Yesterday, the Massachusetts Senate adopted the resolution below, which I was pleased to support.
In the discussion around the vote, one of the most moving statements came from a new member of the Senate, Adam Hinds, who served for a number of years in Syria and Iraq for the UN — you can read his story here.
Whereas, immigrants founded this commonwealth nearly four centuries ago;
Whereas, this nation and this commonwealth are proud of our strong tradition of welcoming immigrants and refugees to our shores;
Whereas, our nation and this commonwealth have stood as a beacon of hope for refugees fleeing war, violence and persecution;
Whereas, immigrants play an essential part in strengthening the communities and enriching the society of this nation and this commonwealth;
Whereas, important sectors of the commonwealth’s economy, including higher education, health care, and innovation, depend heavily on immigrants’ contributions;
Whereas, the executive order prohibits many foreign students, workers, and other visa holders from seven targeted majority-Muslim nations, including many who have already been vetted and documented, from entering the United States for at least 90 days; suspends the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, and resumes the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program after 120 days only for nationals of countries as determined jointly by the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Homeland Security, and the Director of National Intelligence;
Whereas the 1st Amendment of the Constitution protects the freedom of religion and this executive order prioritizes the admission of refugees based on specific religions;
Whereas, much of the executive order is inconsistent with the nation’s and the commonwealth’s strong tradition of welcoming immigrants and refugees to our shores, while not conclusively contributing to the important goal of keeping our residents safe and secure from terrorism;
Whereas, the executive order presents serious constitutional and other legal issues of due process, equal protection, and religious and national discrimination; therefore, be it
Resolved, that the Massachusetts Senate:
(1) reaffirms the commonwealth’s strong tradition of welcoming immigrants and refugees and rejecting discrimination based on race, ethnicity, gender or religion;
(2) calls on President Trump to reconsider and rescind those portions of the executive order that interfere with the rights of already documented students, workers, permanent residents, and other visitors;
(3) supports the legal actions of our attorney general and other plaintiffs to contest the legality of the executive order in court; and be it further
Resolved, that the Clerk shall transmit copies of these resolutions to the President of the United States and those members of Congress from the commonwealth.