The Chelsea Police Chief is setting the record straight on what his department can and cannot do when it comes to the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants.
“Local police departments do not have the authority to enforce civil immigration law,” said Chelsea Chief Brian Kyes. “We just don’t.”
President-elect Donald Trump ran his campaign partially on the promise of the mass deportation of undocumented immigrants in American.
After his election night win, Kyes typed a letter to reassure the city’s leaders and taxpayers of what his department can actually do.
It was posted to the police department’s Facebook page.
In the letter, Kyes wrote "the men and women of the Chelsea Police Department shall not undertake immigration related investigations and shall not routinely inquire into the specific immigration status of any person or persons during normal police operations here in Chelsea."
He said that will not change due to the result of the election.
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In Trump’s first extensive interview since reaching more than 270 electoral college votes, he softened his stance.
Trump said his primary focus will be the deportation of nearly 3 million immigrants who he views as criminals.
“From a lot of the contacts I have, it’s frightened a lot of people,” said Kyes.
Trump said the fate of the millions of other undocumented immigrants who are not categorized as criminals is still undecided.
"After the border is secured and after everything gets normalized, we're going to make a determination on the people you're talking about," Trump said in a 60 Minutes interview.
Chelsea Police aren’t alone in clarifying their policies.
Cambridge Police said they will not take on immigration-related investigations and will not routinely check on someone’s immigration status.
"We're here to protect them,” said Kyes. “We're here to work with them, we're here to work on the problems we share together as one strong vibrant community and do not fear the police. We do not enforce civil federal immigration law and we never will."
There is a definitive line drawn on when Chelsea Police would report someone as being undocumented to the federal government.
Kyes said that is when someone was caught being involved in trafficking or is a threat to national security.