North End Waterfront - Council Considers Toughening the Trust Act
Wednesday, April 10, 2019
The Boston City Council recently held a hearing about strengthening the Trust Act .
The Trust Act is a citywide ordinance that prevents Boston Police from detaining immigrants on the request of U.S Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
This week’s hearing comes after an incident in 2017 where Boston Police and ICE worked together to arrest Jose Martin Paz Flores. At the time, Flores was working for Tara Construction and broke his leg after a work injury. He was arrested by ICE after filing a workers’ compensation claim. Boston Police assisted with the arrest.
Police Commissioner William Gross said the police department acted accordingly.
“We did our job. We did nothing wrong,” he said at the hearing.
Councilor Lydia Edwards questioned why Boston Police helped coordinate the arrest and identify Flores. However, Gross insisted the department did nothing wrong.
“I don’t know why you keep asking this question,” said Gross.
Edwards added that she didn’t think the department violated the Trust Act, but said they might need a stronger ordinance if they want to separate the police from ICE.
“We want points of clarity too,” added Gross. “If we find someone and they have a warrant, we’re not supposed to look the other way, even if they have immigration issues. I don’t get it. I’m confused on that.”
Edwards believes Tara Construction may have been an abusive employer and wants to find ways to strengthen the ordinance to protect immigrant employers from that very thing. She thinks Tara Construction reported Flores because of workers’ compensation insurance when he was injured on the job.