The Winchester Multicultural Network stands in solidarity with all those who feel threatened by the Trump administration’s latest round of immigration harassment. While as of Monday, July 15, the wide-sweeping raids announced by the administration have not yet come to fruition, the damages inflicted on civil liberties in this country cannot be easily undone. These actions foment an environment of fear and uncertainty, and none of us can feel truly safe when some among us are threatened. As Mary Bauer, Director of the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), explained, “Immigrants and immigrant communities all over the country are in hiding and people are living in these terrified, terrorized ways, because that is the point of this whole action, whether enforcement actions take place or not.”
In response to this situation, the Multicultural Network’s new Immigrant Justice Committee is advocating for Winchester to become a Safe Community through passage of the “Safe Communities Act.”
This Act aims to maintain MA residents’ trust in their local police force by ensuring that the police are not entangled in immigration matters, and by protecting due process in all interactions with law enforcement. The Act supports an environment where all people living, working, or visiting an MA community can be confident that interactions with town/city agency or officials will not lead to questions about their immigration status.
The key features of the Safe Communities Act are: (click on “+” sign for features details)
The Safe Communities Act now before the Legislature is Senate bill S.1401 (Sen. Jamie Eldridge) and House bill H.3573 (Reps. Ruth Balser and Liz Miranda). There are currently 76 House and 21 Senate co-sponsors. In addition, as of April 20, 2018, 30 cities and towns in Massachusetts have declared themselves to be “welcoming cities” for immigrants.
In service of our goal to be a safe and welcoming community for all, the Winchester Multicultural Network has undertaken the goal of making Winchester a welcoming town. Beginning this fall look for us at town events where we will be soliciting opinions about this important issue from Winchester residents and visitors.