TAUNTON DAILY GAZETTE – BOSTON – March 21, 2019 – Advocates on Thursday marked Purim by delivering hamantaschen — the Jewish holiday’s traditional baked good — to state lawmakers, asking them to honor the spirit of the occasion by passing a bill restricting state and local cooperation with federal immigration enforcement.
“Ultimately, Purim is a holiday about justice and protecting the vulnerable, and that is why we are all here today,” said Cindy Rowe, the executive director of the Jewish Alliance for Social Action, which sponsored the event. “Immigrants in our state and throughout the country are under threat from the federal government.”
Purim, Rowe said, is a holiday about remembering “the lives of the Jewish people that were threatened by a powerful king and his cruel advisor, Haman.” She said the heroine of the story is Queen Esther, who “speaks truth to power in order to protect her people from bigotry.”
The so-called Safe Communities Act (H 3573, S 1401), filed this session by Sen. Jamie Eldridge and Rep. Ruth Balser, would bar local police and court officers from inquiring about someone’s immigration status, and would stop them from notifying federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement about someone’s impending release from custody unless they were finishing a criminal sentence.