Legislator responses to our MoveOn.Org petition

 

Our MoveOn.Org petition asks legislators to support the Safe Communities Act. Here are the responses of the legislators we’ve heard from so far:

Sonia Chang-Díaz

Thank you for your inquiry regarding the Safe Communities Act, An Act to Protect the Civil Rights and Safety of All Massachusetts Residents (S.1305). Your advocacy helps to identify the priorities that guide me in my work on behalf of the Second Suffolk District and the Commonwealth.

I was proud to co-sponsor this bill. I have consistently advocated for positive immigration policy in the State Senate. I believe the Safe Communities Act protects Massachusetts communities and law enforcement agencies from federal overreach, ensuring the focused use of limited state and local law enforcement dollars and restoring the valuable trust relationship between neighborhood residents and police. Furthermore, it prohibits state support for the creation of a Muslim registry that would infringe upon our basic human rights.

You may be glad to know that I have also introduced legislation that makes it possible for undocumented students to have the same higher education opportunities as their peers in Massachusetts. An Act Providing Access to Higher Education for High School Graduates in the Commonwealth (S.669) would allow students who have attended a Massachusetts high school for three or more years and have graduated to be eligible for in-state tuition rates and state-funded financial assistance at Massachusetts state colleges, universities, or community colleges.

We need to stand together to safeguard civil rights protections of all Bay Staters, and you can be confident that I’m working hard to ensure immigrants in Massachusetts are treated with dignity and respect. I so appreciate your activism for these goals.

Thank you again for reaching out to me. Please do not hesitate to contact me or my Legislative Aide, Ernesto Reyes Hernández, at (617) 722-1673 or ernesto.reyeshernandez@masenate.gov, should you have any additional questions or concerns.

Saludos,

Sonia Chang-Díaz State Senator Second Suffolk District

Jennifer Benson

Dear Constituent,

Thank you for contacting State Representative Jennifer Benson.

I hope you will be pleased to know that the Representative has signed on as a cosponsor to An Act to protect the civil rights and safety of all Massachusetts residents, also known as the Safe Communities Act.

Best,

Sean Rourke, District Director State Representative Jennifer Benson State House, Room 42 | Boston, MA 02133 sean.rourke@mahouse.gov | (978) 582-4146 @RepJenBenson | JenBenson.org Facebook.com/RepJenBenson

Kenneth Donnelly

Since the passage of the President’s first Executive Order on immigration and refugees, I have been continually disheartened to learn about the many travelers, including permanent residents of the United States who possess a green card, that have been detained in airports across the country. Further, I am outraged at the President’s proposal to establish a registry based on national origin or religion, which would ultimately target individuals who identify as Muslim. These actions would do nothing to enhance our national security; they would only promote fear and further divide our people. Additionally, they directly conflict with our country’s founding principles of unity, equality, and justice – to neglect these principles is to weaken our nation and to infringe upon the rights of its people.

In response to this injustice, I am a proud co-sponsor of the Massachusetts Safe Communities Act, filed by Senator Jamie Eldridge. This critical piece of legislation would prohibit state collaboration with the federal government for the purpose of creating a federal registry program based on national origin or other protected characteristics (i.e. a Muslim registry). It would also ensure that state resources are not used to enforce federal immigration law.

Thank you to all who have pledged their support for the Safe Communities Act. Moving forward, I will firmly oppose any proposal to impose a Muslim registry and will continue to support every effort to protect all individuals who choose to reside in our Commonwealth. Together, we can and should work toward developing a more welcoming and supportive community for all.

Harriette Chandler

I would like to personally thank you all for supporting the “Massachusetts’ Safe Communities Act,” as well as let you know that I fully support this important legislation. In times like these it’s important that we stand together with our family and friends, neighbors and professors, who were turned away from our country’s airports earlier this year. As the cradle of liberty our state has historically opposed tyranny in all of its forms. We must not allow xenophobia, racism, and anti-immigrant sentiment to take hold in our state. Instead, we need to work to protect and embrace the rich diversity that has made our state a bastion of opportunity.

I know that many of you were at the rally in Boston Common, the rally outside Worcester City Hall, or at the Worcester City Council’s public debate, protesting the immigration orders and voicing your support for our immigrant communities, and for that I thank you. It is through political activism that our country has made progressive strives throughout history and it is through political activism that we will continue to uphold the rights that we are all entitled to today. I ask that you continue to speak up and stay involved, in order to ensure that our state remains open and welcome to all.

Sincerely,

Senator Harriette Chandler 1st Worcester District

John Scibak

Thank you for signing the petition to “Support the Safe Communities Act”. As a co-sponsor of this legislation, I am heartened to see the large number of constituents in the District who share my support for this bill which ensures: 1) No state support for a Muslim registry and prohibits access to information in state databases for use in any federal registry based on national origin, religion or other protected characteristics; 2) Basic Due Process Rights for people detained in state and local facilities for civil immigration violations; 3) State, local and campus police do not participate in immigration enforcement activities, including inquiries, investigations, raids, arrests or detentions that are based solely on immigration status. In addition, this bill would prohibit agreements with the Department of Homeland Security that deputize local officers as immigration agents, including county officers in Bristol and Plymouth sheriff’s departments.

I’m proud of the actions which we’ve taken in Massachusetts to ensure the rights and freedom of all persons and this legislation makes it clear that Massachusetts will continue to do so. Thank you for your support.

Rep. John Scibak Second Hampshire District

David Rogers

Thanks for reaching out.

I was happy to co-sponsor this bill; we have a responsibility to protect the civil rights and liberties of everyone in our state. Especially as we enter an unknown political climate, Massachusetts needs to make sure that everyone’s rights are protected.

Best,

Dave

Alice Peisch

Thank you for contacting me. I share your concerns and I am a co-sponsor of HD3052, An Act to protect the civil rights and safety of all Massachusetts residents/ the Safe Communities Act. I am hopeful that the legislature will take action this session to protect residents from the outrageous acts of the current administration.

Very truly yours, Alice Peisch

Representative Alice H. Peisch 14th Norfolk District Chair, Joint Committee on Education State House, Room 473G Boston, MA 02133 (617) 722-2070 Alice.Peisch@mahouse.gov

John Velis

Thank you for reaching out about the Safe Communities Act. I will certainly take your support into consideration as this bill moves forward through the legislative process. Please do not hesitate to reach out in the future about any other concerns or important issues. My district office can be reached at 413-572-3920, or john.velis@mahouse.gov.

Tom Stanley

To Whom it May Concern,

Hope all is well. My office was recently notified that you signed a petition that states: “Support Massachusetts’ Safe Communities Act, which would protect the civil rights of all state residents by making sure our tax dollars are not used to help the Trump administration deport immigrant families or create a Muslim registry.” Thank you very much for taking the time to share your support for HD3052/S.1305 (SD1596) – An Act to protect the civil rights and safety of all Massachusetts residents (The Safe Communities Act).

As you know, the Safe Communities Act seeks to protect the civil rights of all state residents by making sure our tax dollars are not used to help the Trump administration deport immigrant families or to create a Muslim registry. The bill specifically prohibits access to information in state databases for use in any federal registry program based on national origin, religion or other protected characteristics. HD3052/S.1305 also ensures basic due process rights for people detained in state and local facilities for civil immigration violations. The bill ensures that state, local and campus police don’t participate in immigration enforcement activities so that police resources are used only to fight crime. Lastly, the Safe Communities Act prohibits agreements with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that deputize local officers as immigration agents.

The Senate Clerk’s office recently gave SD1596 its official bills number, S.1305, and reported it to the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security for review. I expect the House Clerk’s Office to do the same for HD3052 sometime in the next couple of weeks. Both bills will receive a public hearing at some point in 2017 or early 2018. I highly recommend for you to keep tabs on where the Safe Communities Act is along the legislative process by looking the bill up using the MA legislature website: www.malegislature.gov.

Please know I have signed on to co-sponsor HD3052/S.1305 and will do all I can to support the bill this year. I agree on the importance for the Commonwealth to lead the nation on civil rights issues and I look forward to working with my colleagues in the House and Senate on passing the Safe Communities Act in the coming months.

Thank you once more for reaching out to me! Please don’t hesitate to get back in touch for updates on HD3052/S.1305 or if you have any additional questions/concerns.

Sincerely, Representative Tom Stanley

Stan Rosenberg

Thank you for weighing in on the continuing debate about immigration which has been heightened by the actions of the Trump Administration . Very soon after his first executive order the Senate unanimously passed a resolution decrying the order and asking that it be repealed. Recently I attended a forum in my district in support of the Safe Communities Bill and this week the Senate will meet in a joint caucus with experts on immigration to discuss the impacts of Washington actions , the economic and social benefits of immigration to the Commonwealth and to prepare for Committee hearing and recommendations. I will continue to encourage that we take action to protect our interests and all of the residents of the Commonwealth . Thanks again for your interest in this critical issue .

Stan Rosenberg