Governor’s Latino Advisory Commission must deliver tangible results

Boston Globe
Letter to the Editor: Patricia Montes
Publication Date: 
July 12, 2017

The Baker administration’s announcement of the establishment of a Latino Advisory Commission should, in itself, be applauded. However, in light of his failure to address the aggressively adversarial and negative attitude of both the federal government and state leadership toward the Latino immigrant community, this measure needs to be carefully monitored, and the governor held accountable, regarding any tangible benefits it produces for the thousands of Latino residents in Massachusetts who must confront the draconian policies Governor Baker has failed to call out or act against.

Currently, the Trump Administration appears to be setting a course for eliminating Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for over 300,000 Salvadoran, Honduran, Nicaraguan, and Haitian immigrants, some of whom have been contributing to this country for decades. No advisory committee should be necessary to publicly denounce such a cruel measure that would break up families, close small businesses, rend the social fabric of hundreds of Massachusetts communities, and is, ultimately, a blatantly immoral act. Likewise, no advisory committee should be necessary to identify the risk of permitting local law enforcement to be deputized as federal immigration authorities. To date, both Governor Baker and Speaker DeLeo have abdicated their responsibilities and cast this matter as a local concern for Massachusetts’ 350 municipalities to decide.

We hope that Governor Baker and the Latino Advisory Commission will follow common sense and have the courage to do what is right. Otherwise the measure will be seen as nothing more than cynical pandering.

Patricia Montes

Executive Director, Centro Presente

Centro Presente is an advocacy group representing members of the Latino immigrant community.

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