Nobody is above the law — unless, of course, you’re an illegal immigrant driving without a license in Cambridge, Massachusetts.
The sanctuary city unanimously passed an ordinance Monday that tells police officers they should, whenever possible, avoid arresting drivers for being on the road without a driver’s license.
The ordinance is intended to block federal immigration officials from obtaining access to information regarding illegal immigrants, WXFT reported.
“We need to protect our community members from a federal government that’s out of control,” Cambridge City Councilor Quinton Zondervan said.
“There are no other reasons for the police to arrest someone, give them a court summons instead which keeps them out of the clutches of the Trump administration,” Zondervan added.
The city has prioritized finding ways to shield illegal immigrants from facing deportation for several years, according to WXFT.
While the new ordinance applies to legal and illegal drivers, it was clearly written with those who are in the country illegally in mind.
The so-called “Welcoming Community Ordinance” is meant “to establish the City of Cambridge as a Welcoming City, to declare that all are welcome here, and to increase public confidence in the City of Cambridge’s government by establishing standards associated with the City’s voluntary involvement in federal immigration enforcement,” according to the measure’s text, The Cambridge Chronicle reported.
Under the ordinance, police are not only told to refrain from arresting unlicensed drivers (including illegal immigrants), they are encouraged to help those drivers find a another person with a license to drive their car from the scene so that they can avoid having it impounded.
“When taking action against a person who is found to be driving without a valid driver’s license, officers of the Cambridge Police Department shall, whenever possible in the officer’s discretion and if there are no other violations causing the person to be arrested, issue a summons to court instead of taking the person into custody,” the measure says.
The ordinance further states: “City employees and officials may not inquire about the immigration status of any victim, suspect, arrestee, 911 caller, or other member of the public with whom they have contact, except as required by 8 U.S.C. § 1373.”
“Except in response to a judicial warrant or other court order, ICE agents shall not be allowed access to individuals in Cambridge Police Department custody either in person or via telephone or videoconference,” the ordinance adds.
The ordinance raises serious questions about the city’s preferential treatment of illegal immigrants over U.S. citizens.
Like other sanctuary cities across the country, Cambridge appears to be putting the rights and safety of its citizens behind those of the people whose very presence in the country is breaking the law.
What happens if a pedestrian or another motorist is struck and killed by an illegal immigrant who should not have been on the road to begin with?
Will authorities in Cambridge be held liable for creating the policy that failed to discourage those people from driving in the first place?
Will the city operate as an insurance company — ready to write checks to motorists whose property or lives might be destroyed by people on the road with no automobile insurance?
Currently, legal citizens in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts must jump through hoops in order to drive, and they face serious consequences for not following the law.
Legal drivers must pay for a driving test and license and carry vehicle registration and proof of insurance with them at all times. Their vehicles also must have a valid inspection sticker.
Penalties for not driving with a valid license range from a $500-$1,000 fine to 10 days in jail.
But the city of Cambridge has given illegal immigrants a pass when it comes to following all of these rules.
Cambridge, which is located just across the Charles River from Boston, is home to prestigious institutions of higher learning, such as Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
Both schools are known for championing so-called progressive causes.
Student activists at Harvard, for instance, made headlines last year when they protested their own school’s newspaper, The Harvard Crimson, for asking immigration officials to comment on an “Abolish ICE” protest held by students.
Student journalists were accused of “cultural insensitivity” and “blatantly endangering undocumented students” simply for asking government officials to comment in their coverage of the “Abolish ICE” protest, according to National Review.
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