The Codcast: The ICE fight

What Gov. Charlie Baker calls a common-sense approach to dealing with federal immigration officials, Carol Rose of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts dismisses as fraternizing with the “Trump deportation machine.”

Rose calls Baker “well-intentioned,” which is fairly mild since many of her political allies on the immigration issue are calling him racist or worse. But Rose makes clear she believes there is no middle ground in the fight over state cooperation with federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, officials.

Baker moves very cautiously on most issues dealing with Trump. He criticizes the president’s policies, but usually in a just-the-facts understated way. He’s following that course again on immigration, proposing that local and state law enforcement officials cooperate with ICE officials under certain circumstances while steering clear of efforts to make them full-fledged deputized federal agents. He’s betting that most voters will view his approach as sensible.

But Rose says Baker’s approach is both irresponsible and unconstitutional. In our Codcast interview, she makes the case that Massachusetts shouldn’t be helping ICE round up people in the country illegally. She says most of them are hard-working people who contribute to the economy. If they step out of line, she says, prosecute them under our criminal laws but don’t collaborate with ICE to deport them.

For those wanting to learn more about the state’s options on immigration enforcement, check out Natasha Ishak’s report on three bills circulating on Beacon Hill dealing with ICE detainers.  And read the recent Supreme Judicial Court decision on ICE detainers, which held that holding anyone against their will is an arrest that is not allowed under existing state law. The court invited lawmakers to pass a law authorizing police to make such arrests, but made no guarantees that such a law would stand up to constitutional challenges in court.

BRUCE MOHL


BEACON HILL

The advisory council to Inspector General Glenn Cunha hikes his salary 7 percent to $170,000. (Boston Herald)

Advocates say the state pot board’s $2 million budget is too small and the salary of the chairman ($161,522) is not enough to attract someone with experience in “corporate management, finance, or securities.” (Salem News)

MUNICIPAL MATTERS

A Waltham apartment fire that resulted in $100 million in damage was caused by arson, investigators say. (Boston Globe)

State Auditor Suzanne Bump’s office uncovers lots of problems with Cape Cod’s regional government. (Cape Cod Times)

A Standard-Times editorial urges police to drop charges against two homeless people picked up for plugging their phones into outdoor power outlets at the post office.

WASHINGTON/NATIONAL/INTERNATIONAL

President Trump doubles down on his threats against North Korea as rhetoric continues to escalate. (New York Times)

BUSINESS/ECONOMY

WinnCompanies picked for a $1.6 billion project to expand and rebuild the Mary Ellen McCormack projects in South Boston. (Boston Globe)

In Good Health, a Brockton medical pot dispensary, seeks longer opening hours — 14 hours a day seven days a week. The company has been a boon for the city, providing $200,000 in its first year of operation. (The Enterprise)

The Kraw-Kornack Funeral Home in Norwood surrenders its license after one family unknowingly buried a stranger and another family held a four-hour wake without realizing that someone it didn’t know was in the casket. (MassLive)

EDUCATION

Auburn will pay the UMass Amherst football program $1.9 million to travel to Alabama in 2020 to delight fans who love to watch the home team destroy a mismatched opponent. (Daily Hampshire Gazette)

A Lowell Sun editorial says the payment-in-lieu-of-taxes agreement between Lowell and UMass Lowell could be a template for other communities.

Massachusetts charter school proposals would add 5,400 seats. (State House News)

West Virginia is placing a big bet on vocational education at the high school level to help turn the economy around. (New York Times) Voc-tech schools are also gaining steam in Massachusetts. (CommonWealth)

HEALTH/HEALTH CARE

President Trump declares the opioid epidemic a national emergency. (New York Times)

Fatal opioid overdoses have declined in parts of eastern Massachusetts. (Boston Globe)

A gene-editing breakthrough may make it possible for pig-to-human transplants. (Boston Herald)

Staffing levels remain the focal point of talks between Berkshire Medical Center and a nurses union. (Berkshire Eagle)

TRANSPORTATION

The MBTA rejected a WiFi commuter rail proposal that called for the construction of 320 monopoles along the tracks. (CommonWealth) An Eagle-Tribune editorial says the MBTA needs to be more transparent in negotiating these types of contracts.

The private company hired by the T to provide customer service ambassadors in stations fired two employees after they allegedly roughed up a disable, sight-impaired rider and took away his walking cane. (Boston Herald)

Police have used the Massachusetts Turnpike’s gantry system seven times to track down people. (MassLive)

Boston Globe columnist Dante Ramos says the quick repairs to the Commonwealth Avenue bridge show public works projects can be done without a lot of drama and paralysis.

Joseph Barr, the director of parking, traffic, and transportation for Cambridge, explains why traffic tech isn’t easy. (CommonWealth)

ENERGY/ENVIRONMENT

Last year’s global temperatures were the highest ever recorded. (Bloomberg) Massachusetts approves new rules to cut carbon emissions, with the focus continuing to be on the electricity sector. (Boston Globe)

Northern Pass, the controversial transmission line through New Hampshire proposed by Eversource, cleared a major federal hurdle. (CommonWealth)

CASINOS/GAMBLING

The Massachusetts Gaming Commission approved two more days of racing this year at Suffolk Downs and $800,000 for purses. (State House Ness)

The MGM casino in Springfield continues to exceed its diversity hiring goals. (MassLive)

CRIMINAL JUSTICE/COURTS

Real estate swindler Daniel Flynn III of Quincy agrees to pay $20 million to those he ripped off. (Patriot Ledger)

MEDIA

CNN commentator Jeffrey Lord is let go after he tweets “Sieg Heil!” (CNN Money)