Biz alliance urges Gov. Charlie Baker to fight prez’s immigration policy

February 23, 2017 GMT

The Alliance for Business Leadership and the ACLU of Massachusetts has sent Gov. Charlie Baker a letter urging him to protect the state’s residents from “discriminatory” federal immigration policies.

“Business leaders like to focus on the bottom line, and the bottom line here is that immigrants are vital to Massachusetts’ economic success,” said Jesse Mermell, president of The Alliance for Business Leadership. “Standing up for the Commonwealth’s immigrant community is not only standing up for diversity and inclusion, it is standing up for the future of our economy.”

The letter calls on Baker to “protect Massachusetts residents from discriminatory federal policy.”

Signers of the letter to Baker include Joshua Boger, founder, director and former CEO of Vertex Pharmaceuticals, as well as Richard Ferrante of RDF Software Group LLC, Paul Sagan, director and former CEO, Akamai Technologies, and Jody Rose, executive director of the New England Venture Capital Association.

“We, the undersigned leaders in science, health care, technology businesses, research organizations, and civil society groups urge your administration to lead efforts to expand and protect the health and vitality of the Massachusetts economy by taking steps to ensure the Commonwealth remains a safe place for refugees and immigrants,” the letter reads.

Baker wrote the Trump administration earlier this month about problems for employers created by executive orders temporarily banning travelers from seven terrorism-linked Mideast nations.

“Governor Baker deeply values the positive contribution that refugees and foreign-born Massachusetts residents have on Massachusetts’ economy and communities and will continue to make Massachusetts a welcoming place,” said Baker spokesman Billy Pitman.