Picture Gleefully stolen from CoreyBelangersVests
At the Lowell City Council on Tuesday, July 22, 2014, Mayor Rodney Elliott made a motion requesting the City Manager have the Chief Financial Officer and Superintendent of Schools produce a report regarding the costs incurred to educate newcomer students. Besides Mayor Elliott, Corey Belanger was the only City Councilor to speak on the motion. The following is a verbatim transcript of what Belanger said:
By Councilor Belanger: Thank you Mr. Vice Mayor [Councilor Leahy was in the Chair]. I think this is a great motion. And to get to Mayor Elliott’s points, that Lowell, we’ve always been a city of immigrants. That is our foundation. We have many nationalities here. I visited many of the schools and it’s encouraging to see how diverse we really, really are, all the way to a young age.
But we got a problem that’s serious and it’s going to get far worse, of refugees, undocumented or illegal aliens, which ever term you choose to use, are pegged for Lowell. We are on that list. Many of which are unskilled and uneducated. And they’re on their way.
Corey’s not saying we’re not the place for immigrants. He saying we’re not the place for THESE immigrants. We just need to hold out for the right types…you know, the 1850’s tired, poor, huddled masses types. And we have just the place for these types. We have a place in this city where they can warm themselves with a bowl of hearty beef stew. A place where the nectar of their homeland pours from 3 different taps. A place where the craic is grander than a Clare Island wedding party. A place where Tommy Makem’s (bless his soul) dulcet tones rain down upon thy guests like a spring shower. A place so authentic you could convince yourself that Eamon De Velera once sat bar side watching a Red Sox spring training game hiding from John Bull’s informants. A place…the only place, where you won’t be greeted by the words, “Wicked Irish Need Not Apply.”
To those folks we say, “céad míle fáilte!”