(photo by David L. Ryan/The Boston Globe)
Yup, this photo ran in the big city newspaper yesterday under the headline Support shown for state's immigrants.
One of the things I do is attend other groups' events to show support and learn what they are doing. According to reporter Maddie Hanna, "the goal of the 'Welcoming Massachusetts' campaign, which organizers say is backed by more than 60 groups and 40 elected officials, is to promote tolerance and signal that support exists for legislation benefiting immigrants."
"The truth is that the political environment has been completely and totally poisoned by the loud voices of a few," Maria Elena Letona, executive director of the Latin American organization Centro Presente. The question of how the United States should handle illegal immigrants, a debate that has escalated in recent years, has at times provoked anti-immigrant sentiment in cities across the country.I've written in the past of how horribly our nation treats immigrants. I took my children to a rally in support of the over 350 workers who were rounded up last year in a raid of a manufacturing plant making, no joke, backpacks for armed forces in Iraq (just think about that for a minute). This week I was proud to stand as part of a heart on the Grand Staircase of our State House to show support for immigrants.
Organizers must first detoxify that environment, Letona said, or efforts to enact legislation will fail. "That's what this campaign is about," she said. "It's about demonstrating that most people in Massachusetts are hospitable, are caring. We're created equal, no exceptions." In between chants of "Yes, we can! Si se puede!" and "Today we can, tomorrow we vote," speakers at yesterday's press conference focused on equality.