2018 Honoree: U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey
A proud descendant of Irish immigrants, U.S. Senator Edward J. Markey has been in public service since 1973 – first as a member of the Massachusetts House, then for 37 years in the U.S. House of Representatives, and since 2013, as a U.S. Senator. He has built a reputation as a consumer champion and a national leader on energy, environmental protection and telecommunications policy. He is also a steadfast and impassioned advocate for immigrants and refugees on Capitol Hill.
“Dreamers” know Senator Markey for his forceful criticism of the termination of the Deferred Action on Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, and for his strong support of the DREAM Act to provide them with a pathway to citizenship. Haitians, Salvadorans and others with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) know him as an original cosponsor of the Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression and in Emergency (SECURE) Act, which would allow them to apply for lawful permanent residency in the TPS section.
Senator Markey also organized a letter, signed by several of his colleagues, questioning the basis for ending TPS for Haitians, and calling on the Trump administration to reinstate protections. Senator Markey has been equally passionate about decrying the Trump administration’s travel ban, calling it “un-American and in direct opposition to everything for which our Founding Fathers fought.” He has objected to the record-low refugee resettlement cap set for fiscal 2018, as well as the egregiously slow pace at which refugees are being screened before admission. And he has penned letters to various federal agencies questioning immigration enforcement activities and practices, including the separation of families at the border, the detention of pregnant women, and the proposed elimination of the Legal Orientation Program.
In all he does, Senator Markey embodies the values we want to see in all our leaders: fairness, honesty, compassion and a profound sense of human decency. He listens intently, he makes sure he knows the facts and key policy issues, and then he works tirelessly to effect change.
For always standing up for immigrants, refugees, and all the people of Massachusetts – especially the most vulnerable among us – we are extremely proud to honor Senator Markey tonight.