Boston City Council officials have given their approval to the Trust Act, which limits the ability of police officers to hold people suspected of being undocumented immigrants unless they have a criminal warrant to do so. The Boston Herald says that the Trust Act is one of a number of ordinances receiving nationwide implementation to protect immigrants.
“Mayor Walsh supports the Trust Act to uphold the rights of immigrants and to maintain public safety, family unity and due process in our city,” the Herald was told by the the mayor’s spokeswoman, Kate Norton. “With the signage of a local Trust Act, we send a clear message to the immigrant community that they have a friend and an ally in Mayor Walsh, [Police] Commissioner [William B] Evans and the city of Boston.”
The ordinances have come about following a wave of lawsuits in the United States demonstrating that undocumented immigrants being arrested for no good reason is a violation of their constitutional rights. 170 cities have changed their laws to stop suspected undocumented immigrants being held by police.
Norton noted that the hope is that the result of the changes will be an improved relationship between immigrants and police officers and that more crimes will be reported. Many people believe that undocumented immigrants have been reluctant to report crimes committed against them in the past because of the fear of being deported.