I wholeheartedly support what Governor Patrick is trying to do here.
Patrick said it would be better to tackle the illegal immigration issue on a larger scale than dealing with smaller issues piecemeal. He vowed to work with Congress to pass an immigration overhaul and create a path to legal residency for illegal immigrants.
“I’m going to do everything I can within my power, because I think the recommendations are sound,” he said. “We need comprehensive immigration reform at the federal level. I hope that the Congress will take it up, and I look forward to working with them as they do.”
I’ve been talking about a liberal approach to the immigration debate, but the governor outsmarted me. He’s getting out in front of it.
He told the crowd that immigrants “walked through fire to make your way to this country” from countries such as China, Haiti, Ireland, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, and Pakistan. He pointed out that they are a widely diverse group that include PhDs, professional baseball players, cooks, and custodians, all attracted by the prospects of a better life.
“I know that embracing newcomers is out of fashion these days,” he said. “Concern over illegal immigration has become so shrill that all immigrants get swept up in that emotion. I want you to know that you are welcome here in this Commonwealth. This is your Commonwealth. This is your home. And we welcome you.”
We’ll see what happens — but it looks to me like the governor is looking beyond “these days” and thinking about the future. Bravo, governor. Bravo.