LETTER: District Attorney Candidate Would Create An Immigration Counsel

Last weekend, I was honored to stand among so many concerned Middlesex County residents marching to tell Donald Trump and his administration to stop separating families at the border.

By standing up and making our voices heard, we showed President Trump that the country is watching him, and that we care about what happens to families at the border. Families belong together.

Recent federal immigration enforcement activity has spread to Massachusetts courthouses and resulted in a chilling effect across Middlesex County. Victims and witnesses do not feel safe seeking help from police or the courts. Local defendants are being seized and detained by federal officers, making them unavailable to appear in state court. Non-violent and low-level criminal offenses are sometimes being used as the basis for deporting individuals, many of whom have made meaningful contributions to their communities.

Shockingly, Federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) arrests people on the steps of, or even inside, courthouses. Middlesex County needs a District Attorney who is going to be mindful of the impact that courtroom proceedings can have on non-citizen residents and a leader who is willing to take action to protect our residents.

I’m running to lead a DA’s Office that proactively works to protect our cities and towns, as well as our most vulnerable neighbors. As Middlesex County District Attorney, I will appoint an Immigration Counsel within the District Attorney’s Office.

The Immigration Counsel will build stronger relationships with immigrant communities in Middlesex through direct collaboration and community engagement. The Counsel will train all prosecutors in the office on immigration issues and advise on cases of non-citizen defendants to find case resolutions in order to avoid
unjust collateral consequences such as deportation.

Crucially, the Immigration Counsel will provide assistance to victims and witnesses who meet the requirements for special federal immigration relief. This assistance can come in the form of temporary visas which allow non-citizens who are victims of a crime to remain in the country legally for a period of time, so they
can feel safe collaborating with the District Attorney’s Office to help them seek justice.

At this critical moment in our country, we need a District Attorney who is going to focus on keeping families together and protecting the most vulnerable residents in Middlesex County.

We need a District Attorney who is going to fight for both safety and social justice.

The Democratic primary election date is Tuesday, September 4, 2018.

I look forward to listening to you on the campaign trail and seeing you at the polls in September!

Please call my campaign at 857-529-7081 if you have any questions or would like to talk about my vision for an Immigration Counsel in the Middlesex District Attorney’s Office.

Donna Patalano

Candidate for Middlesex District Attorney

Framingham Source Editor Susan Petroni

Susan Petroni Framingham Source Editor Email: editor@FraminghamSource.com Phone: 508-315-7176

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