For many of us, last week’s election loss was about more than politics and we’re still coming to terms with the fact that millions of our fellow citizens voted for a candidate who is brazenly racist, xenophobic, and misogynistic.
Since then, every day I talk to people who are heartbroken, confused, and who genuinely fear for their safety in this country under a Trump presidency.
I want all immigrants to our state to know that you have many allies in the Massachusetts Legislature. We know that many of you risked your lives – fleeing political oppression and economic despair, to come here so that you can enjoy equality, liberty, and opportunity – and we will stand firmly against those who want to take that away from you.
Yesterday, Attorney General Maura Healey displayed strong leadership and set up a hotline for people to call and report racial harassment. Today, I wish to call on my fellow legislative leaders and Governor Baker to take a strong stance against the President-elect’s plans to deport millions of our fellow Americans. We have to act swiftly to pass legislation that ensures that we do not contribute as a state to the federal government’s attempts to break up families and communities.
I am proud to announce today that I will re-file the Massachusetts Trust Act in January. The bill will clarify that it is not the responsibility of Massachusetts law enforcement agencies to enforce federal immigration law, and direct Massachusetts law enforcement officers not to arrest or detain individuals for federal immigration purposes.
While Donald Trump may have won the election, he has not changed our Massachusetts values. We will not sit idly by and watch our country be dragged back into the past. We have to protect and celebrate the rich diversity that reflects why the Commonwealth of Massachusetts is called the cradle of liberty. Fighting back against tyranny is an integral part of our history as a state, and we will lead the battle against any attempt to destroy our social fabric or our state constitution.
I will fight against the targeting of people of color, immigrants, the LGBTQ community, women, and for the rights of all our residents every day I hold office and every day after that.
I urge everyone in our state to come together to fight for our values, for our rights, for our vision of America, and for the people who depend on us.
I completely sympathize with the sentiment, but states and their law enforcement agencies don’t get to choose what to enforce I would think. This sounds like nullification.
And if they are dragooned into acting as a new federal law enforcement agency, they can’t do their primary job effectively. Besides, I am pretty sure that conservative “federalist” principles prevent the federal government from coercing the states in this way anyway. Yay, federalism.
Peter Porcupine says
…and they are convicted, and they are not here legally, why would you not want to deport them?
I agree that local law enforcement should not arrest people for status, but if they commit and are convicted of a felony, I have no problem with deportation.
And an argument that I don’t see anyone opposing. This has to do with an argument that local law enforcement officials might be directed to seek out illegals, regardless of whether they have otherwise engaged in criminal activity, for the sole purpose of deportation. That would not be a good use of law enforcement time, and I think that is what is being discussed here.
…but the rhetoric is a little over the top. I’m not in favor of mass deportation of people in the country illegally, for a lot of reasons, and I’m not in favor of having state and local police act as the immigration police, again, for a lot of reasons. But it is hardly “tyranny” to deport someone who is liable to be deported under the law, right?