City councilors today backed a call to ask Boston Police to stop cooperating with federal immigration officials who want people held on suspicion of being in the country illegally when they are not facing criminal charges.
City Councilor Josh Zakim (Fenway, Mission Hill, Back Bay, Beacon Hill) said people should not be afraid of talking to police when they've been the victims of crimes themselves out of fear they might be picked up and deported.
Councilor Sal LaMattina (East Boston, Charlestown, North End), says he's heard from women who have been raped who won't report the crimes for fear of being turned into ICE - even when they know their attackers.
"It's about time that Boston takes a leadership role," Councilor Tito Jackson (Roxbury) said. "Secure Communities does not secure communities. It actually destabilizes communities." Jackson pointed to protests out west against children being held in detention centers. "We have to do what the federal government isn't doing, which is to protect people in the city of Boston."
Councilors Yancey, Pressley and Wu also spoke in favor of Zakim's proposal. Other councilors said nothing about his proposal, which now goes to a council committee for study.