Western Massachusetts residents, immigrants traveling to State House to lobby

Hampshire County

More than a dozen immigrants and western Massachusetts residents traveled to the State House from Northampton Wednesday morning, rallying for immigrants right and in support of four provisions. 

“Today lets just focus on our representatives.. make sure that they hear our message and we’ll worry about what happens after that,” said Eduardo Samaniego of te Pioneer Valley Workers Center.

These amendments would ensure immigrants have the right to due process in Massachusetts.

One amendment would ensure law enforcement doesn’t inquire about immigration status unless required by law.

The four amendments have been endorsed by the Massachusetts Safe Communities Coalition, a statewide coalition of 200 organizations who work to make Massachusetts a more welcoming state where immigrants feel safe and are protected.

One woman who was here at the Pioneer Valley Workers Center told 22News, she took the day off from work to travel to Boston with this group, making sure her voice was heard on this issue.

“This is a country of immigrants,” said Dyan Wiley. “So to have the type of policies we have is really very upsetting to me. I’m also personally trying to use my white privilege to help people who are less fortunate than me.” 

Organizers told 22News the group will urge lawmakers to vote “YES” on these the provisions that have been adopted in the Senate budget. Currently they’re being blocked by house representatives in charge of the final budget.

The group will also share Lucio Perez’s story with state representatives.

Perez is an undocumented Guatemalan immigrant from taking sanctuary at a church in Amherst, who overcame a deportation order.

Organizers say these amendments would have kept Perez out of deportation proceedings.

Read more about Lucio Perez: Man taking sanctuary at Amherst church offering Spanish lessons

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