House Bill H.125 Gets Favorable Committee Vote
FROM THE FEB. 2016 PRINTED EDITION OF THE BOSTON BROADSIDE
by Ted Tripp
To be a citizen in this great state may mean virtually nothing if H.125 ever becomes law. Under Rep. Byron Rushing’s (D-Boston) H.125, An Act Ensuring Equal Access to Services for All Residents of the Commonwealth,” citizens would have about the same status as non citizens and illegal aliens. That’s right, the state would treat everybody the same when it comes to services and programs supported by your tax dollars.
Specifically, H.125 incorporates into law:
“(c)(1) No regulation, rule, or other requirement may be imposed by any agency or employee of the commonwealth nor by a recipient of funds from the commonwealth which denies any assistance, benefit, payment, service, or participation in any program or activity on the basis of alienage or immigration status, except as required by federal law, state statute or court decision.”
And it defines program as:
“Program: any program, project or activity for the provision of services, financial aid, or other benefits to individuals. This shall include, but not be limited to, education or training, employment, health, welfare, rehabilitation, housing or other services, whether provided directly by the recipient of funds of the commonwealth or provided by others through contracts or other arrangements with the recipient.”
This edict applies to not only state agencies but to “any public or private agency, institution or organization, or other entity, or any individual, in any political subdivision of the commonwealth,” including, supposedly, the more than 40 quasi-public authorities like the MBTA, the MWRA, the Convention Center, the Turnpike Authority, etc. One could also read into the language of the bill that it includes all cities and towns since they receive funds from the state by way of local aid.
This law would apparently make illegal aliens immediately eligible for drivers’ licenses, real estate licenses, contractors’ licenses, and any kind of trade or professional license now required to protect the public. How would background checks be conducted since many illegal aliens may not have a paper history that can be verified? What about CORI checks for sensitive positions working around our children? Will the state get sued if an illegal immigrant gets turned down for a job or a benefit because he/she doesn’t have the proper documents and cries “discrimination”?
Secretary of State Bill Galvin likes to tell us we now have the ability to register to vote over the phone with just a driver’s license. If illegal aliens can get driver’s licenses, what’s to stop them from registering to vote? Do we really want people who are in this country illegally choosing our elected officials and voting on important ballot questions?
It’s hard to believe there are any benefits to the citizens of the commonwealth in this bill. Citizens will have to wait in longer lines to get services, waiting times for programs like public housing will be longer, and less money will be available to those citizens who actually need a helping hand.
In 1993 Democratic U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York warned the country about “defining deviancy down.” Many would argue that has happened to the detriment of society. Now we are “defining citizenship down.” How do you think that’s going to turn out?
According to the Federation for American Immigration Reform, illegal immigrants already cost Massachusetts $1.86 billion yearly (2009), not including healthcare costs. How much more do you think H.125 will cost taxpayers per year? One billion dollars? Five billion dollars? Ten billion dollars? More? Much more?
Keep in mind that if the bill passes the Legislature and becomes law, it will attract many more illegal aliens to the state. We will become a magnet for those coming across the border and over-staying their visas as an attractive place to settle. The number of illegal aliens and their associated costs then just spiral out of control with no end in sight.
With all the downsides of such legislation, you would think that H.125 would be going nowhere. But you would be wrong. Remember, this is Massachusetts. Late last year H.125 was given a favorable vote by the Joint Committee on Children, Families and Persons with Disabilities. It now goes to the Joint Committee on Health Care Financing for another hearing and review.
Rep. Byron Rushing and 16 of his Democrat colleagues co-sponsored this travesty of a bill. Feel free to contact these representatives and the senator who believe this bill is a good idea and let them know what you think of it. It might also be a good time to consider if they are responsible enough representatives of the people for reelection this fall.
Rep. Byron Rushing (D-Boston)
Rep. Jay Livingstone (D-Boston)
Rep. Marjorie Decker (D-Cambridge)
Rep. David Rogers (D-Cambridge)
Rep. Ruth Balser (D-Newton)
Rep. Kay Khan (D-Newton)
Rep. Peter Kocot (D-Northampton)
Rep. Frank Moran (D-Lawrence)
Rep. Denise Provost (D-Somerville)
Rep. Marcos Devers (D-Lawrence)
Sen. James Eldridge (D-Acton)
Rep. Benjamin Swan (D-Springfield)
Rep. Sean Garballey (D-Arlington)
Rep. Christine Barber (D-Somerville)
Rep. Jonathan Hecht (D-Watertown)
Rep. Tricia Farley-Bouvier (D-Pittsfield)
Rep. Timothy Toomey, Jr. (D-Cambridge)