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The Mass Media

The Mass Media

The Mass Media

Boston City Council Affirms BPS Under ‘Sanctuary’ Status

On March 8, the Boston City Council voted for a resolution to affirm the sanctuary status for Boston Public Schools (BPS). The city’s proposal formally offered by Councillor Jackson to Boston’s City Council stated in document, “Boston has a proud constituency of immigrants who hail from all parts of the world.”
Boston Magazine reported Wednesday that the city’s affirmation will forbid the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents (ICE) from entering BPS without permission from the superintendent of BPS, Tommy Chang in addition to the Suffolk County District Attorney, Dan Conley.
Recently, President Trump stated that sanctuary cities that plan to defend their status will lose federal funding. It was revealed two months ago during Mayor Marty Walsh’s speech in response to the president’s statement that the city may lose up to $500 million in federal funding. The Mayor stated that nevertheless, the city of Boston will remain a sanctuary city for immigrants.
The city of Boston again stated concern for the deportation of immigrants. The document also formally stated, “In light of the recent presidential executive orders, there are increased safety concerns and fear of deportation amongst immigrants in Boston.”  
ICE policy states that conducting enforcement and removal operations are to be generally avoided near or at sensitive locations including hospitals, schools, and places of worship, ICE’s website states. According to the website and the memorandum for Field Office Directors signed in October of 2011, ICE cannot “enforce any actions” in these sensitive locations and are also forbidden to conduct interviews, searches, or arrests. The policy states that ICE can conduct removal operations when children are present at “sensitive locations” if only permitted by their superintendent.
The Department for Homeland Security also considers bus stops when children are present as a sensitive location, Boston Magazine reported Wednesday. In addition, ICE policy states that these locations are not only limited to locations previously stated; funerals, weddings, and sites of public demonstration such as “a march, rally, or parade” are also considered sensitive locations. However, ICE agents can carry out enforcement actions if circumstances related to “national security, terrorism, or public safety” arise.
The city of Boston has expressed concern in deporting immigrants and has taken steps to fulfill some sanctuary protections since 2014, when Walsh signed the Trust Act. The act forbids police officials from lawfully holding a person based on their immigration status unless they have an arrest warrant from federal officials.
Under the Boston City Council’s new resolution, the affirmation forbids BPS from sharing information with ICE about its students’ immigration statuses even if ICE agents express concern. Federal law demands cities by law to share information with ICE agents. However, under the Trust Act, Boston is allowed to argue that it doesn’t have information to give.
The city’s new resolution also argues, “Boston Public Schools have the right to safe education, without worry of detention by immigrant officials.”
The Undergraduate Student Government (USG) of the University of Massachusetts Boston (UMB) has also agreed to preserve the city’s sanctuary status on campus.