Friday, July 18, 2014

House Minority Leader to Convene Summit Regarding Influx of Immigration Detainees

In response to continued reports surrounding the Commonwealth’s involvement with immigration detainees being housed at facilities within Massachusetts, House Minority Leader Bradley H. Jones, Jr. (R-North Reading) will convene a summit at the State House with members of law enforcement, local officials, and state lawmakers to discuss this ongoing practice.

“Unfortunately, we are seeing the effects of this national immigration crisis unfold here in the Commonwealth,” said State Representative Brad Jones. “Now more than ever, it is imperative that we as public officials determine the full ramifications that the lack of responsible federal action will mean for taxpayers, public safety, public health, and any other state resources.”

The debate surrounding the housing of immigration detainees in Massachusetts was sparked yet again this week as the Obama Administration made a formal request of Governor Patrick that the Commonwealth look into the feasibility of housing unaccompanied minors, who have entered the United States illegally, at facilities within the Bay State. The request, which comes on the heels of numerous reports of the federal government’s transportation of illegal immigrants to two aviation facilities within Massachusetts, further exacerbates the need for the gathering of officials.

The meeting, to be held at the State House, will bring together local and public safety officials who are directly impacted by this ongoing surge of immigration detainees, with federal officials overseeing the movement of those individuals who have entered the United States without proper permission or paperwork. With numerous red flags having been raised over the past few weeks, lawmakers and local officials alike find it imperative that basic questions regarding these ongoing practices be answered.

“I’m glad that Representative Jones is calling an Immigration Detainee Summit to make clear the need to deal with the surge in immigration issues that require our attention,” said Bristol County Sheriff Thomas M. Hodgson.

The meeting, to be held on Thursday, July 24, 2014, will include Bristol County Sherriff Thomas Hodgson and Lynn Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy. Lawmakers have contacted United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement about sending a representative to the roundtable discussion.