Massachusetts Immigration Reform Bill is Making Progress—But Obstacles Remain

Several prominent Massachusetts lawmakers are pushing a key immigration reform bill that would provide much needed legal protections to vulnerable people. Most notably, the law seeks to limit cooperation between federal immigration enforcement agencies and state and local police departments.

According to a report from MassLive, the Commonwealth’s proposed immigration reform is advancing through the legislative process. That being said, some significant obstacles still stand in the way. Timing may be one of the biggest issues. In this article, our Boston immigration lawyer discusses the proposed bill, its implications, and what to expect in the coming weeks and months.

Immigration Bill Would Limit State/Local Cooperation With Federal Immigration Officers

In response to the ‘Black Lives Matter’ protests, the Massachusetts state legislature is considering three different police reform bills. In various ways, the proposed bills are focused on reducing police violence.

At the same time, several lawmakers are warning that the Commonwealth’s leaders need to do more to protect minorities and minority rights. Representative Liz Miranda and other co-sponsors are pushing an immigration reform bill to protect immigrants against overly aggressive law enforcement tactics. As noted by Representative Miranda, many of the communities that have the most police interactions are “Black immigrant communities.”

If passed into law, the Massachusetts immigration reform bill would strictly limit cooperation between state and local law enforcement agencies and federal immigration officials. As the proposed legislation has many prominent supporters, political observers believe that it has a reasonably good chance to become law.

Immediate Action is Needed: The Legislative Session is Coming to a Close

It is clear that the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must do more to protect vulnerable immigrant communities from overly aggressive enforcement action being pushed by the Trump Administration. The proposed legislation is an important step in codifying more protections in the Commonwealth’s code. Unfortunately, time may be running out to pass this bill—at least in the short term.

As MassLive explains in its reporting, the Commonwealth’s traditional two-year legislative session is set to come to a close at the end of the month. To further complicate matters, the COVID-19 pandemic has disrupted legislative sessions over the last few months. Commonwealth lawmakers have many issues on their plate—including coming to a budget for the next fiscal year. If the bill is not passed by July 31st, it could be months (or longer) before Massachusetts lawmakers take up the issue again. We encourage you to contact your representatives and let them know how important it is to protect immigrant rights in Massachusetts.

Get Help From a Boston, MA Immigration Lawyer Right Away

At Goldstein Immigration Lawyers, our top Boston immigration attorney is a skilled, results-focused advocate for clients. You deserve reliable, trustworthy legal representation from an experienced attorney. To request a confidential initial appointment with a dedicated immigration attorney, please call our Boston office at (617) 722-0005 or contact us online. We represent clients throughout the entire region, including in Massachusetts, Rhode Island, and Maine.