It is official: even though the heads of both the Brookline Police and Public Schools have already made statements saying they did not and would not ask for an individual’s immigration status as a matter of course, the Board of Selectmen said last night they would not permit town employees asking for immigration status in Brookline.
Since President Donald Trump was elected municipalities across the country have been reexamining immigration enforcement and discussed and implemented “Sanctuary City” policies in an effort to protect the civil rights of immigrants and refugees. It’s important to note that the definition of “sanctuary city” varies from community to community. While Brookline adopted measures twice years ago and considers itself a sanctuary city, the Selectmen set up a committee to review enforcement policies, specifically when it comes to how the Brookline Police Department interacts with Immigration officials. The Brookline Police Department in turn announced it would not detain immigrants for ICE officials.
One of the concerns facing municipalities as they look into what it may mean for them to refuse to cooperate with Immigration Customs Enforcement requests was a threat that Trump made early on to towns who did just that. However, things are looking up for those towns as a federal judge in San Francisco on Tuesday blocked an executive order by Trump that threatened to deny federal funding to sanctuary cities and counties, Patch reported.
Meanwhile, Tuesday, April 25, 2017, the Board of Selectmen continued in its effort to protect immigrants and refugees. Selectmen voted to officially forbid police officers or employees from asking about a person’s immigration status (in most cases), one that blocks town resources (including buildings and staff, ie police officers) from being used in federal immigration enforcement efforts, and also prevents any person from being held in custody solely on an ICE “detainer” request.
Tony Naro, who sits on the committee making recommendations to the Board of Selectmen about the procedures, said the Police Department has been on board with the official changes.
The Board of Selectmen made a point of saying that 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.
Although some worried that the statement was not forceful enough in coming out against the new administration’s stance on immigration, but the board said it would serve as proof that the town was not encouraging officials to violate federal law.