I am frustrated the Safe Communities Act did not pass. By passing the Act, the Commonwealth would be protecting police-community relationships and not apply additional responsibilities on our already strapped law enforcement officials.
As our country continues to grapple with devastating immigration policies at the federal level, it is important the Commonwealth protects its residents from policies that would lead to racial profiling and an unnecessary use of taxpayer dollars. This Act would prohibit local law enforcement from stopping a person to solely inquire about their immigration status, halt any collaboration with ICE, provide basic due process protections, and prohibit any discriminatory registries.
The House’s failure to pass the Safe Communities Act highlights the lack of transparency we see when it comes to our local leaders deciding on important issues for our state. There is no way to hold legislators in the House accountable for not passing this act—or anything else while in committee—as these votes are not made public. Three Representatives voted against the FY2019 conference committee budget because it lacked protections for immigrants. I commend those Representatives and the Senate for voting on their progressive values.
The Safe Communities Act was an opportunity to put our progressive values in action, and the lack of movement is disappointing. As State Representative, I will advocate to pass the provisions of the Safe Communities Act, and work with immigrant advocacy groups on additional ways we can help protect all members of the Commonwealth.