Sent to JP News publisher on Sunday, July 29 at 3:09PM per Sunday night deadline.
“It’s disappointing and frustrating to me that the legislature didn’t have enough votes to override the governor’s veto on the desired immigrant protection provisions in the FY19 budget,” said Representative Liz Malia (11th Suffolk). "It appears many of my colleagues didn’t want to take the vote, especially in certain purple and red districts of our commonwealth. Unfortunately, they found a way to block the inclusion of the protection provisions, although some corrections were required.
“Sadly, we supporters, including Chairman Sánchez, didn’t have enough votes to make it happen under Governor Baker’s looming veto threat, which essentially axed the effort. This heartbreaking fact demonstrates that there’s much more work to do. In many ways – similar to the marriage vote – individual outreach to all 160 members of the legislature is needed.
“Despite the loss, it's important to recognize those positive civil rights items that were successful in this budget. We provided Juvenile Courts with clear statutory authority to protect unaccompanied immigrant youth from deportation, made sure both documented and undocumented students have access to quality public education and English language learner programs, and required adequate training for LGBT senior providers. I believe the scope of the accumulated policy and district work I’ve done or been a part of proves my commitment to human rights and immigrant justice issues.
“Immigrant protections are a major priority for me and will continue to be. I cosponsored the Safe Communities Act and lobbied House leadership for its passage this session, and I will continue to do so. I look forward to working with advocates including the ACLU, MIRA, Centro Presente and many others who are passionately involved in the fight to bring this matter to resolution. In the meantime, everyone must be aware that each municipality has the power to implement safe community principals. I’m proud of Mayor Walsh for taking the stand he did in Boston, which sent the message to Washington: immigrants are welcome here and will not be subject to harassment.”