Some Mass. Lawmakers Push Back Against SJC ICE Ruling

Some Massachusetts lawmakers are pushing back against the Supreme Judicial Court‘s ruling that local authorities cannot detain an undocumented immigrant unless they're facing criminal charges. 

This decision has put Massachusetts somewhat at odds with federal immigration agents, saying they don’t have to detain people just because ice agents ask them to. 

This case centered on a man who had been in trouble with the courts and then cleared of all charges. 

ICE wanted court officers to detain him for 48 hours because they believed he was here illegally. 

Under this ruling, they wouldn’t have to, because the court found that an ICE detainer is not a warrant and police in the state cannot keep someone in custody who would not otherwise be in custody.

Some lawmakers now want to change the law to change that, with a proposal that would require state police to cooperate with federal agents, arguing this decision allows people to get away with breaking the rules. 

Rep. Marc Lombardo (R) 22nd Middlesex District, said, “It's created two classes of individuals, those who are legal residents of Commonwealth who can be arrested and detained by law enforcement, and those who are here illegally who now will be free to roam the streets without consequences.” 

Immigration attorneys had a different view, saying this protects people who have done nothing wrong. 

It’s unclear how much support this proposal will have at the state house. 

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