Newton Becomes a Welcoming City

by Paul Garver
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Newton is a middle-sized city of about 85.000 in the Boston metropolitan area.

On Feb. 21st, the Newton City Council passed the “Welcoming City” ordinance by a vote of 16-1.

The ordinance prohibits law enforcement or city officials from investigating or arresting someone based solely on immigration status, notifying federal authorities of the release of a person “for immigration purposes” or enforcing a federal program requiring the registration of individuals based on “religious affiliation or ethnic or national origin.”

Use of city resources to assist in the enforcement of federal immigration law is prohibited, as well.

The language of the ordinance was reached by a remarkable consensus among the City Council, Mayor Setti Warren and Police Chief David MacDonald. It could become a model for comparable legislation on other Massachusetts cities and towns. It is similar to the “Safe Communities Act” which has many co-sponsors in the Mass. State Senate and House, but it is currently blocked by autocratic Democratic House Speaker DiLeo and by the threat of veto by Republican Governor Baker.

The full text of the Newton Ordinance can be viewed at

newton-welcoming-city

 

 

 

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