BOSTON—In an important victory for advocates around the state, eight of the nine anti-immigrant provisions passed in the Senate budget were excluded from the final budget approved today by the Legislature. The Conference Committee had removed the amendment language from its final report filed with the Clerk’s office on Thursday night.
The one remaining provision requires MassHealth applicants to have their immigration status verified through the federal SAVE (Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements) system. The Medicaid office had been in the process of implementing SAVE before the amendment language was crafted.
Senator Sonia Chang-Díaz (D-Jamaica Plain) praised the exclusion of the provisions from the final budget. “This amendment created costly and unnecessary burdens on state agencies and businesses, and mandated changes to criminal law without putting them through the full legislative process,” she said. “It is for these reasons that I opposed the amendment during the Senate budget debate, and that I will continue to fight vigorously against costly and duplicative anti-immigrant initiatives.
“Immigration is an important issue to our Commonwealth,” Chang-Díaz added. “The effects of our nation’s immigration policies will be widespread and long-lasting. We need to be smart in our solutions. I believe we can pursue reforms that are reflective of our values and that strengthen our communities. The original Senate amendment failed on both counts.”
The Legislature’s final budget will travel to the Governor’s desk for his consideration.