Response to News Article "Immigrant Checks Urged"

In an article in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette, Massachusetts State Representative Ryan Fattman, R-Sutton, dismissed concerns of state law enforcement officials about using local police to enforce immigration laws under the Secure Communities program, and said he "was not worried about [the] implications" of a woman without legal status who was raped and beaten, being afraid to come forward to report the crime, due to her immigration status. He said, "My thought is that if someone is here illegally, they should be afraid to come forward."

PHR Asylum Director Christy Fujio immediately sat down to write to the Editor of the paper. Her letter, published on June 27 in the Letters to the Editor (not available online), refutes the idea that a woman, or anyone, should be "afraid to come forward."

StateRep. Ryan Fattman, R-Sutton’s comment that an undocumented woman“illegally…should be afraid to come forward” to the police even if she wereraped and beaten indicates a level of misogynistic racism that should beanathema to the people of his district and the entire Commonwealth.Furthermore, his dangerously uninformed conclusions demonstrate hismisunderstanding of the critical importance that victim and police cooperationplays in keeping all of us safe.

Any law preventing a victimof a violent crime from reporting it to the police endangers the entirecommunity. Most violent offenders do not stop after the first crime – theycontinually harm others until they are caught and convicted. Governor Patrick’srefusal to join the federal Secure Communities program is a victory for all ofus in Massachusetts who want to keep our streets safe.  We applaud his wisdom in putting the safety of the Commonwealth ahead of provincial concerns regarding immigration policy.

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