Open-Borders Crowd Holds Massachusetts Budget Hostage



Massachusetts is now the only state in the union not to have passed a budget for the new fiscal year, which started July 1.  And the main reason appears to be the die-hard commitment of a minority of state legislators to doing everything they possibly can for illegal aliens rather than their own constituents.

For more than a year, stand-alone sanctuary legislation euphemistically called the “Safe Communities Act”—Senate Bill (S.) 1305 and House Bill (H.) 3269—didn’t really go anywhere.  Despite Massachusetts being a liberal state, the bills were met with fierce resistance by grass-roots activists, with FAIR’s assistance.  Statewide leadership mostly wanted to dodge the issue: House Speaker Robert DeLeo (D-Winthrop) made it clear that he and most of his fellow House Democrats felt other issues should take priority, while Republican Governor Charlie Baker said repeatedly he thought this should be a local matter for individual cities and towns to decide on their own.

Having failed to pass a sanctuary bill on its own, the open-borders crowd then changed tactics to playing games with the state budget.  The House passed a budget bill without any sanctuary provisions on April 26, but on May 23, the Senate passed a sanctuary amendment by Senator James Eldridge (D-Acton) that would forbid state and local law enforcement from asking about anyone’s immigration status, cancel 287(g) agreements by any agency other than the Department of Corrections, and could easily be read as a blanket ban on practically any information-sharing or other cooperation with federal immigration authorities.  Six Democrat Senators broke ranks with their party to join all seven of the Senate’s Republicans in voting No.  Governor Baker called the Senate amendment “ridiculous and outrageous,” and promised a line-item veto if it ever reaches his desk.

On June 4, each chamber appointed its Way & Means chair, vice-chair and ranking minority (i.e., Republican) member to a conference committee to work out a final budget agreement.  But roughly six weeks later, the conference committee still hasn’t been able to produce anything.

On July 9, Speaker DeLeo proposed passing a budget stripped of all non-financial policy language (so-called “riders” or “outside sections.”)  The two chambers’ differences over these provisions are apparently the main holdup in reaching an agreement, and the Senate sanctuary amendment is by far the most prominent of them.  The Speaker expressed frustration that “[i]t’s getting later and later. It’s imperative that we do a budget immediately … if we take up the so-called money portion, which is what a budget is all about, take that up now, then we can always go back in the final weeks of session and talk about some of the policy matters as well.”

Undeterred by the Speaker’s comments, illegal-alien supporters responded on July 10 with yet another theatrically outraged Beacon Hill rally to demand (even more of) a sanctuary state.  Senate President Harriette Chandler (D-Worcester) even seemed to be taking their side when she said she “personally feel[s]once we get started and get some movement I think we can probably get through more than just the revenue piece.”

Budget negotiations remain in limbo, and Eldridge’s sanctuary amendment is obviously the most glaring sticking point.  DeLeo stated again on July 12 that he believed it would be “very difficult” to pass on the House floor and thus could put the entire budget in jeopardy.  Yet the 54-member House Progressive Caucus has apparently written privately to the budget conference committee insisting that it be kept in.

Hundreds of dangerous criminal aliens already owe their freedom to Massachusetts’ current sanctuary policies, yet these politicians want even more?  Most Massachusetts voters and officials of all political stripes almost certainly don’t want everything else in the Commonwealth to be sacrificed on this one issue, but a vocal minority has ground the process to a total halt.  The citizens of the Bay State need to tell their legislators to stop playing games and pass a budget for them, not for illegal aliens.

About Author

avatar

Dave joined FAIR in 2017 after more than ten years as an Assistant State Attorney in Broward County, Florida. His prosecutorial experience covered trial litigation at the misdemeanor and felony levels, drug court and mental health court, and two years as an intake attorney in the juvenile division working closely with law enforcement. Before this, he was a legislative analyst/staff attorney with the Judiciary Committee of the Florida House of Representatives, where he assisted state legislators in ensuring the effectiveness and constitutionality of legislation on a wide variety of subject matter. In both capacities, he often dealt with the interaction of state law and immigration. Dave holds BAs in History and International Relations from American University and a JD from Tulane University Law School.

8 Comments

  1. avatar
    Stephen Russell on

    Send Illegals to HOT Blue states crying for Illegals, ID those states.
    If MA is among them sorry.
    Until voters turn MA Red or semi Red in voting.
    Flood NYC with illegals than see tourism drop

  2. avatar

    Lyin’ Ryan and the Senate GOP Leader Showed Their Never Trump Bias Yesterday

    So did Flake and McCain…..Trump flushed them out of the bushes with his pre-planned misquote on the Summit?

    Then the ICE vote results iced the out-of-the-box Trump strategy as good?

  3. avatar

    This is the People’s Republic of Marxachusetts; what TF do you expect? I’ll be leaving this Eff’ed Up state in the fall to take up legal residence in South Carolina. There I can work for the defeat of the most popular RINO senator behind Juan McAmnesty, his girlfriend Light-Loafered Lisping Lindsey!

  4. avatar

    The irony could not be any richer. Sanctuary legislation known as the “Safe Communities Act”. There is nothing “safe” about working day and night to keep felon criminals from being deported and then putting them back on the street to prey on more victims.

    Nothing surprising about how selective the media is when it comes to Trump. Apparently the left has decided that our intelligence agencies are pure as the driven snow. Quite a change from when Bush was using their ginned-up reports to invade Iraq when it was obvious to neutral observers that they did not have WMD, which proved to be the case. Fifteen years later we are still there, and open-borders war addicts like McCain and Lindsey Graham attack anyone who suggests getting out.

    And the real gift to Russia was by the Obama administration when Hillary was Secretary of State. Headline from NY Times story of April 23, 2015: “Cash Flowed to Clinton Foundation Amid Russian Uranium Deal”.

    From the story: “As the Russian atomic energy agency gradually took charge of a company that controls one-fifth of all uranium production capacity in the US, a stream of cash made it’s way to the former President’s charitable foundation.” “The headline of the website Pravda trumpeted President Vladimir Putin’s latest coup, it’s nationalist fervor recalling an era when it’s precursor served as the mouth piece of the Kremlin: ‘Russian Nuclear Energy Conquers The World’ “.

    Basically Obama and Hillary gave Russia 20% of our uranium reserves and like 1984 it’s essentially ignored.

    • avatar

      many illegals are decent people who are merely escaping their corrupt countries. if we put EMPLOYERS of ILLEGALS IN PRISON and end the ANCHOR BABY WELFARE we stop the invasion.

    • avatar

      “One fact a lot of Americans forget is that our country is located right up against a socialist failed state that is promising to descend even further into chaos – not California, the other one. And the Mexicans, having reached the bottom of the hole they have dug for themselves, just chose to keep digging by electing a new leftist presidente who wants to surrender to the cartels and who thinks that Mexicans have some sort of hitherto unknown “human right” to sneak into the United States and demographically reconquer it. There’s a Spanish phrase that describes his ideology, and one of the words is toro.”
      Kurt Schlichter

FAIR blogs can now be found on our main site at https://www.fairus.org/blog