This weekend, I was blessed to spend precious time with my three beautiful children, relaxing in our neighborhood with our extended family and friends. For me, being a father and watching my children learn and grow has been the greatest joy of my adult life. It has changed me in ways I never could have anticipated, and it has profoundly shaped my priorities.
While I was enjoying time with those closest to me, I could not shake the images of other families being ripped apart by intentionally cruel immigration policies. Parents whose children have been taken from them, sometimes without knowing where their children are going or when they will be able to see each other again. Stories of parents being deported without their children.
We must stand up against this cruel policy of family separation. We cannot rest until decency is restored. We must mobilize to elect leaders who will lead us along a different path. This cannot be who we are as a country. History will judge us by how we respond to these assaults on our American values.
But this isn’t just an issue in faraway Washington or on the US-Mexico border. There is important work to be done here in Massachusetts.
Recently, the Massachusetts Senate passed a budget amendment containing key parts of the Safe Communities Act. The measure ensures that:
- Massachusetts public resources should be used to fight crime, not separate families.
- Sheriffs should not be allowed to deputize local officers as immigration agents.
- People detained in state and local facilities for civil immigration violations should get basic due process rights, including the right to decline to participate in interviews with ICE agents.
- Massachusetts will not support Trump’s proposed Muslim Registry.
Echoing Trump’s talking points about criminal immigrants, Governor Baker has threatened to veto this measure if the House passes it.
Right now, Massachusetts faces an important moral choice. Will we stand up to Trump’s cruel immigration policies or will we go along with them? Which side of history will we be on?
After initially offering National Guard resources to Trump for border enforcement, Governor Baker today bowed to public pressure and reversed course. But regardless of his belated reversal, Governor Baker has made it clear that he will not stand up to Trump on immigration.
We need leaders who will.
Quentin Palfrey is a candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Massachusetts who has been endorsed by the Massachusetts Democratic Party, AFT Massachusetts, Progressive Massachusetts, Progressive Democrats of Massachusetts, and more than a dozen Democratic legislators. He previously served as Senior Advisor for Jobs & Competitiveness in President Obama’s White House Office of Science & Technology Policy and as Chief of the Health Care Division in the Massachusetts Attorney General’s Office. More information about his campaign is available here: www.quentinpalfrey.com