OPINION | Barry Richard: Montigny Votes for Sanctuary State Amendment
The Massachusetts Senate has endorsed an amendment to the FY19 budget that, for all intents and purposes, would make Massachusetts a sanctuary state.
The measure is so off the wall that six Democrats ran for cover and joined their Republican colleagues in voting against it, including Westport's Mike Rodrigues and Taunton's Marc Pacheco. New Bedford's Mark Montigny, as you might expect, voted in favor of the amendment.
The amendment, sponsored by ultra-progressive Jamie Eldridge, would restrict cooperation between local police and federal immigration authorities.
The State House News Service says the amendment (# 1147), "would prevent law enforcement from asking people about their immigration status, prohibit collaboration between Massachusetts law enforcement and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and would bar state resources from being used to create a registry based on ethnicity, religion, country of origin and other criteria."
SHNS quotes Eldridge as saying, "This would assure police and law enforcement refrain from inquiring about immigration status unless required by law. It would also require police to obtain consent before an interview with ICE and inform them of their right to deny an interview with ICE. It would also prohibit 287G agreements which deputize local authorities to enforce federal immigration law."
SHNS says Senate Republican Leader Bruce Tarr countered, "The amendment before us has internal contradictions, violates federal law, is not practical in terms of its application, and could have what I would hope would be the unintended consequence of prohibiting communication between law enforcement officials when it is in the interest of public safety."
Bristol County Sheriff Tom Hodgson tells WBSM that elected officials who provide sanctuary to illegal aliens should be arrested.
Why does Montigny thinks this is good for New Bedford? Does he believes his constituents approve of making Massachusetts a sanctuary state? Montigny, who recently called Mayor Jon Mitchell "stupid" for trying to keep beggars off of the Route 6 median strip, seems to find himself on the wrong side of logic once again.
Does Montigny truly represent what's best for our area, or is it time for a change?
The House leadership has already indicated that the amendment will not be included in its version of the budget. Smart move.
Barry Richard is the host of The Barry Richard Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from noon to 3 p.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @BarryJRichard58. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.