Dem Guv Hopefuls Tongue-Tied On ICE Partnerships

BOSTON -- Democrats moved quickly yesterday to distance themselves from a controversial bill that would have sharply limited the ability of local law enforcement to coordinate with federal authorities to keep dangerous criminals off the streets. But their colleagues running for governor suddenly found themselves tongue-tied, unable to support a commonsense program that's kept dangerous criminals off the streets - while one candidate actually endorsed eliminating the partnership.

"Democrat candidates are so eager to race to the extremes, they refuse to support a commonsense, bipartisan program that has resulted in thousands of criminals - including drug traffickers and child rapists - being kept off the streets. Their silence on such a crucial question of security speaks volumes about their ability to put the safety of the people of Massachusetts over partisan politics." -MassGOP Chairman Kirsten Hughes 

 
Background:

Two Democrat gubernatorial hopefuls found themselves tongue-tied when asked about a bill to eliminate crucial public safety agreement between ICE and DOC. "Gov. Charlie Baker blasted the legislation, telling the Herald it was a “step backwards in public safety” while defending the program. Where all the Democrats vying to unseat him stand, however, is unclear. A spokesman for Newton Mayor Setti Warren did not make him available for comment yesterday. The campaign for Jay Gonzalez released a statement to the Herald repeating his support of another bill, the Safe Communities Act, but his aides did not address his stance on Cabral’s bill directly." (Matt Stout, "Controversial House immigration bill could be dead," Boston Herald, 6/8/17)

One candidate actually supported the bill. "Only Bob Massie, an environmental activist who declared his candidacy, addressed it head on, saying he supports it, even though he considers it an “imperfect method” to addressing fears over President Donald Trump’s push for stricter immigration enforcement." (Matt Stout, "Controversial House immigration bill could be dead," Boston Herald, 6/8/17)

The partnership has kept nearly 150 criminals off the streets last year alone, and more than 1400 since 2007. "State prison officials since last year have released nearly 150 dangerous illegal immigrants to federal officials before they could hit the streets — including drug traffickers, child rapists and armed robbers — all of whom were flagged under an agreement now under fire on Beacon Hill." (Matt Stout, "House Democrats’ bills threaten DOC/ICE pact," 6/7/17)

 

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