Editorial

Lawrence did the right thing

On Tuesday August 11, the council of the City of Lawrence adopted two important but controversial resolutions; Safe Driving Act and the Trust Act. (Safe Driving Act and the TRUST Act.)

The Trust Act limits the way in which the authorities, at a given moment, try to enforce federal immigration laws.  Boston and Somerville have already established the Trust Act, proposed by Sen. James Eldridge, D Acton, and approved in March 2014. “If our federal government will not take action regarding immigration reform, then we must take action state level, “he said.

Safe Driving Law has been approved in 11 states including Connecticut and Vermont and allow Massachusetts residents without social security number, obtain a driver’s license.

Both measures were proposed to the city by the Merrimack Valley Project during a meeting held in the gym of the former St. Mary School on 20 June. MVP urged the City Council to pass an ordinance to establish a similar Trust Act which cities like Boston and Somerville have passed.  The coalition also called on the city council to pass a resolution endorsing the Safe Driving Act which is before the State Transportation Committee.

Since that meeting, which was attended by Lawrence Mayor Daniel Rivera and Council President Modesto Maldonado who stated his support for both measures, becoming the main promoter of both actions, Mr. Maldonado appeared on all radio programs broadcast in the city that he was invited both in English and Spanish.  Despite their efforts to clarify the purpose of both measures, he could never convince those who already had their minds made up.

From the beginning the Mayor Rivera made it clear that he was in agreement that the undocumented workers should have driving licenses but not with the Trust Act and ratified it in his press release that you can read in full on page 2.

Casting her vote in favor of the Trust Act Councilor Eileen O’Connor Bernal said what we had already learned, if Somerville, the latest city to implement such a measure has not seen any increase in crime, why say it all immigrants are criminals?

Remember that this country was founded by immigrants who came after the advantages that this country provides to everyone coming to its shores, especially Liberty and Justice for all.  Please let’s not limit them for just a few of us.

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