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Hearing scheduled Friday on bill to make Massachusetts a sanctuary state

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A hearing is taking place this week on a bill that would make Massachusetts a sanctuary state.

The bill, presented by Massachusetts Senator James Eldridge, Democrat – Middlesex and Worcester, is called the Safe Communities Act. According to the bill, the purpose is to protect the civil rights and safety of all Massachusetts residents.

Under the bill, an interview, including any informal questioning, between an agent of the United States Department of Homeland Security or state or local law enforcement agent concerning a person’s immigration status shall take place only if the person in custody gives informed consent by signing a written consent form. The person may choose to decline the interview or to be interviewed only with an attorney present, at the person’s own expense. The form must be available in English and languages commonly spoken in Massachusetts. The bill also states that local police should not notify immigration officials of someone’s release unless they are being released from prison.

The hearing is scheduled for Friday from 11:00 AM-05:00 PM in Gardner Auditorium.

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