Boston weighs new limits on police in immigration matters

BOSTON (AP) — Boston lawmakers on Wednesday were weighing new limits on police in federal immigration matters.

The City Council was expected to vote on amendments to Boston’s Trust Act, which limits the role city officials such as police play in enforcing the nation’s immigration laws.

Democratic Mayor Marty Walsh and Councilor Josh Zakim submitted their latest proposal to revise the local law on Monday.

They’ve called on the council to approve the proposed restrictions at its final meeting of 2019 on Wednesday.

Walsh says the amendments would further clarify the role of Boston police officers in immigration matters in order to reassure residents that police are focused on public safety, not civil immigration enforcement.

The amendments prohibit officers from sharing information with the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s division that’s focused on civil enforcement matters.

But it makes clear the department can continue to work with the agency’s Homeland Security Investigations division on significant public safety issues, such as combating human trafficking, child exploitation, drug and weapons trafficking, and cybercrime.

The Trust Act was originally approved in 2014.

It currently states that local authorities shall not detain someone solely on civil immigration detainer requests or administrative warrants, and shall not transfer someone to immigration authorities unless ordered by judicial authorities.

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