The Jan. 27 editorial pointing out the futility of trying to negotiate with President Trump on immigration is spot on (“No ‘Art of the Deal’ for Dreamers”). Trump is such an unreliable partner in negotiations, and his views are so distorted by racism and xenophobia, that any attempt to work with him is doomed to fail.
However, this lack of leadership extends beyond the White House and into Congress, and has infected the immigration debate for years. The Bureau of Immigration and Customs Enforcement is implementing a broken and unjust system. It is time for Massachusetts state legislators to bring the Safe Communities Act to the floor and enact critical protections for undocumented immigrants.
While companies and wealthy individuals have vastly benefited from immigrants’ low-wage labor, we have chosen to punish immigrants and their families rather than their exploiters. Immigration is a federal responsibility; there is no constitutional requirement for state and local governments to assist in enforcement. In 1855, Massachusetts passed what is known as the Personal Liberty Act and refused to cooperate with the Fugitive Slave Act of 1850. We are at a similar moral turning point today. Do our state legislators have the courage to stand up for what is right?