As the U.S. Congress continues to work toward commonsense federal immigration reform, yesterday Boston became the fifth city in the Commonwealth to pass a local resolution in support of the federal legislation. Introduced by Councilor Salvatore LaMattina, the resolution passed unanimously.
“We are at a critical point in the national debate, so every voice raised in support is important,” said Rocio Saenz, SEIU Local 615 President. Adding, “The Boston City Council recognizes a basic truth about immigration reform – it is good for all of us.”
The Commonwealth’s local resolutions urge the 113th Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform that addresses: (1) earned legalization with a path to citizenship; (2) updated future immigration of families and workers; and (3) improved immigration enforcement and border security that is consistent with our nation’s values. The resolutions also call upon the U.S. Congress to pass commonsense immigration reform immediately. The federal legislation has the potential to transform the lives of 11 million aspiring Americans in this country.
Approximately 20 percent of Massachusetts residents are immigrants, working and contributing over $1 billion a year in state income taxes yet those who are undocumented cannot fully participate in society, e.g., cannot vote.
The Cambridge and Somerville City Councils passed their resolutions in April, and earlier this month, Lawrence and Springfield passed theirs.
“The Boston City Council is proud to join their neighbors in Cambridge, Somerville, Lawrence and Springfield in passing a resolution, unanimously supporting immigration reform. Progressive values embracing immigration have always been the foundation of the City of Boston, from Copley Square, to Dudley Square, to Copp’s Hill and beyond,” said LaMattina.
Councilor LaMattina of District One, is a son of East Boston, a gateway community for many immigrant groups.
Once approved, the local resolutions are sent to Speaker of the U.S. House John Boehner, President of the U.S. Senate Vice President Joe Biden, Governor Deval Patrick, President of the MA Senate Therese Murray, Speaker of the MA State House Robert DeLeo and to the MA General Assembly. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote before July 4 on the federal legislation.