No place for illegals in Acton

Some members of the Acton Board of Selectmen are going to attempt to make Acton a "sanctuary community." This is a terrible idea on so many levels and if you are opposed to defying federal law and encouraging illegal activity, you should attend the Board of Selectmen meeting this Monday and prepare to speak out against this outrage.

You can read some of the background materials on the town website here:

It is always annoying when a local board like Acton's Selectmen is asked to opine and support causes that the body has no jurisdiction over. These political stunts that are often practiced in places like Cambridge, Somerville and Boston are totally inappropriate. What's next, making Acton a "nuclear-free zone" and a resolution urging Russia to leave Crimea?

Putting aside the appropriateness of the venue, it is ludicrous for us to consider doing this as a town. Aiding and abetting lawless behavior is not something that most people agree with. If individuals want to commit acts of civil disobedience because they have strong feelings on an issue, go for it. But don't drag the town (and all of its residents) down that rat hole.

And don't let proponents fool you into thinking that this is anything like promoting civil rights, when acts of civil disobedience were both brave and justified. The only injustice here is that people broke the laws of our country and these proponents wish to change things not working through our political system (which their allies have had control of for the last eight years) but through undemocratic means. If people get to decide which laws to follow and which to ignore, the consequences are unpredictable.

If Acton's Selectmen are foolish enough to move this concept forward, I can think of several "unpredictable" actions that Acton citizens can do, that are equally offensive but will be fair game.

Let's start with hundreds or thousands of us withholding our property tax payments. We can put the payments in an escrow account and deny funding to the town and school as our little act of civil disobedience.

If it's not illegal to be illegal in Acton, then it can't be illegal to stop paying our taxes. After all, the illegal immigrants aren't paying property taxes, so why should we?

Next, we can go to Town Meeting and remove funds for all activities that could be used to support illegal immigrants. We can start with the "community shuttle" and the "social service worker." Technically, we don't vote a line-item budget, but if we remove funding and the town refuses to cut back on these services, we just keep removing the funding each year until the town complies.

Another thing is to steer all illegal immigrants to the political leaders' homes who have voted for or supported this effort. Maybe offer each illegal alien a small tent so they can camp out on the politician's lawn.

This issue is another perfect example of "the end justifies the means." It is OK to ignore the law if there is some greater good involved, in this case, a human being's right to live in America no matter where they were born. Try using that argument to get into (let alone stay) in any other country in which you aren't a citizen.

Proponents who wish to encourage illegal activity should hope and pray they don't personally face the consequences of having law-breakers in our midst. Any criminal activity committed by someone who shouldn't be here and is shielded by Acton law enforcement will be the moral responsibility (and perhaps the legal responsibility) of the Town.

So another thing we can do is remove the indemnification that our elected officials enjoy for their official acts as it pertains to illegal actions. If they commit an illegal act (like aiding and abetting law-breakers), then they bear personal financial responsibility for the consequences.

I am all for LEGAL immigration. Immigrants have greatly contributed to our society. Except for those "first Americans" like Elizabeth Warren, we are all children of immigrants. But we are also a country of laws and if the "no border supporters" want more immigrants and refugees, then elect representatives to enact laws to further those goals. Until then, it should be illegal to be illegal in Acton.

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NO ST for Acton

I do not see any point of making Acton a ST. There are many ways for immigrating to this country legally, like my family did and I am proud of that. Law & Order should be the foundation of our society.

Xiaofeng Tan

A crowd of one

lol. Who exactly are the "we" who will be doing all this protesting in your fictional account? You? You and your theoretical "anonymous" letter writer who just happens to write in the same ultra-bloated style as you? That makes one. Feel free to protest and to commit all the illegal acts you wish. Every town needs its village idiot.

What you fail to understand is that other than you and you, the overwhelming majority of acton residents are not racists, have compassion and tolerance, and most crucially an unshakeable appreciation for the values that made this country great. We will survive you and your kind.



Dr Doug - from where does your knowledge of the majority of Actonians values originate? I believe our country was born in disagreement and should always be open to disagreement. You wish to have our town designated an immigration haven. Others disagree. What is wrong with disagreeing? What is wrong with standing up for values?

Doug Williams

Time to take action?

Hi Dr. Doug,

Now that you have exposed me as a racist, the next logical step for you and the "majority" is to riot. We have a Starbucks in town and police cruisers you can overturn and set on fire.


Allen Nitschelm has lived in Acton since 1998 and writes about fiscal issues at the
local and state level. He is a former member of the town's Finance Committee
and is an Associate Publisher of Acton Forum.

drdoug, what are you afraid of ?

Do you have the guts to sign your real name to your inane comments and third-grade insults ?

Charlie Kadlec