To say I’m disappointed is an understatement. For six years, voters have been advocating for fair immigration protections here in Massachusetts. Representative Sánchez has had a mixed record over that time, and today he failed to stand up for Safe Communities.

Thousands of us went to the streets, City Hall, and the State House to protest—I was there. I am devastated that our representative, even after that, won’t stand with us to protect residents and families. We refuse to have our taxpayer dollars used to terrorize our communities. Rep. Sánchez consistently chooses to stand with the Speaker and his interests rather than with us, our families and our children.

That Rep. Sánchez and House leadership failed to harness their power in defense of our most vulnerable residents is indefensible. Failure to pass these protections into legislation results in the xenophobic policies coming from D.C. taking root here in Massachusetts.

I fail to understand the refusal of House leadership to stand up to the hatefulness that is permeating our country. I am running to fight for justice for every resident, regardless of documentation status. The failures of House leadership this month have solidified my resolve.

I am here to stand for our communities—right now, when families are being torn apart and trust in our own public offices is eroded. We cannot wait.

You can count on my full support and fierce advocacy inside and outside of the State House when elected.

— Nika Elugardo, Candidate for State Representative district 15th