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Brexit wins at the polls in the U.K.; major changes come to New England immigration courts today; and more than a million acres in California have been cleared for oil and gas drilling.

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The House passes legislation to reign in drug prices, Sen. Bernie Sanders is on the upswing, and entrepreneur Andrew Yang plays Iowa congressional candidate J.D. Scholten - who's running against long-time incumbent Steve King - in a game of basketball.

Almost 3 Dozen MA Cities Plan 'Lights for Liberty' Vigils

“Congress is refusing to stop the president and his policies," says Elizabeth Cronise McLaughlin, attorney and a Lights for Liberty organizer. "We cannot allow these atrocities to be perpetrated in our name.” (Boss Tweed/Flickr)
July 12, 2019

BOSTON – People in more than 600 cities across five continents are holding vigils tonight to protest the Trump administration's immigration policies and call for an end to migrant detention.

The "Lights for Liberty" rallies are a response to continued reports of inhumane conditions and family separations. There are 35 vigils scheduled for Massachusetts alone.

Alison Hirsh, vice president and political director with the Service Employees International Union 32BJ – one of the event sponsors – says she isn't surprised that so many have organized vigils.

"I think it's another testament to the fact that the majority of Americans believe that people are people, whether they're native-born in the United States, or whether they come here to seek a better life for themselves and their families,” says Hirsh. “And people are angry and upset, and want to stand up and say, 'Not in our name. We are going to fight back.'"

Boston's vigil will begin at 7 p.m. on the steps of the State House.

Hirsh says SEIU decided to sponsor these vigils because the union sees U.S. immigration policy as a workers' rights issue.

"Immigrants come to this country to find work and build a better job for themselves and their children, and their families,” says Hirsh. “That has been the history of the United States, and it continues to be the reason people come today. So, if this isn't a labor issue, I don't know what is."

Hirsh adds that many SEIU members are directly impacted by the detention and deportation policies. She says she hopes the vigils shine more light on the inhumane treatment of immigrants and their families.

Disclosure: 32BJ SEIU contributes to our fund for reporting on Budget Policy & Priorities, Hunger/Food/Nutrition, Immigrant Issues, Livable Wages/Working Families. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.
Jenn Stanley, Public News Service - MA