Mass. Gov. to Rescind Plan Allowing Local Police to Make Immigration Arrests

I was about to write "Kudos to Mass. Gov. Elect Deval L. Patrick, who announced that when he takes office, he will rescind a plan endorsed by Mitt Romney that allows state and local police to bust undocumented residents."

The agreement, which Gov. Mitt Romney signed on Dec. 13, gave 30 state troopers the power to question, detain and arrest people whom they found in the course of other investigations to be illegal immigrants.

....“If I have that power, I’m going to rescind that agreement,” he told reporters. “I do believe I have that power.”

But kudos may be premature because Patrick's spokesperson is hedging:

“I think going forward he’ll be able to set out a timeline,” [spokesperson Cyndi] Roy said. “He has a lot to accomplish in his first couple of months in office, and I don’t know that it will be the very first thing he does.”

Memo to Gov. Elect Patrick: Do it. It's the right thing to do. Keep your police addressing state and local crime. Immigration enforcement is not within their jurisdiction, nor should it be.

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    Still confused (1.00 / 2) (#1)
    by jarober on Fri Dec 22, 2006 at 12:43:24 AM EST
    I like how you insist on using the term "undocumented".  It's so much less obvious than "illegal", and would make arresting such people sound far less sinister.

    If you want open borders, just advocate for that.  

    Yes you are.... (5.00 / 1) (#4)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 22, 2006 at 09:53:01 AM EST
    no human being is illegal.

    Criminals? (none / 0) (#6)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 22, 2006 at 12:11:30 PM EST
    So Jarober, ever jaywalk? Do illegal drugs? litter? how 'bout public intoxication? Run a red light, speeding, etc.

    Have you never done anything against the law?

    You point the finger to criminalize those who are no worse than you? Must make you feel like you are really important, while what is really does is show that you feel really impotent and are using these people to pump yourself up.


    That's (none / 0) (#7)
    by Patrick on Fri Dec 22, 2006 at 12:18:25 PM EST
    a pretty weak analogy...

    Detaining illegal aliens.... (none / 0) (#2)
    by nativist on Fri Dec 22, 2006 at 07:08:34 AM EST
    ...doesn't solve the whole problem. Although in every other country a person's legal documentation is one the first things ascertained during an arrest. Being in Mexico illegally means jail time, automatically. They don't play around. Why do we?
    I think even Romney knows that the patience with illegals is about used up. Rescinding orders to the State Patrol puts him on the wrong side of the issue.
    Bottom line is only the corporations, Dubya and some misguided Dems want to continue downgrading our country to third world status. The rest of us are going to do what we can to reverse the process. We need to make the rules mean something.

    My 2 cents.... (none / 0) (#5)
    by kdog on Fri Dec 22, 2006 at 09:57:53 AM EST
    They don't play around. Why do we?

    I like to think we are more compassionate.  I mean seriously, do you really want a govt. and law enforce apparatus comparable to Mexico?  I sure don't.

    All the Romney plan does is push these human beings further underground.  They won't report real crimes for fear of being deported.  That does not serve the community.


    You're both ignoring (none / 0) (#3)
    by aw on Fri Dec 22, 2006 at 08:14:42 AM EST
    Jeralyn's point that it's not their jurisdiction.  They have other priorities.  It's up to the federal government to fund immigration enforcement, not the states and towns.

    Taken further, if anyone with any law enforcement function can go after illegal aliens, why not just extend it to Animal Cops?  

    Jurisdiction... (none / 0) (#8)
    by Patrick on Fri Dec 22, 2006 at 12:22:00 PM EST
    Taken further, if anyone with any law enforcement function can go after illegal aliens, why not just extend it to Animal Cops?  

    If they have training which qualifies them to arrest persons then they should.  Law enforcement contacts citizens for many reasons, and jurisdiction isn't the issue TL would like you to think it is.   My general orders include the enforcement of federal, state and local laws.  I think the same is true in all states, but I could be wrong.  


    New Hampshire? (none / 0) (#9)
    by squeaky on Fri Dec 22, 2006 at 12:53:43 PM EST
    like arresting "them" for trespassing in NH?
    Other law enforcement officials aren't so comfortable with the tactic either.

     In Nashua, the state's second-largest city and home to a large Hispanic population, Deputy Police Chief Don Conely says charging immigrants with trespassing isn't in the "true spirit" of the law.

     The trespassing statute says a person is guilty of criminal trespassing if, "knowing that he is not licensed or privileged to do so, he enters or remains in any place."

     Creative use of the trespassing law comes at a time when many states are seeking their own solutions to illegal immigration. Some state and county police agencies want to join a federal program that enlists local officers to enforce immigration laws. Florida and Alabama already have that authority....

     Attorney Mona Movafaghi, who represents three of the 10 immigrants cited so far in New Hampshire, says using state law to enforce immigration laws "is not permissible under the U.S. Constitution. The power to regulate immigration is an exclusive power given to the federal government," she said.

     And even though southern New Hampshire is just three hours from the Canadian border, the immigrants cited are from Mexico and South America - a sign of racial profiling, opponents say.

     "What's the message here? If your skin is brown . . . stay out of my town?" said Randall Drew, co-counsel with Movafaghi.


    I don't think that's a valid charge (none / 0) (#10)
    by Patrick on Fri Dec 22, 2006 at 03:41:43 PM EST
    nor was I advocating that...so what is your point?  

    Jurisdiction (none / 0) (#11)
    by Patrick on Fri Dec 22, 2006 at 04:20:25 PM EST
    California Penal Code Section

    834b.  (a) Every law enforcement agency in California shall fully
    cooperate with the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service regarding any person who is arrested if he or she is suspected of being present in the United States in violation of
    federal immigration laws.
       (b) With respect to any such person who is arrested, and suspected of being present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws, every law enforcement agency shall do the
       (1) Attempt to verify the legal status of such person as a citizen of the United States, an alien lawfully admitted as a permanent resident, an alien lawfully admitted for a temporary period of time or as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of immigration laws.  The verification process may include, but shall
    not be limited to, questioning the person regarding his or her date and place of birth, and entry into the United States, and demanding documentation to indicate his or her legal status.
       (2) Notify the person of his or her apparent status as an alien who is present in the United States in violation of federal immigration laws and inform him or her that, apart from any criminal justice proceedings, he or she must either obtain legal status or leave the United States.
       (3) Notify the Attorney General of California and the United States Immigration and Naturalization Service of the apparent illegal
    status and provide any additional information that may be requested by any other public entity.
       (c) Any legislative, administrative, or other action by a city, county, or other legally authorized local governmental entity with
    jurisdictional boundaries, or by a law enforcement agency, to prevent or limit the cooperation required by subdivision (a) is expressly prohibited.

    California Penal Code Section

    114.  Any person who uses false documents to conceal his or her true
    citizenship or resident alien status is guilty of a felony, and
    shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison for five years
    or by a fine of twenty-five thousand dollars ($25,000).

    I'd say the jurisdiction is clear.   All we have to do now is argue whether it's right or wrong.

    PA Town to Ban Santa (none / 0) (#12)
    by Ambiorix on Sat Dec 23, 2006 at 12:46:32 PM EST
    Because He is an Undocumented Worker

    Santa isn't welcome in Hazleton because he's an illegal immigrant just like all the others the Pennsylvania town is trying to get rid of.

    More: No Santa for Hazleton