"Your mayor... he's a leader..." my taxi driver assured me on the way to Dublin Airport this morning. News of Boston Mayor Marty Walsh's swift, substantive actions to protect at-risk individuals and families from the Immigration Ban had telegraphed quickly across the Atlantic and indeed around the globe:
In Boston, 48% of children have at least one parent who was born outside the United States. I identify with those kids because I was one of them. My mother and father came from Ireland to Boston looking for opportunity. They found their American Dream, and I got to live mine by becoming mayor of the city that embraced us.
My family was far from alone. In Boston, immigrants make up nearly one-third of our population. We welcome and cherish those who are fleeing persecution or simply seeking a better life. We know our success -- and our nation's success -- has always depended on the drive, talent, community and culture of newcomers.
In these uncertain times much will be said and emotions will run high, but let it be said long after all this plays out — of our leaders and of champions of diversity, access, opportunity, and inclusion everywhere — that we persisted, stayed the course, and unflinchingly supported those who needed it when and where it mattered most.
We dare not forget today that we are the heirs of that first revolution. Let the word go forth from this time and place, to friend and foe alike, that the torch has been passed to a new generation of Americans--born in this century, tempered by war, disciplined by a hard and bitter peace, proud of our ancient heritage--and unwilling to witness or permit the slow undoing of those human rights to which this nation has always been committed, and to which we are committed today at home and around the world.