February 2, 2017
By Marni Fritz
Pittsburgh, PA – At 10 AM today, a delegation of 25 constituents and immigrant rights advocates visited the Morningside office of Representative Dom Costa (D, Stanton Heights), asking him to publicly commit to protecting the civil rights and humanity of all immigrants in Pennsylvania. Dom Costa has supported multiple anti-immigrant bills in the past, including the 2016 HB 1885, which would refuse federal funding for cities protecting immigrant community members from deportations and violence from the police by claiming sanctuary status.
Constituents delivered the following message to Dom Costa: We’re concerned about your consistent record of supporting anti-immigrant legislation. In 2017, your choices will matter more than ever. We ask you to publicly oppose both HB14 and SB10, which will harm schools and towns across our state. More importantly, we ask you to publicly commit to protecting the civil rights and humanity of all immigrants in Pennsylvania, and no longer sponsor legislation that attacks immigrants.
If supported, SB10 asserts that immigrants should be denied access to healthcare. This legislation promotes the idea that if a person is undocumented they are “illegal,” thus not entitled access to health care, basic human rights or human dignity. HB 14, if passed, would defun all schools that claim sanctuary status and requires that university staff to share student’s personal information with ICE.
Today, when concerned constituents went to his office to ask if he would publicly commit to protect the civil rights and humanity of all immigrants in Pennsylvania and no longer support legislation that attack immigrants, Dom Costa said no.
“It’s all of us or none of us. This man basically just told me that he won’t support something that gives human dignity and respect to my community” -Maria
Megan Lovett, constituent of Dom Costa: “When Dom Costa refuses to stand up for all immigrants, he is pitting our community against itself. He is opening up our city to liability for racial profiling. He is asking our police to break the law. He is advocating for families to be torn apart. All of us who are Dom Costa’s constituents and everyone in the state of PA needs to understand what he is advocating for When he advocates against Sanctuary Cities and does not support all immigrants he is hurting everyone in this community regardless of their immigration status.”
“Immigrants are people.We are more than our economic worth. We feel the same kind of pain that you feel. Why don’t we deserve to stay here? Dom Costa said he will only support those of us who are “legal” or those he thinks are worthy to become citizens. That is not good enough. He either stands with all of us or none of us” Christina Castillo, Thomas Merton Center
Latasha Mayes, Executive Director New Voice Pittsburgh, “stands in solidarity with all immigrants. As a resident of Morningside, it is [inconceivable] to me that we can create such racism, xenophobia and hatred in our communities. In a country that was colonized. In a country that enslaved people. In a country where we are mostly all immigrants. How can we think it is acceptable to advance and introduce laws that do not provide sanctuary for all? What do we do during this time? We stand up and we fight back. We do all the things we can to create liberty and justice for all. What side are you on? I know I am on the side of the people, of justice and of sanctuary.”
Call Rep. Dom Costa‘s office today (412) 361-2040 and make it known that he must stand with all immigrants in Pennsylvania!
Marni Fritz is the Director of Communications for the Thomas Merton Center.