The Mass GOP, Sanctuary Cities, and the Rest of the Story

On 18 November 2015, the Massachusetts State Committee adopted a resolution condemning Sanctuary Cities. At a time when sanctuary cities are being debated in the Congress, the Legislature, and on the Republican nomination stage, this was an important statement for the Mass GOP to make. The State Committee adopted the resolution unanimously, but not before two resolving paragraphs were struck from the original by a 33 to 20 vote.

Here are the two paragraphs:

“Resolved, that the State Committee supports Governor Baker in his refusal to allow Syrian “jihadist refugees” into the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and urges him to do whatever he can to promote the same prohibition by the Federal Government;

“Resolved, that the Chairman of the Republican State Committee shall transmit as soon as possible this resolution to the following: the Governor, the Speaker and Minority Leader of the State House of Representatives, the President and Minority Leader of the Senate, and the press including but not limited to the Boston Globe, Boston Herald, Worcester Telegram, Patriot Ledger, Fall River Herald News, Lowell Sun, New Bedford Standard-Times, Taunton Daily Gazette, Attleboro Sun Chronicle, and the Springfield Republican.”

The second paragraph required the Chairman of the State Committee to send the resolution to the Governor, leaders in the Legislature and a number of specified media outlets. Deleting this paragraph takes your breath away! During debate, I noted that unless this step was taken, no one would know what the State Committee had done. One member mocked this argument that it was ridiculous to think that the press would NOT cover it. Google Mass GOP and Sanctuary Cities and you’ll get one result and that’s from a post on Red Mass Group. No other outlet reported it.

More importantly, however, striking the first paragraph was dangerous and surprising. Admittedly, the phrasing “jihadist refugees” is inappropriate as there are legitimately Christian and other refugees fleeing Syria for fear of their lives and the lives of the their families and who have every intention of seeking to live peacefully. In the author’s defense, however, the events of the Paris attacks were just five days before the meeting and news was just surfacing that the terrorists left Syria as “refugees.” The paragraph could have easily been amended to strike “jihadist” as some wanted to do, but debate was closed off and the vote was taken to remove the two paragraphs.

The Massachusetts Republican Party and indeed the National Republican Party ought to be standing firm for our national defense against this asymmetric threat from Islamic terrorists who seek to destroy us. We have a right to defend ourselves and part of that, in my opinion, includes halting Syrian immigration, at a minimum, until we can guarantee that no terrorists will enter this great Nation to cause us harm.

About Bylaw Bill Gillmeister

Bill Gillmeister is a governance professional, school committee member, and Treasurer of End Common Core Massachsuetts.