Stop Baker’s Immigration Detainer Policy Bill (H.3870)

FOCUS: Immigration
GOAL: Stop Baker’s Legislation Allowing Use of State Resources to Support Trump’s Deportation Machine.


Governor Baker filed legislation (H.3870) to use state resources to support Trump’s deportation machine.

“Baker’s bill undermines safety in our communities by sanctioning state and local police officers’ active participation in federal immigration enforcement. It siphons state and local resources to carry out what is the federal government’s responsibility, and discourages immigrants and their families from contacting the police when they have been victims of a crime or have knowledge about a crime.” – Representative Byron Rushing, Representative Denise Provost, RepresentativeMike Connolly, and Representative Antonio Cabra in Commonwealth Magazine

 Slate explains how this bill, if passed, would play out in practice:

“Imagine an officer arrests two individuals on suspicion of armed robbery. Both are placed in a local jail. The officer discovers that one is a citizen while the other is undocumented. She also learns that both were convicted of selling marijuana (a “serious crime,” per the new bill) a decade ago. The officer alerts ICE, which issues a detainer. Then, she realizes she arrested the wrong two men. All charges against both men are immediately dropped.

“Under Baker’s legislation, the citizen is free to go but the officer can detain the undocumented individual for at least another 12 hours. This person has not been charged with a crime—unlawful presence in the United States is a civil offense, not a criminal one—and his detention is not supported by probable cause, let alone a warrant. But because of Baker’s bill, he may remain locked up.

“Baker and Polito should be honest about the goal of their bill. They do not wish to plug an ambiguity in the law; they want to make an end-run around the state’s highest court so Massachusetts can participate in Trump’s immigration crackdown. Baker can criticize Trump all he wants, but his words ring hollow when he’s acting to circumvent the courts and work with the president’s deportation force.”

On top of safety, funding and ethical concerns, this bill is likely unconstitutional as it allows arrest without a warrant or probable cause, which violates both the US and Massachusetts Constitutions.


  1. Call the Chairs of the Joint Committee on the Judiciary and tell them you oppose this bill. That’s Senator Brownsberger (617-722-1280) and Senator Cronin (617-722-2396).
  2. Submit written testimony to the Joint Committee on the Judiciary that they can use during the hearing (not yet scheduled as of 8/23/17). Chairs’ emails are and
  3. Contact your own representatives and senators – especially if they serve on the Joint Committee on the Judiciary.
  4. Contact House Leadership and Senate leadership and voice your opposition to Baker’s bill.
  5. Call your representatives and ask them to support The Safe Communities Act (S.1305H.3269). This bill is currently awaiting action by the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, but it won’t move forward without a lot of public pressure. (Make the easy call here via ACLU.)
  6. Call your representatives and ask them to support H.3033 / HD.3413 that would specifically prevent the use of state dollars on existing “287(g)” agreements with sheriffs and the state Department of Correction. This bill is currently with the House Committee on Ways and Means.


On immigration, Baker follows Trump playbook

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren slams Gov. Charlie Baker’s immigration detainer policy bill

Local advocates outline the dangers of Governor Baker’s proposed immigration bill


1. Reach MOCs via the Capitol Switchboard: (202) 224-3121
2. Look up your elected senators and reps.
3. Use Faxzero to send free faxes from your computer to your Senator or Congressperson.
4. Use Resistbot to send faxes to your senators right from your phone: Text the word “RESIST” to 50409.