Will Lawrence Treat Illegals Better Than People From Lowell?

modestoBy: Kathy Runge, July, 2015

The City Council, led by Council President Maldonado, a.k.a. Lawrence’s Ambassador to the UN, has been busy in the last month. The FY16 budget got approved with Maldonado providing the only dissenting vote. He proposed a series of potential cuts and argued for them while acting as president of the council, a clear violation of their own rules. Somehow he can’t bring himself to give the gavel to the Council VP when he argues for or against an issue.

Mr. Maldonado has also been busy trying to ram a resolution and ordinance to help illegal immigrants through the council. On June 20 there was a gathering sponsored by the Merrimack Valley Partnership, a coalition of area churches and nonprofits, at Saint Mary’s gymnasium to win the Council and Mayor’s support of the Trust Act Ordinance and a resolution supporting the Safe Driving Law.

The Trust Act Ordinance prohibits Lawrence police from detaining anyone for ICE if they are arrested for a minor offense. This is the current practice of the Lawrence police. The Safe Driving Law is at the state legislature and would let illegal immigrants obtain a driver’s license in Massachusetts.

Councilor Maldonado sat on the stage and spoke in support of these issues. The event consisted of testimonials from illegal immigrants regarding the hardships they endured entering and living in our country illegally followed by a summary of the laws given by Maldonado.

Most of the audience was provided by the member churches, many from outside Lawrence. The host parish brought 150 people. I think it was the host parish, but the meeting was held in Spanish. They were nice enough to offer the English speakers with translation via an earpiece, but it was still hard to decipher. In an effort to make it look like there was no opposition to these measures the meeting wasn’t publicized, at least not to the English speaking community.

These two items were approved at the June 23 meeting of the Ordinance Committee and were sent up to the full council for them to call a public hearing. In the normal course of events a public hearing would have been ordered on July 7, the next scheduled meeting, and held at the meeting after that. That wasn’t quick enough for Council President Maldonado, who called a special meeting for June 30 so the public hearings could be held at the July 7 meeting.

Why the rush? Both of these items are largely symbolic and certainly not emergencies, but Maldonado wanted to get them passed quickly with minimal notice. I’m guessing he wanted to include these in his list of accomplishments while on the campaign trail.

In my opinion, the Trust Ordinance is dangerous and will lead to police not detaining illegals that would otherwise be detained because of the threat of a formal complaint, which is provided for in the law. How much time and money will resolving these complaints cost the city?
If we had an ordinance forbidding the police to waste their resources investigating auto insurance fraud would we have more or less fraud in the city? What about heroin dealers?

The piece de resistance came when the notice for the public hearings illegally appeared the morning of the 30th, before the vote to call a public hearing had actually been taken. That killed the possibility of holding the hearings on July 7, so they were pushed back to the next meeting of the council, which is currently set to be August 11.

I’d like to thank candidate for Councilor At Large, Richard Russell, for pointing out the early public notice. In the interest of full disclosure I am actively supporting Russell and encourage you to give him one of your votes.

If you don’t want these items to be passed, come to the public hearings on August 11th at 7 pm. There will be many people coming to testify in favor of these issues. For your voice to be heard you have to speak up.

Ironically, the Council has less sympathy for homeless people from our neighboring towns. At the meeting of June 16 the topic of out of town homeless people and panhandlers came up more than once.

Maldonado said other cities are flooding us with their homeless. Councilor Almonte made the point that the city is only 6.4 square miles. At the pro illegal immigration rally we learned that there are thousands of illegals living in Lawrence, yet a handful of poor people from neighboring towns is not acceptable. Yes, the city can only hold so many people, so if you’re a homeless person from Lowell, go somewhere else. If you’re an illegal immigrant, welcome.

3 Responses to "Will Lawrence Treat Illegals Better Than People From Lowell?"

  1. Sofia   August 12, 2015 at 2:13 PM

    This is super upsetting. I am Dominican and I am also American. And it’s not fucking fair that these illegal immigrants are gonna get food stamps and Masshealth on my hard earned paycheck. Sorry to say but many Dominicans (especially the illegal ones) don’t contribute shit to the economy. Many are entitled, uneducated, and plain stupid. Oh please have Trump win the presidential election. This ‘free for all’ mentality is killing this country.

  2. Jayde Mayra Burgos   May 3, 2016 at 12:47 AM

    Racism at its finest!!
    Homess/Illegals cost the same
    illegals just have it harder
    Homeless are still homeless because they’re not a simply a “handful”
    Your ignorance is showing.

  3. Rachel Elorriaga   October 24, 2018 at 11:27 AM

    Although my last name is Spanish and part of my ancestry is, the other half is of the factory French Catholics in Haverhill (Paquette/Tellier). Also had the experience of managing a cleaning company with pleasure of the pilot program checking SS#’s new hires for stolen identities 10+ yrs ago. The budge cuts to ICE in managing the ability to stay legal and rhetoric of good/bad is dividing those to allow human trafficking exploited by charitable help that pumps and dumps cheap labor for law enforcement to clean up and communities to pay the bill. While the opportunists landlords, developers, property managers, lawyers make a killing selling everyone higher costs in real estate to solve all these issues. Bribery was given out in jobs, housing, health insurance, education certificates, tax cuts/credits, lower interest rates……..that took away the ability to own property without anyone noticing.

    The laws are to protect property you don’t own and for public access secured against communicable diseases identified by healthcare and trained personnel to maintain property through education requirements and sustaining environmental costs with risk prevention insurance to allocate needs. To avoid corruptive powers from emerging that exploit others for benefits without fairly earning them. Or not accounting for benefits earned through collusion that damages the ability for others to earn which harms markets supporting others and allows crisis to that brings opportunists selling the next shiny thing.

    Do not discharge your debt or allow government to interfere with your creditors. Representation to the UN is for everyone to access and everyone should be accounted for in the ability to participate. I will be promoting Public Law Centers for the people to have access to information, communication, representation that isn’t owned by a Academic Institution, Charitable Organization, Private Entity or hours opened and operational with limits and requirements to property that benefits security companies, technology, publishing companies, insurance companies, intellectual rights or data centers. The ability to organize and protect liberties and freedom has been corrupted and needs to be accounted for the loss and harm done.