FROM OUR PRINTED MARCH 1, 2019 EDITION
‘Welcoming to Documented and Undocumented’
by Lonnie Brennan
Welcome to Framingham! If you can get over the border, if you can overstay your visa, if you can find some way to get into the United States, Framingham’s City Councilor Margareth Basilio Shepard wants you to know that there’s a home for you in her city.
The Brazilian immigrant specifically wants to ensure that “documented and undocumented” alike feel safe and welcome in Framingham. And, in a detailed proposal to her fellow city councilors, Shepard pushed to establish a welcoming study committee that will make sure Framingham will forever be known as a safe haven for illegal immigrants.
In a series of meetings and hearings, the councilors are now on board and pressing hard with their 9-0 vote (two members not present) to guarantee that all illegals, everywhere, know that Framingham should be their target, their destination, their home, because in Framingham federal immigration laws will be ignored.
The Council voted to establish a committee to formalize its commitment to illegals. At its Feb. 19th meeting, person after person approached the microphone praising illegal immigration and urging a strong and inclusive city.
Only one resident, Joe Rizoli, questioned the validity of encouraging the breaking of laws and making the city a further magnet for illegals. Framingham has a tremendous Brazilian population and is well known for being a haven for illegals.
After listening to speakers praise the idea of formally declaring that Framingham be a welcoming sanctuary city, Mr. Rizoli took to the microphone to make his remarks, approximately one hour and 24 minutes into the meeting. Despite having waited silently and having listened to the past speakers go on and on without interruption, Mr. Rizoli was not afforded the same courtesy from the Council, where his short speech was interrupted multiple times.
“Apparently, I must be the only American who wants to stand up for the rule of law here,” Mr. Rizoli told the members and audience. He couldn’t even get out his second sentence before being heckled and then interrupted by Chair Dennis Giombetti. Mr. Rizoli held his own, and insisted that he has a right to be heard, just as he had sat a long time listening silently to others.
“OK, Mr. Giombetti, let me read this, please,” Mr. Rizoli said as he displayed his one-page letter to the Council during an exchange of interruptions by the chair. “Everybody has come up here and talked about domestic violence and talked about all these other things. I have a right to read my letter. I’ll start again.”
JOE RIZOLI attempts to address the council and a hostile pro-illegal alien crowd
Mr. Rizoli, who has asked the councilors on numerous occasions if Councilor Shepard employs illegal immigrants in her cleaning business, again reminded the councilors that they have never replied to his multiple inquiries. Clearly, the tension between Mr. Rizoli and Chair Giombetti was extremely heightened from past inquires, and this led to multiple additional attempts by the chair to apparently throttle Mr. Rizoli’s comments. Mr. Rizoli and his brother Jim run a group called Concerned Citizens and Friends of Illegal Immigration Law Enforcement, and their group along with many others who do not agree with illegal immigration, unlimited welfare, and open borders, has been named by the radical Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) as a hate group. The Jewish Defense League has also been named a hate group by SPLC.
Undeterred, Mr. Rizoli pressed on that “legal immigrants have nothing to be in fear of in Framingham.” Instead, he detailed that the entire proceeding is about illegal immigrants, and about immigration laws that have been in place for decades, long before President Donald Trump was elected. (Several previous speakers had either mentioned the current political climate or directly took a swipe at President Trump.)
As the Council is establishing a task force committee to create a welcoming ordinance, Mr. Rizoli said that the makeup of the committee as proposed by Councilor Shepard will just be a shill, a check-off committee, essentially rubber-stamping the sanctuary status of Framingham.
“You know who you should have on the task force?” Mr. Rizoli asked the councilors, “Have Angel Moms on it. Do you know who the Angel Moms are? The Angel Moms are who Trump has been bringing to Washington, whose children, parents, husbands, wives have been killed by illegal immigrants.”
“I’m telling you about the task force,” he said while being interrupted again by the chair, “because it’s probably going to go through. Put Angel Moms on it, people who have been hurt from illegal immigrants.”
“All I’ve heard is people placating for illegal immigrants,” Mr. Rizoli said. “This town has been very welcoming to legal people. We run this town and all towns on the rule of law. You made a statement about the policeman, about swearing an oath to the Constitution – they took an oath to obey the laws, and we have people possibly hiring illegal immigrants that are on the City Council. We are a nation of rules, a nation of laws. If you’re going to invite people to the town of Framingham that you have no idea what their records are, where they’ve come from… You know, recently, we just had Brazilian nationals vote in the town of Framingham! Brazilian nationals. Do you know what that means?”
The meeting continued with more speakers encouraging Sanctuary City status, as well as an apparent push to ensure that all illegals are included on census roles in order to help the city get more federal monies for body counts, etc. The findings/recommendations of the task force will be non-binding. Giombetti requested that the mayor chair the task force directly.
In a rebuttal to Mr. Rizoli, Councilor Shepard said that no one could become legal in this country and that misinformation about becoming a citizen is the biggest issue to be addressed. “There are some people who are not as extreme as Mr. Rizoli, but also have questions and also don’t understand,” Shepard said. The councilor, who has some difficulty with the English language, said that most people are misinformed about immigration, and that she has been repeatedly asked, “Why you people don’t become a citizen? They have no idea, that for 20 years, that’s no way that anybody can become legal in this country.”
Her comments, which received applause from the audience, directly contradict reality. ♦