Commonwealth Magazine, July 2020
Massachusetts and the nation are reckoning with their racist past during a devastating pandemic where blacks and Latinxs are twice as likely to die from COVID-19. But, any efforts addressing racial equity and police reform here and beyond must include immigrants, a majority of whom are black and Latinx in the Commonwealth.
Spurred by racial justice protests in the aftermath of George Floyd’s death, state lawmakers have proposed police reform to transform public safety and improve police training and accountability. This month, legislators are also weighing two other policies that can transform residents’ interactions with police: the Safe Communities Act and Work and Family Mobility Act. Though both measures seem to primarily affect immigrants, each has racial equity components essential to improving police-community relations.