Letter: Timmy and Hayden stand with Latinx immigrants

Vote for the incumbents


Alvin Buyinza/Collegian

By Constanza Reyes Bricio, Letter Contributor

We have a crisis in this nation: Latinx children on the US-Mexico border have endured tear gas; young immigrant children have been cruelly separated from their families, and some still remain separated; the fear of deportation raids permeates immigrant communities from San Francisco, California to New Bedford, Massachusetts. Our federal government’s policy of brutal mass deportation of our predominantly Latinx immigrant population is so cruel that some scholars have begun calling this injustice by its name: an ethnic cleansing. Without control of the federal government, there is little we can do to reverse this atrocity. However, student leaders on campus, led by SGA President Timmy Sullivan, are working to stem the tide.

On Monday, Feb. 4, the SGA passed motion 2019-S7 supporting the Safe Communities Act. All of this was thanks to Sullivan and his running mate, Senator Hayden Latimer-Ireland, along with Senator Cordero, who had to debate with the Senate for over 45 minutes in order to get the motion passed.

The Safe Communities Act (SD.926) prevents collaboration between local and state police forces and officers of Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Homeland Security regarding immigration enforcement, such that our police will no longer be complicit in this injustice. In refusing to take part in this, our state and local police forces can be on the right side of history. In 2018, ICE separated 2,342 children from their families. Despite the court order to reunite these families by July 6, 2018, there are, to this day, many separated families. The trauma that this has inflicted on young children, and the permanent scars it has left on their families, are damages that will forever remain, despite all efforts to remedy the situation. And there are still millions of undocumented immigrants living in, working in and contributing to the United States with no path to citizenship. There are still mass deportation raids executed by ICE officers every day for the sole purpose of terrorizing the Latinx population.

At a university that champions the value of diversity, I would think that supporting the Safe Communities Act would be common sense for our SGA. I was wrong. It appears that these statistics made the SGA, an overwhelmingly white organization, uncomfortable, and somehow still hesitant to pass this motion. Yet Sullivan and Latimer-Ireland fought as long as it took to get this important motion passed, while the other tickets who were members of the Senate abstained on this important vote. As an immigrant Latinx woman, the fact that my SGA president and his running mate would put that kind of care and dedication into supporting other immigrants and upholding Massachusetts’ reputation as a tolerant and accepting state makes me feel confident in my school’s future.

And immigrant justice isn’t all Sullivan and Latimer-Ireland stand for — they’re running for SGA president and vice president on a bold platform of debt-free college (symbolized by their support for a referendum question on legislation that would make college more affordable), a rapid transition to renewable energy, support for the RA/PM Union and dedication to racial and social justice. Sullivan and Latimer-Ireland are the fierce advocates that this campus needs. In supporting the Safe Communities Act, they supported me, and I am proud to support them in return.


Constanza Reyes Bricio