Rep. James Lyons, an Andover Republican whose district covers part of Tewksbury, and Rep. Marc Lombardo, a Billerica Republican, submitted the bill Tuesday night with seven other representatives in support.

Their move came after the Supreme Judicial Court ruled that under current state law, police have no authority to arrest and hold individuals solely because of a federal civil immigration detainer.

On a staircase inside the State House Wednesday morning, Lyons and Lombardo, along with other officials who support the bill, argued that the SJC ruling will endanger the state and enable widespread undocumented immigration.

I support legal immigration,” Lombardo said. “What we don’t support is the breaking of our federal immigration laws.”

About half a dozen protesters were in the crowd during the conference, and they frequently broke into chants of “keep hate out of our state” or sparred with officials over the bill’s intent.

Afterward, one of the lead protesters, Patricia Montes, told reporters she viewed the bill as “criminalizing” the immigrant community.

people

That bill is hate and ignorance,” Montes, who is the executive director of immigrant rights group Centro Presente, said. “The message that they are sending is that all of us (immigrants) are criminals, that all undocumented people in Massachusetts are criminals, rapists and drug dealers. That’s not the case.”

At times, officials used stark language — including brief references to the 9/11 attacks and the Boston Marathon bombings — to argue that the SJC ruling damages public safety by preventing local police from arresting those with ICE detainers.

How many more families have to lose loved ones because courts and government officials continue to look at obstacles to prevent law enforcement agencies from working with one another to keep the public safe?” said Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson.

Hodgson joined the Wednesday press conference along with Republican Reps. Shauna O’Connell of Taunton, Geoff Diehl of Whitman and Joseph McKenna of Webster.

Lyons said after filing the bill Tuesday, he anticipates other Republicans in the legislature will come out in support. However, given that Democrats hold a 126-34 majority in the House of Representatives, Lyons acknowledged the bill needs bipartisan support to survive and urged his colleagues across the aisle to get on board.

It’s up to the Democrats,” he said. “Every day the Democrats refuse to take action on this type of legislation, they’re putting the citizens of Massachusetts at risk.”