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Boston considers new immigration proposal

Published:Friday | July 11, 2014 | 12:00 AM

BOSTON (AP):

Boston police would be barred from detaining immigrants suspected of being in the US illegally unless they are wanted for serious crimes, under a proposal introduced Wednesday.

If approved by the City Council, the measure would reverse a key part of the city's immigration policy under former Mayor Thomas Menino. The proposed ordinance has the support of Mayor Martin Walsh.

Boston was one of the first cities to pilot what became the federal government's 'Secure Communities, program in 2006. The programmme, which now covers thousands of jurisdictions in all 50 states and the District of Columbia, authorises the federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement to access fingerprint records made by state and local police following arrests. The agency is then able to request local police detain suspected illegal immigrants for up to 48 hours, even if the person is otherwise eligible for release.

City Councillor Josh Zakim, who formally submitted the measure, said its intention is to make sure all Boston residents feel safe in their dealings with city police.