Fox & Friends used a recent court ruling in Massachusetts regarding immigration to fearmonger about its impact on public safety in the state. On July 24, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that local law enforcement could not keep people in custody due only to a request from federal authorities -- that if they are otherwise free to go, an “ICE detainer” cannot be used to prolong their detention. During the segment, co-host Steve Doocy claimed the ruling would make Massachusetts “the first sanctuary state” and “make the job of local police much harder,” and former police commissioner Ed Davis said the ruling “is going to adversely affect public safety.” But sanctuary policies don't lead to a decline in safety; studies have shown that sanctuary cities -- which limit cooperation with federal immigration enforcement -- are as safe or safer than other cities. And experts say that maintaining trust with immigrant communities is necessary in order to fight crime. From the July 26 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends:
STEVE DOOCY (CO-HOST): It's a first-of-its-kind ruling for the Massachusetts Supreme Court, paving the way for it to become a sanctuary state, some are wondering. The court unanimously saying local police don't have to comply with [Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE)] detainer requests. So how will this affect law enforcement there? Here to weigh in is the former Boston police commissioner, Ed Davis, joins us from Boston.
So when you were police commissioner, and if ICE or [Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS)] were to call you up and say, “Hey, there's somebody who's the country illegally. We'd like you to hang onto them until they've got their day in court,” what would you do?
ED DAVIS: Well we'd cooperate with them. We would hold people -- the courts held people for up to 48 hours so that the federal officers could come down and take them into custody.
DOOCY: OK, so you always honored the detainers. But the Supreme Court now says that they don't have to, right?
DAVIS: Right. This ruling that came out just in the last couple of days is very clear that police officers and court officers can no longer detain individuals for the feds. They've changed -- they've changed our operation with this decision.
DOOCY: Some have suggested that that could turn Massachusetts into the first sanctuary state. You say that's not the case, but this ultimately does, commissioner, make the job of local police much harder, doesn't it?
DAVIS: Oh, there's no question this is going to adversely affect public safety. Whenever you have a situation where the federal authorities can't coordinate with local authorities, that's a problem. There are legislators right now working on a bill that would allow that to happen, but it's doubtful that's going to get any traction here in Massachusetts.
DOOCY: And this all started -- there was the case of a Cambodian national was held in custody in Boston, I understand. He couldn't make $1,500 bond and so he sat in jail because ICE had requested that he be detained, right? What happened after that?
DAVIS: That's correct. He appeared before the judge. The judge dismissed the case because the prosecution was not ready. Once the dismissal happened, the judge also maintained custody of the individual for the federal authorities and he was -- he was picked up by the feds, by ICE, but the case was appealed to a single justice. It ultimately went to the Supreme Court and the Supreme Court ruled in what is a very well-thought-out and balanced ruling. The problem is that they're saying that legislation needs to occur if we're going to go back to the status quo and that's going to be a big push here in Massachusetts.
DOOCY: So you don't think the state legislature up there in the commonwealth in Massachusetts is interested in that?
DAVIS: Probably not. The attorney general has come out in strong support of the ruling and so it's very clear. Both sides of this argument in the last 24 hours -- I've spoken with people from both sides of the argument, and they've both said that it makes Massachusetts a sanctuary state.