Immigration-Restrictionist Group Voices Concerns Over Potential Lame Duck Pro-Illegal-Immigration Votes In Massachusetts Legislature

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The immigration-restrictionist Massachusetts Coalition for Immigration Reform worries the legislature will use its lame-duck session to push through a pair of bills that are pro-illegal immigration.

Among those bills is one that would allow illegal aliens to obtain driver’s licenses in  Massachusetts (S.2641 and H.3012). Another would make Massachusetts into a sanctuary state (H.3573 and S.1401), making it harder for federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents to get cooperation from local authority in deporting criminals from the country.

The immigration-restrictionist organization notes that the state’s Republican governor Charlie Baker opposes the legislation — and that Democrats until Tuesday, November 3 have had to worry about the effect such a vote might have on their re-election efforts.

“Earlier versions of these bills were introduced periodically over the past decade, but until the present session none were ever reported out of committee,” says a written statement from Massachusetts Coalition for Immigration Reform. “Even though Democrats outnumber Republicans by wide margins in both chambers, most Democratic legislators realize that these bills have little grassroots support and never allowed a floor vote.”

The immigration skeptics note that at least 20 of the 40 state senators have come out in favor of making Massachusetts a sanctuary state, while at least 11 are for driver’s licenses for illegal immigrants. Plus, at least 25 members of the House are for the sanctuary bill while at least 63 support the driver’s license bill. Most of those legislators are running unopposed.

“Shielded from voter accountability, these legislators tend to be more responsive to highly ideological and well-organized supporters of radical measures than they are to the electorate,” the Massachusetts Coalition for Immigration Reform said.

In a normal year, the Massachusetts legislative session concludes at the end of July. However, due to the coronavirus pandemic, the legislature extended the current session indefinitely, to the dismay of immigration skeptics such as the Massachusetts Coalition for Immigration Reform.

In what may well be a turbulent post-election environment, the proponents of pro-illegal immigration bills may seize the opportunity to push wavering colleagues into voting for laws that would not receive serious consideration in normal times,” the immigration-restrictionist organization said.

Conversely, the left-wing group Act On Mass sees the extra time the legislature has as a prime opportunity to push through its agenda, including making Massachusetts a sanctuary state.

The group made this clear in a tweet thread last week, voicing opposition to the newest member of the U.S. Supreme Court, Justice Amy Coney Barrett.

“While we don’t know what will happen nationwide, Massachusetts has a chance to protect our rights from the Court,” Act On Mass wrote. “We can pass the ROE Act. We can pass #MedicareForAll. We can protect our immigrant communities from ICE and the police by passing the Safe Communities Act.”