As the battle lines continue to form in the debate over making Massachusetts a sanctuary state a number of communities are quickly moving to become sanctuaries on their own.

Newton and Salem join Boston, Cambridge, Lawrence and Somerville as declared sanctuaries for illegal aliens.   Boston Herald columnist Holly Robichaud says Acton, Arlington, Belmont, Hull, Rockport and Stoughton are also considering sanctuary status.  According to Robichaud, The Center For Immigration Studies believes there are as many as 220,000 illegal aliens residing in Massachusetts collecting some 1.8 billion dollars in social services and welfare benefits.

As lawmakers head back to work from their latest recess they will begin debate on the budget for fiscal year 2018.  Included in the budget, several amendments Robichaiud says could help to "curtail illegal immigration."  She points to one filed by Rep. Marc Lombardo (R-Billerica) that would deny local aid to communities that provide sanctuary to illegal immigrants.

Keep in mind, most of our legislative delegation supports making Massachusetts a sanctuary state.  Anyone who opposes this effort needs to call and e-mail their representatives on Beacon Hill and urge them to vote for the Lombardo bill and against sanctuary state status for Massachusetts.

Better yet, lets unseat these characters in the next election.

Editor's Note: Barry Richard is the afternoon host on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from Noon-3pm. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.