Tuesday, May 28, 2024

Massachusetts Bristol County Sheriff Thomas Hodgson supports an immigration enforcement aid that would be ended by a statewide Safe Communities Act. (Photo: Bristol County Sheriff)

The Massachusetts Democratic Convention just ended in Worcester. I’ve seen not one speech, no social media posts, not a single word over this weekend about Democrats holding their candidates or fellow party members in elected office responsible for the stalled Safe Communities Act, which languishes in the state’s House of Representatives. The act isn’t stalled because of Republicans; it’s stalled because of Democrats’ refusal to act.

This is why the Democrats will never beat Republican Gov. Charlie Baker this fall.

The act would, in essence, make Massachusetts a sanctuary state like California, helping protect vulnerable immigrants. Women without legal immigration status who are victims of domestic violence would be protected when seeking restraining orders against their abusers. Immigrant victims of crimes would feel safe reporting them to police throughout Massachusetts. The 287(g) program, making a few Massachusetts sheriffs and their deputies ICE agents would be moot.

Democrats want to hold Baker responsible for not condemning President Donald Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and agendas, but at the same time they don’t hold themselves accountable for not even bringing the SCA up for a vote. This is disgraceful, and Democrats should be held accountable by supporters of the act at the ballot box. It’s long overdue for Massachusetts Democrats to take action to pass the Safe Communities Act.

Emmanuel “Manny” Lusardi is an East Cambridge resident and longtime advocate for immigrant rights.