Press Release: Tuesday, June 12, 2018

TOMORROW: State House rally to call for immigrant protections in state budget


Faith leaders and other members of the Safe Communities Coalition


TomorrowWednesday, June 13, 2018, 10:30 am


Rally to protect immigrant families and delivery of letter


Massachusetts State House (participants will meet outside on the steps and walk in together)

BOSTON – Faith leaders and other members of the Safe Communities Coalition will march through the State House and deliver a letter calling on members of the Budget Conference Committee, House Speaker Robert DeLeo and Governor Baker to protect immigrant families. In particular, the letter asks that a section added to the Senate budget as amendment #1147 be included in full, with four key protections: 1) no police inquiries about immigration status; 2) an end to 287(g) collaboration agreements with ICE, 3) notifying immigrants of their basic legal rights, and 4) ensuring that Massachusetts will not contribute to any discriminatory registry.

“Immigrants are our friends, co-workers, and neighbors,” said Laura Wagner, executive director of Unitarian Universalist Mass Action Network. “They are spouses, parents, workers, siblings, students and children. I am angered when elected officials criminalize immigrants in the name of making communities safe. Tearing families apart and imprisoning undocumented immigrants does nothing to make anyone safe. I ask that legislators pass these four key protections because immigrant families are welcomed here, they contribute a great deal to our economy and communities, and families deserve to be together.”

Faith communities refuse to stay silent as friends and neighbors are taken away. “Current policies are cruelly and deliberately destroying families,” said Rev. John Gibbons, of First Parish in Bedford. “Immigrants are under attack and deserve the protections of this legislation.”

“My heart is broken to see many working parents being separated from their children and without having an alternative, as fathers are torn apart from their families,” said Alexandra Piñeros Shields, executive director of Essex County Community Organization. “The children's future is uncertain without their breadwinner at home. These children and their mothers, many escaping violence in their native countries, are living in fear and hopelessness.”

“This is a season when we annually celebrate the importance of mothers and fathers for our families, and for the social fabric of our communities,” said Natalicia Tracy, executive director of the Brazilian Worker Center. “We need to remember that the prime motivation of immigrants’ sacrifices everywhere is so they can care better for their families. It was true for the ancestors of almost all of us, whether they came recently or long ago. We should not give in to hate, but instead recognize the kinship we share with Massachusetts immigrants, and adopt these four provisions as a way of acknowledging and protecting the very real contributions that immigrants make to our Commonwealth today.”


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