^ Mayor Walsh, backed by Boston’s City Council and several other electeds (with schools Superintendent Tommy Chang) issues his defiance : “we will protect and defend every resident of Boston !”

—- —- —-

The lede says it all. In his defiance of threats made by the new President to immigrants living in America, Mayor Walsh spoke well. We endorse his defiance. We support his resolve.

Walsh made clear that Boston will not assist the President in his harassment of immigrants. Police Superintendent Bill Gross joined Walsh at his press conference. The two men threw down the gauntlet to the President : you will not have our assistance, indeed we will op[pose you in our official capacities and personally.

I have never seen public officials defy and confront a President as Walsh and Gtoss defied this president. To find anything comparable, one has to go back to before the Civil War,m to the 1850s, when free states and their autho9rities defied every power of the law to protect persons of color from being kidnapped pursuant to the notorious Fugitive Slave Act. And the present defiance measures fully to that of the 1850s. The current President has stated his intention to hound every immigrant who lacks full legal protection, to deport who he can and to make life as insecure as possible for the rest. (If you doubt me, read today’s story, at Huffington post, about immigration attorneys advising their clients, who hold legal “green cards,” not to leave the United States because if they do they might not be let back in : http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/trump-order-immigrants-travel_us_588a7bd4e4b0cef5cf870a7d?section=us_politics

Already, we see that immigrants who aren’t yet full citizens are finding themselves trapped here, their travel rights at risk, their lives curtailed. Just think what is likely to happen once the President issues his actual orders.

Mayor Walsh cannot undo what the President is doing, but he can stand in its way, and this he has done, giving our many thousands of endangered immigrant residents all the security and support that a powerful Mayor has at his command. The President’s immigration police are too few and too lacking in resource to round-ups of immigrants without the assistance of local police; and this assistance they will NOT have in Boston.

Immigrants are all integral to our community and our commerce, no matter what legal papers they have or do not have. Every immigrant is a customer. The more customers a business has, the more it prospers, the more workers it can hire, the more prosperity bit generates for all. Immigrants are the engine of economic growth. Those who want them gone do not understand the negative consequences of what they want.

And thus we stand with Mayor Walsh, we endorse his defiance, we support his resolve to protect and defend — officially and personally — every resident of the City he leads. Remember : Walsh is himself the son of two immigrant parents. This is a fight as personal to him as can be.

The Massachusetts Constitution guarantees to0 every RESIDENT of the State and every VISITOR to it full protection of, and equality before, the law. Citizenship is not the fulcrum of equal rights in our state. Only the right to vote is thus limited. All other civil rights, including jury trial, freedoms, and search and seizure rights, are accorded by our state to EVERY body present within us. Our Constitution was adopted seven years before the Federal Constitution, and it exists independently of it, as do the Constitutions of every state. And though Federal law is, by the Federal Constitution, supreme where there is a conflict, the supremacy is given only to Federal LAW, which is made exclusively by Congress, and not to executive orders or executive arrogations.

Mayor Walsh thus has the full force of law at his side as well as overwhelming public opinion. The current President received only 12.75 percent of Boston’s vote; our rejection of him was no mere whim; it arose from deeply held convictions about justice and ideals. Mayor Walsh speaks for the overwhelming majority of us, and he does so with our full support.

—- Mike Freedberg / Here and Sphere


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