Press Release: Tuesday, May 15, 2018

ACTION ALERT: We need you to call your Senator to protect immigrant families!

Our best chance to get new protections for immigrants in our Commonwealth has arrived – but we need to mobilize to show overwhelming public support!

The state Senate will be taking up its version of the FY 2019 budget next week. Sen. Jamie Eldridge, sponsor of the Safe Communities Act, has filed an amendment advancing 4 key protections from the bill. We believe the amendment has a good chance of succeeding, but we need to get as many Senators as possible to endorse it – and be ready to fight for it.

Please call your Senator and Senate leaders today! Then forward this message to everyone you know. And for the greatest impact, sign up to phone bank with the ACLU on May 17, 22 and/or 23!

The ask from our Senators is simple: Take a stand for immigrant families in our Commonwealth by co-sponsoring Senator Eldridge’s amendment #1147. We also want them to commit to OPPOSE Senator Fattman’s amendment #1136, which would allow police to detain people for federal immigration authorities.

Note to Western Massachusetts residents: If you are a former constituent of Senator Stan Rosenberg, please call one or all of these three Senators instead, who have committed to represent your district: Sen. Anne Gobi, 617-722-1540; Sen. Adam Hinds, 617-722-1625; and Sen. Eric Lesser, 617-722-1291.

You can reach Senate President Harriette Chandler at 617-722-1500 and Senate Ways & Means Chairwoman Karen Spilka at 617-722-1640. The message for them: We need your leadership to protect immigrant families in our Commonwealth. Please support Senator Eldridge’s amendment #1147 and defeat Senator Fattman’s amendment #1136, which would take Massachusetts in the wrong direction.

Want to make things super-easy? Use our Phone2Action tool, which automatically connects you ‒ no need to look up names or phone numbers! If you want more details on Senator Eldridge’s amendment and why it’s so crucial, see our handout. But keep your call short and sweet. What matters is how many calls come in; we want to show there’s overwhelming support for Senator Eldridge’s amendment.

If you get a voicemail, make sure to leave your name, address and phone number!

Two more amendments that need your support

You may have heard about White House Chief of Staff John Kelly’s comments about immigrants today being too poor and uneducated to “assimilate.” But integration, as we prefer to think of it, is a two-way street. If immigrants want to learn English and advance their education, we should encourage them – not make it near-impossible!

That’s why, as you call your Senator and Senate leadership, we urge you to also ask them to support Senator Eldridge’s amendment #176, to boost funding for adult basic education and English classes from $31 million to $34.5 million. Right now there’s a 16,000-person waitlist for English classes for adults. Let’s recognize the enormous need and invest accordingly!

And one more: Senate Minority Leader Bruce Tarr is sponsoring amendment #658 to boost funding for the Citizenship for New Americans (CNAP) program from $400,000 to $500,000. Not only do we agree that we should encourage eligible immigrants to become U.S. citizens – this is also a chance to recognize bipartisan support for immigrant communities in Massachusetts.

We have a lot at stake in the next week. So please get on the phone, and get everyone you know to call as well!

Amy Grunder
Director of Legislative Affairs