During the special election, my opponent and I were each asked to respond to the same MIRA questionnaire regarding immigration issues. MIRA is the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. We were each asked if we supported in-state tuition, taxpayer ID driver’s licenses, and 287(g), the memorandum which forms the basis for the Arizona immigration statute.
The questions were very clear and the answers we each gave were also very clear. My responses were one word answers; Yes to both in-state tuition and taxpayer ID driver’s licenses, and no to the Arizona immigration statute.
My opponent, by contrast, expressed highly conditional support of in-state tuition with a concern of displacing citizens, opposition to taxpayer ID driver’s licenses and support for the Arizona immigration statute. I will upload each of MIRA questionnaires shortly, for complete details.
I have sought to draw a distinction between us over this issue because I believe that how we decide to treat undocumented workers is the defining issue for progressives at this time in our history. I know this is why I have earned the endorsement of former Senator Jarrett Barrios and many other progressives.
My opponent, during several candidate forums during this election, has repeatedly stated that either he was confused by the questions or that the answers he gave were not what he believed. In fact, during a recent candidate forum at Lesley College in Cambridge, he stated, “Words on a questionnaire are irrelevant.” To me, that statement is shocking.
My opponent’s explanation of his responses detailed in the attached MIRA questionnaire are also very troubling to me because he has had prior experience dealing with immigration issues both as an aide to the prior senator and during his time as a member of the Common Council in Everett. During his term as president of the Everett Common Council, my opponent presided over the unanimous passage of an anti-immigration bill, Resolution c0276-07, which resolved that Homeland Security Funds be withheld from the Cities of Chelsea and Cambridge because those two cities had enacted Sanctuary City Status that supposedly resulted in increased illegal immigration related costs and increased the burden on the legal taxpaying citizens of Everett. See the full language of Resolution c0276-07, passed 10-1-07, by the Everett Common Council, Sal DiDomenico, as President.
My opponent cites his vote against the recent anti-immigration amendment in the Massachusetts Senate as proof of his progressive credentials. I find this evidence, in light of his documented history of anti-immigration positions, less than compelling. And I take some credit for pushing him on this issue.
If my opponent were the deciding vote on that amendment, how would he have cast his vote? What if Cambridge and Chelsea were not in this district, how would he have voted? If Chelsea and Cambridge are further marginalized during the redistricting process the Senate will undertake this year, how will he vote in the future?
These questions have not been answered because my opponent refused to debate me in Everett, where he would have been compelled to answer these questions in front of his more conservative base. I think voters deserve every opportunity to observe candidates exchange ideas. I was very disappointed that my opponent was too busy to make our debate which had been sponsored by his local paper and the venue location approved by a vote of the Everett School Committee. That is not leadership; that is an incumbent trying to protect himself.
You be the judge. But look and listen carefully, you might hear something different depending upon which part of this district you are in when Sal speaks to you.
I respectfully ask for your vote tomorrow, Tuesday, September 14th, in this primary. Approximately 25 percent of the Senate seats will be occupied by new people after this election cycle. I think it is important to elect progressive Democrats to these positions. I hope you agree. But whether you agree or disagree with me, you will always know where I stand.