our tax dollars are not used to help the Trump administration deport immigrant families or create a Muslim registry.

Nearly half the Massachusetts Legislature has co-sponsored the bill, and more than 100 organizations have endorsed it so far. On June 9, 2017, hundreds of people came to show their support at a hearing by the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, with testimony from elected officials, to civil rights leaders, health care providers, educators and community members.

Key features of the Safe Communities Act

  1. Focuses resources on local needs, not deportation
    State and local police should use their limited resources to fight crime, not immigrant community members and their families. The bill would bar police from arresting or detaining a person solely for federal immigration enforcement purposes, or participating in U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) investigations or raids based solely on immigration status.
    It would also prohibit agreements to deputize state and local officers as federal immigration agents, co-opting and taking away resources from local communities. When police act as ICE agents, victims and witnesses of crime are afraid to call for help, which makes us all less safe.*
  2. Upholds constitutional rights and due process
    The bill ensures that constitutional principles are upheld equally for citizens and non-citizens, by requiring a warrant to arrest a person on behalf of ICE. It also requires notice to immigrant detainees of their legal rights – in a language they understand.
  3. Bars state support for any Muslim registry
    Prohibits Massachusetts law enforcement agencies and the Registry of Motor Vehicles from providing information to any federal registry program based on religion, national origin or other protected characteristics.
  4. Strengthens our communities
    Immigrants – both documented and undocumented – are part of our Commonwealth’s social and economic fabric. They are workers, business owners and active members of our communities. Most have lived here more than 10 years, and many have U.S. citizen children. In the face of anti-immigrant rhetoric and hostile federal policies, it is important to send a strong message that in our communities, we value all residents, regardless of where they were born.

The Safe Communities Act DOES NOT:

  • Break the law or jeopardize federal funding
    The bill comports with federal law. It does not make Massachusetts a “sanctuary” jurisdiction as defined by Attorney General Sessions. It expressly complies with the federal statute regarding the exchange of information about citizenship or immigration status (8 U.S.C. § 1373), and would not impact the Commonwealth’s eligibility to receive federal funding.
  • Interfere with law enforcement
    The bill would not stop police from doing their everyday work, arresting people in the course of a criminal investigation, or even working together with federal agencies to fight crime. It only limits their otherwise-voluntary collaboration with immigration enforcement. This is a question of civilfederal law.
Jeff Warmouth