By Bob Katzen
House 136-19, approved an amendment that would cut off local aid to sanctuary cities but delay the cutoff until the Office of Public Safety furnishes a study of the cutoff’s impact on the public safety of the state, cities and towns. The amendment is essentially meaningless because as in past years, the study will never be done, and it is just a way to kill the cutoff without having a direct vote on the cutoff itself.
This amendment replaced an earlier amendment that would simply cut off the local aid to sanctuary without delay. Under House rules, there was no roll call on the earlier amendment.
“It was disappointing Democrats attached a further amendment to kill the original amendment that would have worked to stop sanctuary cities,” said Rep. Geoff Diehl (R-Whitman). “We don’t want another mother to have to experience the grief of Maureen Maloney.”
Maloney’s son was killed in August 2011 by Nicolas Guaman, an illegal immigrant from Ecuador, who was driving drunk when he ran a stop sign and knocked Matthew Denice off his motorcycle.
“Illegal immigration costs the taxpayers close to $2 billion a year,” said Rep. Shaunna O’Connell (R-Taunton). “Sanctuary cities make our state a magnet for illegal immigrants. We are a nation of laws. Communities should not be picking and choosing which laws to follow.”
Some supporters of the amendment acknowledge that the amendment is essentially meaningless because there will never be a study. Most of these oppose the cutoff of local aid to sanctuary cities.
But several supporters of the amendment have supported the cutoff of local aid to sanctuary cities in the past but voted for this watered-down version because it was “better than nothing.”
Other opponents of the amendment said that with the delay the amendment is a joke and means nothing. These opponents generally support cutting off aid to sanctuary cities.