Boston Council to Host Hearing on City's Warrantless Detentions on Behalf of ICE, Community Groups Call for End to Unconstitutional "ICE detainers"



Contact: Salvador Sarmiento, 202-746-2099



Boston Council to Host Hearing on City’s Warrantless Detentions on Behalf of ICE, Community Groups Call for End to Unconstitutional “ICE detainers”


Boston is one of the last major cities in the region to still apply ICE holds; NYC, Washington, DC, Philadelphia, Newark, and Baltimore all decline ICE requests


Recent federal court ruling has led to over 100 counties ending ICE holds


What: Rally outside of City Hall prior to Council hearing to address Boston’s warrantless detentions on behalf of ICE

Where: Front Entrance, Boston City Hall, One City Hall Square, Boston, MA

When: Thursday, July 31, at 5:15PM ( begins at 6:00pm)

Who: Immigrant families & civil rights groups; carrying signs saying “Not One More Unconstitutional ICE Hold in Boston”


Boston, MA, July 29, 2014-On Thursday, the Boston City Council will host a hearing on a proposed ordinance to address the city’s cooperation with federal immigration enforcement (ICE) detention requests, known as ICE detainers. On July 9th, Council Member Josh Zakim, human rights chair on the Council, introduced a bill, the Boston TRUST Act, to put limits on Boston’s cooperation with ICE detainers.


ICE detainers are voluntary and burdensome requests from ICE to localities to detain a person for extra time beyond what a court has ordered. ICE detainers are a component of the controversial Secure Communities (“S-Comm”) deportation program, which has contributed to record deportations under the Obama administration.


There is strong national momentum to mitigate the harmful effects of S-Comm by ending local cooperation with ICE detainers. Especially after a federal court in April found that a county’s collaboration with detainers was in violation of the 4th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, to date, more than 166 localities across the United States have enacted policies declining to apply these detentions on behalf of ICE, either through legislation or executive action. California and Connecticut did so at the state level, and in Philadelphia and Washington, DC, the mayors took executive action to prevent liability for applying unconstitutional ICE detainers.


Boston’s cooperation with the failed Secure Communities program creates fear in our community,” said Cesar Boc of Boston-based Centro Presente. “When my neighbors are afraid of talking to police, that makes us all less safe. Boston needs to take a real stand for immigrants that live and work in our city, and not make exceptions to the rule of law because we are immigrants.”


Boston would become the fourth city in Massachusetts-after Somerville, Amherst, and Cambridge-to place limits on ICE detainers. Community members are expected to testify in support of a TRUST Act that would end the use of any ICE detainers.


ICE has made it routine to ask local police to detain based on suspicion, circumventing the probable cause requirements of the 4th Amendment; Boston should have no part in that,” said Trina Realmuto, Boston-based Staff Attorney at the National Lawyers Guild’s Immigration Project. “In Boston, like cities across the country, we have to make clear that local law enforcement is in the business of public safety, and not tangled up in the broken immigration machine.”