The following was emailed to Ryan.Fattman@mahouse.gov earlier today. If you agree with it, please be sure to let him know!
No doubt your office has already been made aware of this, but I wanted to be sure to let you know that you were egregiously misquoted in the Worcester Telegram & Gazette in a story published Wednesday, 6/8/11. Regarding your views on victims of violent crimes who happen to be undocumented, the T&G published the following:
“My thought is that if someone is here illegally, they should be afraid to come forward,” Mr. Fattman said. “If you do it the right way, you don’t have to be concerned about these things…”
Wow! I have to assume that this is either a ridiculously unfortunate typo, or someone at the Telegram & Gazette really has it in for you. No doubt what you actually said was that anyone, anywhere, who has been raped, beaten, abused, trafficked, or otherwise exploited in any way “should NOT be afraid to come forward”–ever, for any reason. After all, no reasonable, conscientious, thinking member of a civilized society (most especially an elected official in my Commonwealth) would *ever* publicly take the opposing view. The Telegram & Gazette has obviously juxtaposed these two quotes (leading with the misquote) to portray you as someone who believes that certain people deserve whatever they get–including violent rape–simply because of a civil immigration violation.
Now that this has been brought to your attention, I expect that you will be demanding a correction. I didn’t know much about you before I came across this story, but you seem to have a real commitment to public service and as much of a promising future as a Republican can expect to have here in Massachusetts. It would certainly be unfortunate to be remembered as nothing more than the once-promising state rep who publicly took a stand against rape victims halfway through his first (and only) term.
Then again, if this is what you actually said–or, far worse, as will very occasionally happen when elected officials speak in public, what you actually believe–then I must respectfully suggest that you are completely unfit for any public office, anywhere in the Commonwealth or beyond. Your constituents deserve to know just how little you care about victims of violent crime and the hardworking police and prosecutors who are doing everything they can to protect them; for that matter, so does anyone who casually Googles you. As a public service, I will be posting this letter on my Google-friendly immigration blog (thereisnoline.com) until you have publicly retracted your statement and issued a sincere apology to the many, many people your stated position will harm–including the law enforcement officers who are unable to bring unknown numbers of violent offenders (some of whom might even go on to hurt people who don’t even deserve to be raped!) to justice thanks to the attitude you have endorsed.
As an immigration attorney, I have had the opportunity to work closely with undocumented individuals who have been victimized beyond any human understanding by people like yourself who believe that their immigration status justifies anything that could possibly be done to them. I’d be happy to introduce you sometime! Perhaps you would like to meet with the 19-year-old trafficking victim who does not know which of the hundreds of men who violently raped her during her excruciating six-month imprisonment in a Texas hotel room is the father of her child, and take the time to explain to her why this was really all her fault because “if you weren’t here, the crime wouldn’t happen.” (After all, she did pay good money to the same traffickers to help her make a dangerous border crossing in a desperate attempt to escape a violent ex-boyfriend–who could possibly say she didn’t bring this all on herself?) Maybe you’d like to sit down with the woman who was trapped as a prisoner in her own home by the older man who seemed so nice before they moved in together, but then kept her captive with threats that he would report her to Immigration; I’m sure she’d be interested to learn why she should have been more afraid to go to the police than she already was. Or–although I suspect you care even less about this scenario than any of the others–the young Brazilian man violently abused into submission and kept as a personal servant and sex slave for years by a wealthy older man who found that occasional threats of reporting him to ICE were easier than paying him for his 60+ hours of work per week. No? That’s probably for the best, since they all continue to have serious problems interacting with men.
If you happen to find yourself looking for a job in 2012, I gather from your résumé that you are perfectly qualified for any number of positions which don’t involve enabling rapists on a state salary. I’m sure the Klan could use a fresh new face for its latest anti-immigrant message… or there’s always the Romney campaign, I suppose.