The Board of Selectmen is making progress in its steps to adopt new immigration enforcement policies.
On Tuesday, April 25, 2017, the board voted to adopt a series of policies related to post-arrest procedures for police.
This is the most recent set of policies the board has implemented related to immigration enforcement. The recent effort to adopt new immigration enforcement policies started in fall 2016, according to Selectman Bernard Greene.
The discussions surrounding new policies came in response to President Trump’s recent push on immigration enforcement. Several municipalities across the country have implemented “sanctuary city” policies to protect the civil and human rights of immigrants and refugees in their communities.
“Our Constitution will be respected by the town of Brookline; the administration in Washington is not respecting that,” Greene said in an interview.
Among the latest set of policies is one that prevents a police officer or employee from asking about a person’s immigration status unless in specific circumstances, one that blocks personnel, resources, facilities and the like from being used in federal immigration enforcement purposes, and also prevents any person from being held in custody solely on an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer or other administrative warrant.
The policies also address the procedure for following general and special orders issued by the Brookline police chief in collaboration with the Board of Selectmen.
Included in the new policies is a two-part statement from the Board of Selectmen that states the town is not implementing policies and procedures that would limit or prohibit town officials from sharing or communicating information with a federal, state or local government department body.
The statement was a point of concern for some members of the public who spoke at a public hearing April 18. Those speakers worried that the statement was not forceful enough in coming out against the new administration’s stance on immigration enforcement.
According to the board, the statement would serve as written proof that the town was not encouraging officials to violate federal law while also protecting the town and police department from becoming immigration enforcement officers.
“It serves as a protection for the municipalities, saying that we’re not trying to violate federal law,” Selectman Nancy Daly said.
Greene described the statement as “magic language” that would help Brookline should it come under pressure from the Trump administration as a “sanctuary” town.
“We’re not going to comply with the ICE detainers and we have the right to refuse them because they’re administrative requests,” Green said.
According to Greene this recent batch of policies is not the final step for Brookline in developing an immigration enforcement policy, but is one of several still to come.