The state of Massachusetts [official website] on Tuesday requested [case docket] the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court [official website] find that state authorities lack jurisdiction to detain illegal immigrants. This request [Reuters report] comes after the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency requested courts and law enforcement to hold illegal immigrants in custody for up to 48 hours after their case was resolved. The state of Massachusetts in turn has argued that detaining someone after their case is resolved amounts to a new arrest without sufficient authority. Massachusetts has also argued that state law does not give law enforcement the basis to arrests people based upon deportation proceedings.
Local legislation curtailing immigration enforcement is a rapidly growing trend across the country. Cities enacting these types of laws and policies have been recently called “sanctuary cities” [JURIST op-ed]. Many of these policies are in response to the executive orders issued in January and March by President Donald Trump informing [JURIST report] immigration enforcement measures. Lawmakers in California have also advanced two separate types of bills to impede President Trump’s immigration policies: Senate Bill No. 6 [official text] and Senate Bill No. 31 [official text]. Senate Bill 6 would provide $12 million to pay lawyers for immigrants facing deportation, and Senate Bill 31 would bar state officials from sharing data in the event that the federal government created a Muslim registry.