Carol Rose, executive director of the ACLU of Massachusetts, today released the following statement in response to Greenfield voters passing a ballot initiative to affirm a safe city ordinance:

“Greenfield voters have made it loud and clear: Massachusetts communities must protect the rights of all people. With the federal government continuing to detain and deport people in droves with no regard for civil rights and family unity, this overwhelming rejection of an anti-immigrant ballot initiative shows what America looks like at its best: a place that values the lives and well-being of all people. Massachusetts—in municipalities and in the legislature—must stand up for its values and protect our immigrant neighbors and friends.”

Javier Luengo-Garrido, coordinator of ACLU’s Immigrant Protection Project in Western Massachusetts, released the following statement:

“For the third time this year, Greenfield has voted ‘no’ to hateful rhetoric and ‘yes’ to being a welcoming, inclusive community, where immigrants are valued and our police do not volunteer to enforce immigration laws. We hope other cities and towns, as well as the state legislature, will follow this trend.

Background:

Dozens of municipalities in Massachusetts have passed welcoming community or safe city ordinances to limit cooperation between local law enforcement and federal immigration enforcement.

In July 2019, the Greenfield City Council overwhelmingly passed a safe city ordinance. Voters today affirmed the ordinance at the ballot, rejecting a repeal effort. Among other provisions, the Greenfield ordinance prohibits city officials from asking about a person’s immigration status and taking law enforcement action against someone on the basis of perceived immigration status.

This is the second city to face and defeat a measure to repeal an ordinance at the ballot box – Salem having done so in 2017.

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