On Tuesday afternoon mothers, children, clergymen, and dozens of others sympathetic to the cause of undocumented immigrants stood on the grand staircase inside the State House imploring lawmakers to pass stricter guidelines limiting how local law enforcement can cooperate with federal immigration agents, specifically the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency.

Tuesday’s demonstration from groups like the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition and the Massachusetts Communities Action Network are the latest in a string of activism surrounding the Safe Communities Act.

Senator Jamie Eldridge originally introduced the act while Barack Obama was in office but tells WGBH News he re-introduced the legislation this session as President Donald Trump ordered ICE to increase enforcement against undocumented immigrants regardless of their criminal records.

Some of the measures would bar police from asking about a person’s immigration status, require law enforcement to inform an undocumented immigrant they have a right to an attorney if arrested, and prevent local police from signing up for a federal program known as 287g that allows officers to assist ICE investigations.

Eldridge included a version of the act as an amendment in the budget bill passed by the Senate in May and had the powerful support of Chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee Jeffrey Sanchez of Jamaica Plain.

But the provisions faced some hurdles even before it cleared the Senate. Speaker of the House Robert DeLeo said as far back as April that there was little consensus on the issue among House lawmakers. Governor Charlie Baker said he would veto the provision, saying he opposes any measure that would turn Massachusetts into a so-called “sanctuary state.”

Ultimately, despite the supportive Sanchez sitting on the conference committee that oversaw the compromise negotiations that produced the final budget passed by the Legislature, the two sides couldn’t come to a consensus and the provision was dropped.

Opponents say that limiting cooperation with ICE could let some undocumented immigrants with violent criminal pasts avoid prosecution and setting so-called sanctuary state policies could allow the Trump administration to withhold federal funding from Massachusetts.

Eldridge sat down with WGBH Radio’s Morning Edition on Tuesday and explained why he believes much of this opposition to his proposed policies is rooted in misinformation.

“The federal courts have been clear the federal government can’t deny funding related to a state’s failure to implement a federal policy federal policy," Eldridge said.

Still, the terms sanctuary city and sanctuary state have been frequent tools used by the Trump Administration to whip up fervor over illegal immigration. During speeches in New Hampshire this year, the president and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions targeted Lawrence, which has a large population of immigrants, as sanctuaries that drove the region's drug problem.

"Sanctuary city and a sanctuary state is really a political term. It doesn’t mean anything," said Eldridge. "If an undocumented immigrant breaks the law, the police have every ability to arrest [them] just as a legal resident or a US citizen. … The right wing has been very successful at somehow suggesting that all undocumented immigrants are criminals."

DeLeo has said that he doesn’t believe the issue is dead. But with the legislative session ending on Monday, it’s extremely unlikely the Safe Communities Act will be addressed before lawmakers return in January.

Eldridge tells WGBH that if he wins re-election he plans to refile the bill and with more stringent limitations on local law enforcement’s ability to cooperate with federal immigration authorities.