February 7, 2017
BOSTON – Senator Sal DiDomenico and his colleagues in the Massachusetts Senate unanimously passed a resolution Thursday to condemn the recent Executive Order issued by President Donald J. Trump which bars entry to the United States for certain nationals from seven Muslim-majority nations.
The bipartisan resolution recognizes the unique importance of immigration to the history of Massachusetts since its founding, through the present, and highlights the Senate’s concerns with President Trump’s January 27th Executive Order on constitutional, moral, and policy grounds.
“Our nation has always stood as a beacon of hope and land of opportunity for immigrants and refugees from around the world, and we should be proud of our strong tradition of welcoming people to our country and our Commonwealth,” said Senator DiDomenico. “Immigrants and refugees helped to build our great nation, and they continue to provide invaluable contributions to our culture, economy, and the very fabric of our society. With this resolution, my colleagues and I in the Senate have sent an important message that we will stand up to hatred, and reaffirm our commitment to reject discrimination based on faith, race, nationality, ethnicity, or gender.”
President Trump’s Executive Order suspends entry for all refugees for 120 days and indefinitely suspends access to refugees fleeing the civil war in Syria. The order also bars citizens from Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen for 90 days. The immigration edict has already impacted individuals arriving in Massachusetts via Logan International Airport, including two University of Massachusetts Dartmouth professors.
In his speech on the Senate floor, Senator DiDomenico expressed his proud support for the resolution and shared the story of how his own grandfather immigrated to the United States from Naples, Italy. "This is the best country in the world, where you have an Italian immigrant, a young boy, come to this country all by himself and two generations later his grandson is sitting in this chamber," DiDomenico said. "That's what this country is all about, not what we're seeing in Washington D.C. today."
The full text of the resolution is below:
RESOLUTIONS IN RESPONSE TO THE JANUARY 27, 2017 PRESIDENTIAL EXECUTIVE ORDER.
WHEREAS, IMMIGRANTS FOUNDED THIS COMMONWEALTH NEARLY 4 CENTURIES AGO; AND
WHEREAS, THIS NATION AND THIS COMMONWEALTH ARE PROUD OF OUR STRONG TRADITION OF WELCOMING IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES TO OUR SHORES; AND
WHEREAS, OUR NATION AND THIS COMMONWEALTH HAVE STOOD AS A BEACON OF HOPE FOR REFUGEES FLEEING WAR, VIOLENCE AND PERSECUTION; AND
WHEREAS, IMMIGRANTS PLAY AN ESSENTIAL PART IN STRENGTHENING THE COMMUNITIES AND ENRICHING THE SOCIETY OF THIS NATION AND THIS COMMONWEALTH; AND
WHEREAS, IMPORTANT SECTORS OF THE COMMONWEALTH’S ECONOMY, INCLUDING HIGHER EDUCATION, HEALTH CARE AND INNOVATION, DEPEND HEAVILY ON IMMIGRANTS’ CONTRIBUTIONS; AND
WHEREAS, THE EXECUTIVE ORDER PROHIBITS MANY FOREIGN STUDENTS, WORKERS AND OTHER VISA HOLDERS FROM 7 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; AND
WHEREAS, THE FIRST AMENDMENT OF THE CONSTITUTION PROTECTS THE FREEDOM OF RELIGION AND THIS EXECUTIVE ORDER PRIORITIZES THE ADMISSION OF REFUGEES BASED ON SPECIFIC RELIGIONS; AND
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; AND
WHEREAS, THE EXECUTIVE ORDER PRESENTS SERIOUS CONSTITUTIONAL AND OTHER LEGAL ISSUES OF DUE PROCESS, EQUAL PROTECTION AND DISCRIMINATION ON THE BASIS OF RELIGION AND NATIONAL ORIGIN; NOW 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 COPIES OF THESE RESOLUTIONS SHALL BE TRANSMITTED FORTHWITH BY THE CLERK OF THE SENATE TO THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND THOSE MEMBERS OF CONGRESS FROM THE COMMONWEALTH.