Chief James X. Fitzpatrick
90 Lowell St
Lawrence, MA 01840
For Immediate Release
Monday, March 13, 2017
Contact: John Guilfoil
Email: [email protected]
Statement of Lawrence Police Chief James Fitzpatrick Regarding Federal Immigration Enforcement Issues
LAWRENCE — Chief James Fitzpatrick issues the following statement:
“Over the last month, the Lawrence Police Department and the City of Lawrence have received numerous inquiries from residents who have read or watched news reports indicating an uptick in immigration enforcement by the federal government.
“In particular, news reports have made mention of a federal program called 287(g), which allows municipal police officers and sheriffs offices to be deputized by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to enforce immigration law.
“I want to state unequivocally that the Lawrence Police Department will, in no way, participate in the 287(g) program. Participation in this program is at the discretion of the chief of police, and our community is not well-served by any Lawrence Police Department participation in it.
“For generations, Lawrence has been a city of immigrants and diversity. We embrace diversity.
“A police department exists only to protect and serve its people. If an immigrant is too afraid to call the police if they need help or are in danger, we cease to serve our purpose.
“The Lawrence Police Department does not conduct immigration status checks on the people it encounters. The only way an individual may face a check on their immigration status is if they are arrested for a violent felony. In such cases, the Department of Immigration and Customs Enforcement may place a hold on that person.
“Anyone with any questions or concerns may call my office at 978-794-5900.”