The Height of Hypocrisy – Newton, MA Protecting the Illegal Aliens It Hopes Never Move There

The City Council of Newton, Massachusetts is considering a sanctuary city ordinance this month. Newton’s city paper The Heights characterized the move as a protest against the election of President Donald Trump and said, “Through these proclamations, the cities cement their commitment to protecting their undocumented immigrant populations, promising that immigrants in violation of federal immigration laws will not only avoid prosecution in the city, but also have continued access to city amenities regardless of their status.”

That may sound very generous, but it’s actually the height of hypocrisy. Newton has virtually no illegal alien population. It is a bedroom community located about 10 miles from downtown Boston. It has a population of about 90,000 people and a median household income of approximately $160,000 per year. That’s over two and a half times the national median, which stands at roughly $60,000. According to real estate websites Zillow and Trulia, the median home value in Newton is just shy of $1 million. Roughly 80% of the population has a college degree and the Newton public schools report only 46 limited English proficiency students. In terms of wealth, education and privilege, it is about as far from Lynn and Lowell, the working-class immigrant towns on the other side of Boston, as one can possibly get.

Therefore, it’s pretty safe to say that Newton isn’t awash in huddled masses of the tired and poor, yearning to breathe free. Unless, of course, you count exiled foreign political leaders such as Benigno Aquino of the Philippines and Nguyen Van Thieu of South Vietnam – both of whom took up residence in Newton once they came to the U.S.

Newton does have a relatively large foreign-born cohort that constitutes roughly 22% of the city’s total population. But Newton’s immigrants are nothing like the typical illegal alien populations in the gritty industrial towns nearby. They are wealthy and lawfully present in the United States. In fact, to the extent that there are any illegal aliens in Newton at all, they’re likely to be F-1 students who dropped out of Harvard or MIT and now stand in violation of the terms of their visa.

The typical – and fundamentally flawed – rationale for sanctuary city policies is that alien victims of crime will be more likely to cooperate with local police if they’re assured they won’t be turned in to Immigration and Customs Enforcement. And it is most often advanced by municipalities that have large immigrant communities and pervasive crime problems. But the Newton Police only make about 882 criminal arrests per year. Given the median home prices and average income in Newton, it is highly unlikely that many of the individuals arrested in the city are illegal alien townies who might lose access to city amenities.

Putting aside the fact that sanctuary policies are dangerous and illegal, why would Newton need one? Apparently, the open borders lobby is great at vociferously demonstrating the courage of its convictions when there is absolutely nothing at stake. Meanwhile, when some illegal aliens finally move to Newton, the police will be happy not to share that fact with the immigration authorities, even if they are criminals. Hopefully none of them will be like Francisco Sanchez, the five-times deported illegal alien who killed Kate Steinle after San Francisco refused to transfer him to ICE custody.

About Author


Matthew J. O’Brien joined the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in 2016. Matt is responsible for managing FAIR’s research activities. He also writes content for FAIR’s website and publications. Over the past twenty years he has held a wide variety of positions focusing on immigration issues, both in government and in the private sector. Immediately prior to joining FAIR Matt served as the Chief of the National Security Division (NSD) within the Fraud Detection and National Security Directorate (FDNS) at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), where he was responsible for formulating and implementing procedures to protect the legal immigration system from terrorists, foreign intelligence operatives, and other national security threats. He has also held positions as the Chief of the FDNS Policy and Program Development Unit, as the Chief of the FDNS EB-5 Division, as Assistant Chief Counsel with U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement, as a Senior Advisor to the Citizenship and Immigration Services Ombudsman, and as a District Adjudications Officer with the legacy Immigration & Naturalization Service. In addition, Matt has extensive experience as a private bar attorney. He holds a Bachelor of Arts in French from the Johns Hopkins University and a Juris Doctor from the University of Maine School of Law.


  1. avatar

    Dear FAIR Board of Directors – I am writing here only because it’s the latest post. I consider myself a centrist, agreeing sometimes with Republicans and sometimes with democrats. To be honest I have until now not followed this issue closely, and an trying to educate myself. When I read your mission statement, I was encouraged that this might be a place to hear all sides of what you rightly point out is an emotional and complicated issue. After spending a lot of time reading, I must commend you as the quality of some of what is written is above what you read in the press. I have certainly learned a lot. However I was disappointed to see that your organization almost exclusively presents the view of the right (which i appreciate) – although in some limited number of cases I’m sorry to say it’s too far right for my comfort (as noted I’m a centrist that doesn’t like extremes). So at the moment I can find sites like yours which (generally thoughtfully) set out the positions of the right and far right. And I can also find generally thoughtful sites that only express the positions of the left and very far left (which also is beyond my comfort zone). Are you aware of any sites (or would you consider being in the future such a site) that are willing to respectfully and thoughtfully present arguments and views from both sides, or even better centrist views that discuss compromise solutions? That I think would be a great help to me and a lot of others that believe that solutions involve understanding both sides and finding compromise. Thank you.

    • avatar

      Who cares if something is labelled “far right” or left or anything else. A fact is a fact. Go read both sides at different sites and come to you own conclusions. Why should anyone spoon feed you or look for some “compromise”.

      • avatar

        Probably wouldn’t know how so wants others to lead him by his nose ring. If this weren’t a fake post he’d know that FAIR reports NOTHING but facts and all of it’s information is 100% verifiable. That alone should be his ‘guide’ to what ‘viewpoint’ he should be reading.
        He should follow the thinking “You’re entitled to your own opinion, but you’re not entitled to your own facts.”. Such a practice in what he reads would be the proper guide. Unfortunately I’m of the belief that he is more interested in the feelings expressed by a writer than the facts.
        Perhaps a revisit to 5th Grade English where that part of speech- Adjectives- are taught, as well as how and why they are used. It might save him a great deal of work.

  2. avatar

    Progressives Have Created an Imaginary Democratic Party

    That represents like 10% of America and brainwashes another 30% that lack street smarts. Their party is the very poor [who don’t vote] and the “rich elite slave labor overlords” [ya got a better name for ’em?]. The Republicans got bit by this same establishment rattlesnake too and poisoned….then Trump organized the basket of deplorables left and won the majority vote, us honest people.

  3. avatar
    jerseycityjoan on

    Don’t forget that many of these immigrants could — and probably do — have illegal immigrant employees. Also many households of all types probably use illegal or legal immigrant labor at home or at work.

    It’s costs them nothing to make these declarations.

    It’s an easy way to make themselves and their immigrant employees happy. Heaven forbid that they replace an illegal worker with a legal one, or that they pay their cheap labor what it’s really worth.

    • avatar

      Yes Jersey

      To sum up Sanctuary Cities paying slave labor foreigner wages and shunning America’s citizens seeking livable incomes with healthcare included and real 40 hr weeks….its tax evasion by the open border rich elite. We give the rich elite this welfare tax evasion and get nothing but a sucker punch in the stomach for compliance. Absurd!!!

      • avatar
        Michael McMahon on

        So true , I am a working tradesman that services the Newton -Brookline areas , trust funded academic leftys , they love illegal aliens , have disgust n distain for working Americans, its salves there white guilt and satisfys there feelings of intellectual superiority , its amazing to me they don’t see there hypocrisy

  4. avatar

    Just more typical limousine liberals Americans, like Mark Zuckerberg or Hollywood actors. Zuckerberg and Hollywood elites lecture Americans about open borders but live in exclusive neighborhoods surrounded by walls in order to protect themselves from the open borders policies they condescendingly lecture Americans about. What hypocrites.

      • avatar

        SecBorders wake up and smell the coffee….lets assume as per your deficient language no open border polices…..they would still live there…………what a joke!!!

        • avatar

          But if they loved open borders and illegal aliens as much as they claim, they would live in the barrio next door to “No Change”, which they don’t do for obvious reasons. Once again, you missed the point of what I said, but what else is new.