Rep. Stanley’s Statement in Support of Religious Freedom and Members of the Immigrant Community

People who perpetuate crime and acts of terror have many different origins and appearances. These acts are not committed primarily by people of the Muslim faith, nor those from the immigrant community.

Waltham is an ethnically and racially diverse city; residents come from all over the world to join our proud community.  In past years, our city embraced newcomers from places like Italy, Ireland, England, Scotland and Canada.  In recent years, we have welcomed Latin Americans, South Asians and Haitians, among others. And we are a better city for their presence and  contributions.

The recent actions of the Trump Administration sets a damaging tone and misrepresents what our country stands for: religous freedom and embracing people from far and wide. They send the wrong message to those who wish to come here, and communities at home that now fear for the safety of themselves and their loved ones.

We all want to be safe from people who instill fear, hatred, and violence. But the President’s recent Executive Orders effecting refugees and immigration make America less safe. Policies banning Muslims and directing law enforcement to ramp up the deportation of families will likely have the effect of motivating those who wish to harm us.

With regards to terror, our nations resources and energy should be focused on routing out terrorist at home and abroad and not blanket discrimination based on color, origin or religion.  I support legislation (Safe Communities Act) which prohibits state support for a Muslim registry and the use of state and local resources for mass deportations or deportation raids but allows continued local and state police collaboration with federal immigration agents to apprehend dangerous criminals.

We cannot allow fear to divide us.