FOCUS: Safe Communities Act, immigrant rights, public safety, civil rights
GOAL: Pass the Safe Communities Act (H.1305/3269) during the current legislative session; ensure that our tax dollars are not used to help the Trump administration deport immigrant families or create a Muslim registry.
DEADLINE: ongoing until Feb 7th, specific call in day Jan 31st
It’s been over a year since the Safe Communities Act was introduced in the MA legislature. This bill (S.1305/H.3269) protects the civil rights, safety and well-being of all residents by drawing a clear line between immigration enforcement and public safety. The SCA ensures that our tax dollars are not used to help the Trump administration deport immigrant families or create a Muslim registry.
The SCA must be referred out of committee by February 7th or it will not have a vote in the current legislative session.
Many legislators are sponsoring the SCA, but we need to push them to actively support it. This means calling to ask them to lobby their colleagues to move it out of committee – and following up on those calls to hold them accountable (“Did you reach out to your colleague?” “Great, what did you learn regarding the bill’s status?” “Oh, you didn’t call yet? I will follow up tomorrow”). A response like, “I will vote for it [if it comes to the floor]” is not enough, because without extra support, this bill will die in committee, and they will never have to put their vote on the record.
WHAT YOU CAN DO:
The way forward now is by putting overwhelming pressure on legislators. We must make it more politically difficult for them NOT to support the Safe Communities Act. Many of them got calls against the bill after voters received fliers with misinformation – we need to outnumber those calls and tell our reps we will support them if they support this bill.
Call your legislators, make sure they are actively supporting this bill’s advancement, and follow up to make sure they have reached out to their colleagues on the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security.
Call script: “Hi my name is ___ and I am a constituent. I live in ___. I am calling because I support the Safe Communities Act and want to urge [legislator] to call the chairs of the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security (Sen. Moore and Rep. Naughton) and ask them to give the bill a swift and favorable report before the February 7 report-out deadline.”
Call daily until there is movement. Do not be embarrassed. Ask what they have done since the last time you called.
If you have time for multiple calls in a day please call the Chairs of the Committee, ask them to vote the bill favorably out of committee since it is in the interest of keeping communities safe. Contact info listed below.
ADDITIONAL READING & INFO:
The ACLU is phone banking next week (https://tinyurl.com/y9rqddfx) and the SCA Coalition is coordinating a massive statewide call in day on January 31 (http://www.safecommunitiesact.com/)!
Here are a few external factors that have taken place since this bill was filed:
1. Commonwealth v. Lunn – In July, the SJC in Massachusetts ruled that local authorities can’t detain people solely on ICE Detainers (http://www.wbur.org/news/2017/07/24/sjc-ruling-sreynoun-lunn-case).
2. H. 3870 – In response to the Lunn ruling, Governor Baker filed An Act Empowering Law Enforcement to Cooperate with the United States to Transfer Custody of Convicted Criminals (http://www.mass.gov/governor/legislationexecorder/legislation/empowering-law-enforcement-to-cooperate-with-the-us.html).
TO REACH YOUR MA REPS:
1. Reach your reps via the State House Switchboard: (617) 722-2000
2. Look up your elected senators and reps in the Massachusetts State House.
3. The list of Chairs and committee members for these bills can be found here.