Warren calls Baker detainer bill ‘un-American’
Newton mayor says lack of due process rights is wrong
NEWTON MAYOR and Democratic gubernatorial candidate Setti Warren doubled-down on his criticism of Gov. Charlie Baker’s ICE detainer legislation on Friday, calling the governor’s proposal “un-American.”
Baker’s bill seeks to address a Supreme Judicial Court ruling that found police had no legal standing in Massachusetts to honor civil immigration detainer requests made by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE. The governor’s legislation would allow state and local police, under specific circumstances, to detain on behalf of ICE someone already in custody.
Warren said earlier this week that the governor’s bill was attempting to make Massachusetts police part of President Trump’s “deportation force.” Yet State House News reported on Thursday that Newton has its own ordinance, which Warren signed off on in February, that would allow police, again under certain conditions, to detain someone on behalf of ICE.
Warren said in a telephone interview on Friday that there is a key difference between the Newton ordinance and the governor’s bill. He said the ordinance preserves the due process rights of the person being detained, allowing him or her to challenge the detainer request in court. Warren said the governor’s proposal expressly revokes those rights.
The Newton ordinance specifically states that the arrest or detention must be consistent with the Fourth Amendment to the US Constitution and Article XIV of the Massachusetts constitution, both of which deal with unreasonable searches and seizures.
The governor’s bill would allow police to detain an individual on behalf of ICE as long as a “supervisory officer” determines the person is a threat to public safety and he or she is provided with a copy of the written request from ICE. Baker’s bill would not permit a person to be detained longer than 12 hours unless a “judicial officer” makes a probable cause determination to do so.
“The determination of probable cause for detention shall be an ex parte proceeding,” the governor’s bill says. “The person detained shall have no right to appear, either in person or by counsel.”
Warren said the governor’s bill would likely be declared unconstitutional. “You’re calling for the federal government to come in and take a person’s right of due process,” he said. “It’s wrong.”
Baker administration officials said the probable cause language in the legislation is parallel to what’s contained in the Massachusetts rules of criminal procedure, so if the legislation is unconstitutional then so are the rules of criminal procedure.Brendan Moss, a spokesman for Baker, said in a statement that the legislation was written in a way that would “allow the State Police to honor specific detainers for violent and dangerous criminals convicted of crimes like murder and rape, and provide local officials with the flexibility they need to set policies appropriate to keep their communities safe.”
A spokesman for the Massachusetts Republican Party said Warren is tacking to the left on the issue to bolster his gubernatorial bid.