Boston Restores Pro-Migrant Credibility: Mayor Menino Leads The Way

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Good news for the pro-migrant movement in the Boston Globe this morning: Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino has taken a firm stand against the excesses of the [In]Secure Communities program (S-Comm):

"As operated now, Secure Communities is diminishing trust, an essential part of the neighborhood fabric and a vital public safety tool,'' Menino wrote.

"Secure Communities must change substantially or be scrapped,'' he wrote.

[...]

"Boston took part in Secure Communities as a pilot project, with the understanding that only the most serious criminals would be affected and the belief that our feedback would lead to improvements in the program,'' Menino wrote in the letter. "It would be a further violation of the public trust if instead Secure Communities proves to be a knot that the federal government will not untie.''
Martine Powers and Stewart Bishop - Boston Globe (11 July 2011)
The fight is certainly not over.
I'm still looking for input from various folks on what next steps should be. I'm particularly concerned about how ICE is using an advisory board that is made up of people who are supposed to be leaders of the pro-migrant movement as an excuse to continue the program. I'm also concerned that local officials will use that as an excuse to delay standing against the program.

Still, for the time being it's important to give credit where credit is due. I can't help but feel it's not an accident that ICE chose one of the most pro-migrant major cities in the U.S. as a pilot program for this latest attempt to turn our local police officers into border patrol agents. Once public officials take a stand one way it's extremely difficult to reverse that stance.

Menino, to his credit, listened to migrant communities and is taking steps to restore trust between them and local police officers. I want to be clear. That trust will not be restored as long as local police officers are forced to check the immigration status of everyone they arrest. How we get to a world where that doesn't happen still isn't clear to me. I'm interested particularly in whether resistance at the local level or the federal level is the best use of our energy.

Until that path is made clear, it's important that folks thank Menino for his important pro-migrant steps against S-Comm. We know that he's going to get hammered by the local and national nativist echo chamber for this public stance, and it's important that we counter that. If folks thanking Menino can afford time for nuance, it's important to be clear that this isn't over as long as local police are forced to check the immigration status of everyone they arrest.

Call Mayor Menino's office at 617-635-4500 and/or email him at mayor@cityofboston.gov to thank him for standing against S-Comm, and trust that local pro-migrant advocates will hold him accountable moving forward, and inform others of the next important steps.

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This page contains a single entry by kyledeb published on July 11, 2011 7:30 AM.

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