Illegal immigrants in Cambridge, Massachusetts, won’t be arrested for driving without a license, thanks to a new law.
The Daily Caller reports, city councilors in Cambridge, Massachusetts, voted to prohibit police officers from arresting illegal aliens if they are caught operating a vehicle without a license.
Under a newly passed city ordinance in Cambridge, residents are still legally required to carry a driver’s license if they are operating a vehicle, but local law enforcement has been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens caught driving without identification, Boston 25 News first reported.
The city ordinance, ordained Feb. 10, marks what appears to be the most lenient policy for undocumented immigrants and roadway rules. The policy is aimed to protect those illegally residing in the country from the grasp of the federal government.
The city councillors who passed the ordinance say it’s necessary given increased immigration enforcement emanating from the White House.
“We need to protect our community members from a federal government that’s out of control,” Cambridge City Councilor Quinton Zondervan said of the rule. “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.”
The law is formally entitled “Welcoming Community Ordinance,” and was passed unanimously and the rules spell out what is expected of law enforcement if they encounter an illegal alien operating a vehicle.
“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,” text of the ordinance read.
“In such circumstances, the law enforcement officer taking action shall endeavor to provide the driver a reasonable opportunity to arrange for a properly licensed operator to drive the vehicle before seeking to impound the vehicle, unless the violation is one subject to a statutory or regulatory requirement of vehicle impoundment,” the ordinance continued.
The law also prohibits officers from asking an individual’s immigration status, a move intended to restrict information sharing and cooperation with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
The ordinance states the purpose of the bill is “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.”
A number of states have implemented laws allowing illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses. However, the ordinance in Cambridge which has held sanctuary city status since 1985, “takes the unprecedented step of allowing individuals to operate a vehicle without identification entirely.”