Boston City Council passes resolution supporting federal Immigration Reform

6/19/2013, 1:18 p.m.

— As the U.S. Congress continues to work on federal immigration reform, Boston last week became the fifth city in the Commonwealth to pass a local resolution in support of the federal legislation. Introduced by Councilor Salvatore LaMattina, the resolution passed unanimously.

“We are at a critical point in the national debate, so every voice raised in support is important,” said Rocio Saenz, SEIU Local 615 President. Adding, “The Boston City Council recognizes a basic truth about immigration reform – it is good for all of us.”

The Commonwealth’s local resolutions urge the 113th Congress to enact comprehensive immigration reform that addresses: earned legalization with a path to citizenship; updated future immigration of families and workers; and improved immigration enforcement and border security.

The federal legislation has the potential to transform the lives of 11 million aspiring Americans in this country.

Approximately 20 percent of Massachusetts residents are immigrants, working and contributing an estimated $1 billion a year in state income taxes yet those who are undocumented cannot fully participate in society and are unable to vote.

The Cambridge and Somerville City Councils passed their resolutions in April, and earlier this month, Lawrence and Springfield passed theirs.

Councilor LaMattina of District One, is a son of East Boston, a gateway community for many immigrant groups.

Once approved, the local resolutions are sent to Speaker of the U.S. House John Boehner, President of the U.S. Senate Vice President Joe Biden, Governor Deval Patrick, President of the MA Senate Therese Murray, Speaker of the MA State House Robert DeLeo and to the MA General Assembly. The U.S. Senate is expected to vote before July 4 on the federal legislation.