MA: Summary of the Boston TRUST Act
The Boston TRUST Act prohibits all city law enforcement officials from honoring federal detainer requests for any alien otherwise eligible for release from custody. A detainer request is a notification to state or local law enforcement agencies that a federal agency, such as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) or U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), seeks custody of a particular alien for the purpose of removal from the United States. If the Boston TRUST Act is enacted, state and local officials will have no choice but to release criminal aliens — most of whom have no right to be in the United States — back onto the streets in spite of their immigration status and the crimes they committed.
Under the Boston TRUST Act, a city law enforcement official may only respond to a federal detainer request after an alien becomes eligible for release from custody if the alien meets any of the following criteria:
- ICE has a criminal warrant for the alien;
- The alien has ever been convicted of a violent crime as defined in Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 140, Section 121, such as burglary, extortion, arson, or kidnapping;
- In the past ten years, the alien has been convicted of a felony, defined by Massachusetts General Laws Chapter 274, Section 1 as any crime punishable by death or imprisonment in the state prison;
- The alien is a current registrant on the Massachusetts Sex Offender Registry;
- The alien is identified in the federal government’s consolidated Terrorist Watchlist.
The Boston TRUST Act also requires law enforcement officials to make a good faith effort to seek federal reimbursement for all costs incurred in continuing to detain an alien pursuant to a detainer request.
Lastly, the Boston TRUST Act requires the Boston Police Commissioner to submit, no later than December 31, 2015, and no later than December 31 each subsequent year, a report to the Clerk of the City of Boston which must include the following information:
- A breakdown of the total number of federal detainer requests lodged with the city’s law enforcement officials, organized by reason;
- A breakdown of the total number of aliens that city law enforcement officials detained pursuant to federal detainer requests, organized by reason;
- The total number of aliens transferred to ICE custody; and
- A breakdown of the total cost reimbursements received from the federal government, organized by individual case.
The Clerk of the City of Boston must forward the report to the Mayor of Boston and must docket the report for inclusion on the agenda of the next-occurring meeting of the Boston City Council.
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