By M.J. Tidwell
BU News Service
HINGHAM— Massachusetts State Attorney General Maura Healey announced that she will join the lawsuit against President Trump’s executive immigration order at the Hingham stop on her Town Hall tour Monday night.
It would be the fourth suit she’s filed against Trump in his first ten days of office.
“As a civil right lawyer, I believe there is no place for hate and intolerance,” Healey said to a packed audience at Derby Academy, “As your attorney general, I am your first line of defense against abusive and unconstitutional actions taken by President Trump.”
She was already involved with filing a motion to prevent the dismantling of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, and motions regarding environmental regulations for heavy trucks and accreditation of for-profit colleges.
Joining the motion against President Trump’s executive ban on immigrants from seven countries was spurred in part, she said, by flying into the Boston Logan Airport over the weekend.
“Luckily, I had my papers so they let me through,” Healey joked, “But I think about what President Trump did and I am so disturbed. He has shown callousness.”
She said she was moved by the group of lawyers who came to the airport on their own time to help those affected by the ban and also by the stories she’s heard from immigrants and Muslims.
Healey also touched on the fact that she flew to Logan from the Fort Lauderdale Airport where just a few weeks ago a mass shooting killed five people and wounded eight others.
As attorney general, she has supported increasing gun regulations and ending assault weapon sales, particularly after the Orlando nightclub shooting. At the Town Hall, she said that as of that day, illegal assault weapons sales of the kind used in Orlando had been ended in Massachusetts.
She also used the event to reaffirm her commitment to women’s rights and stopping the defunding Planned Parenthood, addressing climate change and so called “smart energy” in Massachusetts, and her recent investigation into whether ExxonMobil knew its practices were causing climate change.
After taking nearly a dozen audience questions, the end of the town hall turned to questions of race and ending hate crimes.
“I want to talk about race,” said one audience member. “This is a very white room.”
The woman then went on to say she had heard of several instances of hate crimes and discrimination in the state of Massachusetts, but that the victims were afraid to report them.
“As the black person in the room,” another audience member who identified himself as Nicholas joked, “will this tour go to places that have people that look like me?”
Healey addressed these questions with her hand clasped over her heart and spoke at length about growing up in homogeneous New Hampshire and the need for diversity and unity after a divisive election.
“There is a lot of work to do to combat decades, centuries of systemic racism,” she said.
A flyer about her hate crime reporting hotline was available for members of the audience.
Moving forward, Healey encouraged the audience to sign up for a text alert system for notices on legislative actions they can take. She also said that now is the time for the people to speak up for what they believe in.
“As someone who never ran for anything until three years ago,” she closed the meeting, “if you have any inclination, do it. Run for office.”