MA Gov. Introduces Anti-Sanctuary Bill; Police Chiefs Endorse It

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

August 29, 2017
Massachusetts Governor Charlie Baker has taken extraordinary steps to protect his Bay State residents. After the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that holding prisoners beyond their sentence, even with an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detainer, violates state law, Gov. Baker introduced a bill that, for certain convicted criminal alien offenders, authorizes police to honor ICE detainers.

Baker said his bill would allow the state to detain "criminals, gang members or suspected terrorists," and reinforces the governor’s belief in keeping communities safe, and his anti-sanctuary state policy. If Baker’s bill becomes law, it would help rein in MS-13 which has a chilling presence in Massachusetts. Last year, federal authorities arrested 37 gang members on suspicion of murder, racketeering, weapons violations and immigration charges.

The Massachusetts Chiefs of Police and the Major Cities Police Chiefs Associations fully support Baker’s bill and sent a joint letter to state legislative leaders urging them to pass what the chiefs called “a commonsense, policy-prudent and safety-orientated approach."

Three thousand miles away from Boston, in Sacramento, California Governor Jerry Brown has taken a different approach to public safety than his Massachusetts peer. Brown endorses California’s SB 54, the bill that would make the state a sanctuary and give safe haven to convicted criminal aliens. In throwing his support behind SB 54 Brown, unlike Baker, has ignored California sheriffs’ warnings that the bill will put local neighborhoods at risk.

Sacramento County Sheriff Scott Jones told reporters that “If SB 54 passes, it will allow dangerous, violent career criminals to slip through the cracks and be released back into our communities,” a sentiment that other California sheriffs share.

In breaking news, Brown has proposed amendments to SB 54 that could open new lines of communication between ICE and local jails which could, if adopted, lead to deportation of aliens that SB 54 currently protects. Immigration activists have criticized Brown for suggesting changes that they allege weaken the original. 

In anticipation of a vote that could come soon, CAPS’ representative Don Rosenberg, whose son Drew was run over and killed in sanctuary city San Francisco by an unlicensed Honduran national who entered the U.S. illegally, is reaching out to Assembly members in Sacramento to argue against the legislation. CAPS is also running ads in the capitol city through this week that ask legislators to vote no on SB 54, and to make citizens’ safety paramount. 
Don Rosenberg with son Drew Rosenberg
Don Rosenberg and son Drew, run over and killed by unlicensed
Honduran national in sanctuary city San Francisco.
This ad promotes California as a sanctuary for citizens and not criminals; this ad encourages the Trump administration to make good on its pledge to defund sanctuary cities, and this video includes a petition to urge the U.S. Senate to sign the federal “No Sanctuary for Criminals Act,” which the House of Representative passed earlier this year.
Californians can also go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to tell their Assembly member to reject SB 54. 


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