By Bob Katzen
Bill (H 1107) is up on the Beacon floor discussing the Municipalities and Regional Government Committee held a hearing on legislation that would withhold local aid from any cities or towns that do not enforce federal immigration laws.
The withholding would also apply to communities that have established themselves as “sanctuary” cities or towns that offer protection in a variety of ways to illegal immigrants. Massachusetts currently has five sanctuary cities and towns: Cambridge, Chelsea, Northampton, Somerville and Springfield.
Supporters of the bill say cities and towns that encourage law-breaking are hurting this nation. They argued the state should do everything it can to dissuade those who seek to come here illegally.
Opponents of the bill say it is mean-spirited and noted that some individuals are here because of political asylum. Others said they oppose sanctuary cities but do not support cutting off local aid as punishment.