Tag • Immigration Law Blog

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh Supports Immigrants, Stands Behind Newly Amended ‘Trust Act’

As reported by WGBH, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh recently told Boston Public Radio that immigrants should be able to feel safe in our city. The mayor’s statements came after rumors swirled that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), under the instructions of the Trump Administration, was preparing to launch major raids in dozens of cities across the country — including in Boston. 

However, Mayor Walsh and Boston Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement Director Yusufi Vali confirmed that there was no evidence of unusual deportation raids in the city. In addition, the Mayor also reaffirmed his support for the Boston Trust Act — a local law that was recently amended to clarify that the Boston Police Department will not act as an immigration enforcement agency. 

The Boston Trust Act: Explained

Passed unanimously by the City Council in 2014, the Boston Trust Act is a local ordinance that seeks to ensure that all immigrants are able to fully and completely participate in economic life and civil life in Boston. Among other things, the Trust Act limits cooperation between city law enforcement agencies and law enforcement officers and federal immigration agents. It is sometimes referred to as Boston’s sanctuary city statute.  

However, there have been some serious questions raised about the viability of the Boston Trust Act — especially in the light of the harsh actions that have been taken by the Trump Administration to undermine immigrant rights. 

In June of 2019, city officials, supported by Mayor Walsh, filed amendments to make the Boston Trust Act significantly stronger. Specifically, the amendments make it clear that local law enforcement officers in Boston will not arrest someone based solely on their immigration status. In Boston, the police will not make an immigration arrest unless a court order in place.

ICE Can Still Conduct Operations in Sanctuary Cities

It should be made clear that local sanctuary status is not a blanket protection against federal enforcement action. 

Boston is one of nearly a dozen cities and towns in the state of Massachusetts that identify as a ‘sanctuary’ jurisdictions for undocumented immigrants. The Boston Police Department is focused on handling local matters — not handling federal immigration issues. Still, sanctuary laws like the Boston Trust Act, as important as they are, will not always prevent ICE from conducting raids. 

If you or your loved one was arrested or detained by ICE in Massachusetts, immediate action is a must. It is imperative that you reach out to an experienced Boston, MA immigration attorney as soon as possible. 

Discuss Your Case With Our Boston, MA Immigration Lawyer Today

At the Law Office of Joshua L. Goldstein, PC, our Boston immigration attorney is a compassionate and committed advocate for clients. We handle the full range of immigration cases, including defense against deportation or removal. To schedule a strictly confidential immigration consultation, please call us today at (617) 722-0005. With a law office in Boston, we serve communities throughout the state of Massachusetts. 


Boston Deportation Lawyer: Welcome to new home of Boston ICE Detention and Removal in Burlington, Massachusetts

Boston deportation or a removal hearing in Immigration Court often begins with a visit from U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement (ICE). For the unfamiliar, these are the guys that deport people.  The immigration raid in New Bedford, Massachusetts was a fine example of the handiwork of ICE. If you are a green card holder but have a criminal conviction, you may have to contend with ICE. Overstayed your student (F1) or visitor visa (B1/B2)? ICE is the immigration agency you should fear.

In late 2007, U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement moved its Office of Detention and Removal (DRO) from the 17th Floor of the JFK Federal Building in Boston, MA to a new facility in Burlington, Massachusetts.  Their new address is:

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)
Office of Detention and Removal Operations (DRO)
10 New England Executive Park
Burlington, Massachusetts 01803
Phone number: 781-359-7500

If a friend or family member gets arrested in Massachusetts and taken into the custody of the Department of Homeland Security, ICE agents will most like transfer them to the immigration office in Burlington, MA for processing before being moved to an immigration detention center. Immigration bonds are now posted at the ICE Detention and Removal in Burlington, MA and not the JFK Federal Building in Boston.

Recently, with the New England Chapter of the American Immigration Lawyer Association (AILA), I toured the new ICE Detention and Removal facility in Burlington. Since my job as an immigration and deportation defense lawyer in Massachusetts is to defend immigrants who ICE has arrested, I was particularly interested to see the ICE office in Burlington first-hand.

My overall impression–ICE means business! For someone like me who fights to protect people from deportation, it was intimidating to realize that so many critical resources have been devoted to ICE’s new deportation facility. Its Burlington Massachusetts deportation office is tricked-out with latest state-of-the-art electronics and a “War Room” with 100 cubicles–all filled with immigration officers hard at work figuring out how to arrest and deport people. In terms of detention, ICE’s Burlington office has 4 cells, each holding about 25 immigration detainees.

Unless the Obama Administration shifts focus, I fully expect the surge in deportation cases through Massachusetts and New England to continue in 2009 and beyond.

On our tour, the ICE officers were generous hosts. I was impressed by their professionalism. We had an opportunity to meet with Bruce Chadbourne, the Director of ICE Field Office with supervisory responsibilties over Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, and Vermont. Director Chadbourne met with us immigration lawyers and informally answered our questions at great length. I came away convinced that the ICE Burlington, MA office is committed to working cooperatively with the Massachusetts immigration attorneys to resolve any issues.