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Dear Neighbors,


Many of us have joined marches and protests in response to the president's orders restricting immigration. 

Many of you have written and called in support of the Safe Communities Act, which would essentially make Massachusetts a Sanctuary State.  It would state that  law enforcement agencies would not be used to enforce federal immigration law, and prohibits state support for any Muslim registry
  I am a cosponsor.

 

I’m happy to let you know that the Senate last week passed a resolution opposing the president’s Executive Order; I’ll include a copy at the end of this email.

 

Along with many others, including Somerville High School students, I spoke at the Somerville sanctuary city rally on Saturday.

 

I noted that I had not realized how much fear, resentment and even anger there was in our communities toward immigrants.  And then the president made it visible and gave it permission.

 

But I also hadn’t known how much love and support there was.  And then people rose up and made it visible.

 

We need to work to oppose national actions that hurt our people and communities.

 

But we should recognize that everything was not great before the election.  More people were being deported than ever before.  Too many people were being detained in our jails for months before deportation.  Disproportionately, people of color are incarcerated.  Too many people work hard at several jobs and can’t make enough to live in dignity, let alone in Somerville and the rest of our district. And immigrant students, their teachers and schools are labeled as failing and punished by a testing regime that recognizes neither their challenges nor their strengths.

 

Many people after the rallies ask “What else can I do?”  Some are responding to the executive orders by donating to the ACLU.  Others are volunteering to teach English at the Welcome Project (welcomeproject.org).  Teachers at a Somerville middle school heard a new level of name-calling and invited high school students to teach about respect.

 

We can also work for a $15 minimum wage and criminal justice reform.  We can support changing the testing focus that limits children’s learning.   All our struggles for justice are related.   All of them support each other, and build toward a more just society.

Sometimes we wonder if our actions make a difference.  Last night, at Mayor Stephanie Muccini Burke's State of the City address, students read Medford's Unity Proclamation.  Afterward, a recent immigrant said the reading and the crowd's response made him feel safe and welcome again. 

Mass. Senate Resolution in response to Jan. 27 Executive Order

Whereas, immigrants founded this commonwealth nearly four centuries ago;

Whereas, this nation and this commonwealth are proud of our strong tradition of welcoming immigrants and refugees to our shores;

Whereas, our nation and this commonwealth have stood as a beacon of hope for refugees fleeing war, violence and persecution;

Whereas, immigrants play an essential part in strengthening the communities and enriching the society of this nation and this commonwealth;

Whereas, important sectors of the commonwealth’s economy, including higher education, health care, and innovation, depend heavily on immigrants’ contributions;

Whereas, the executive order prohibits many foreign students, workers, and other visa holders from seven targeted majority-Muslim nations, including many who have already been vetted and documented, from entering the United States for at least 90 days; suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, and resumes the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program after 120 days only for nationals of countries as determined jointly by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence;

Whereas the 1st Amendment of the Constitution protects the freedom of religion and this executive order prioritizes the admission of refugees based on specific religions;

Whereas, much of the executive order is inconsistent with the nation’s and the commonwealth’s strong tradition of welcoming immigrants and refugees to our shores, while not conclusively contributing to the important goal of keeping our residents safe and secure from terrorism;

Whereas, the executive order presents serious constitutional and other legal issues of due process, equal protection, and religious and national discrimination; therefore, be it

Resolved, that the Massachusetts Senate:

(1)     reaffirms the commonwealth’s strong tradition of welcoming immigrants and refugees and rejecting discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion;

(2)     calls on President Trump to reconsider and rescind those portions of the executive order that interfere with the rights of already documented students, workers, permanent residents, and other visitors;

(3)     supports the legal actions of our attorney general and other plaintiffs to contest the legality of the executive order in court.
Resolved, that the Clerk shall transmit copies of these resolutions to the President of the United States and those members of Congress from the commonwealth.  

                                                                                            Stay in touch,
Copyright © *Committee to Re-Elect Pat Jehlen, All rights reserved.

Our mailing address is:
CTE Pat Jehlen, 67 Dane St, Somerville MA 02143

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