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Martha Coakley on Immigration

 


Opposed services for illegal immigrants; now supports them

The five Democrats running for governor jousted over illegal immigration during a debate that also reflected broader philosophical agreements on many issues facing the candidates. Attorney General Martha Coakley faced several barbs from her rivals over her previous opposition to driver's licenses for undocumented immigrants and her office's decision to disqualify a potential ballot question that would repeal the state's casino law.

All five Democrats said they supported Somerville Mayor Joseph Curtatone's recent decision to sign an executive order limiting the city's cooperation with the Secure Communities program, which partners local police with federal authorities to hold undocumented immigrants for possible deportation. Coakley said the program was designed to help federal authorities remove threats to public safety from communities. "We know it's gone far too far," she said, by targeting many undocumented immigrants with no criminal background.

Source: WWLP 22-News on 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial debate , Jun 10, 2014

End purgatorial status quo with penalties then citizenship

Immigration policy needs to be resolved on a federal level, and the nation's estimated 12 million illegal immigrants need "a path to citizenship," Coakley said yesterday. "We need a policy that makes sense for 12 million people who are stuck in a purgatorial status quo," said Coakley. "It doesn't do us any good to do nothing."

A distinction should be made between hardened criminals here illegally and those whose only crime is immigrating without going through proper channels, she said, though, "I think there have to be some penalties involved" for those who have broken the law in coming into the country illegally.

Violent criminals and drug dealers should be deported, but the federal government "doesn't have the ability to deport" every person in this country who is here illegally, she said. "As attorney general, I have gone after the companies that have exploited workers," and getting employers to pay fair wages helps American citizens compete in the marketplace as well, she said.

Source: Julia Spitz in MetroWest Daily News , Nov 25, 2009

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Page last updated: Aug 09, 2014