The head of Haverhill’s Republican City Committee Wednesday night lashed out at city leaders for taking sides in the national immigration debate.
Republican Chairman William H. Ryan, a former mayor and city councilor, said Mayor James J. Fiorentini and seven city councilors have more important work to do than to oppose President Donald Trump’s immigration order.
“The city leaders should tend to city business. We have lots of problems in the city,” Ryan told WHAV. “They have a right to do that, but they should be paying attention to local issues.”
Even though Ryan was also critical of the roll out of the immigration order, he said, Haverhill’s elections are non-partisan for a reason.
“We work together. I think as a group, dividing our community like Washington, is very bad for our country and bad for our community as well. Stay out of Washington politics and not be drawn in,” Ryan advised.
In addition, Ryan said, the city taking a position on such a divisive issue risks annoying business leaders who may wish to move their operations to Haverhill.
“Why do city councilors want to alienate people who want to invest in the city? It hurts the city overall. It doesn’t gain us anything.”
As to Trump’s order, banning immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries for 90 days, Ryan said he agrees “They should have rolled this out a little slower. They were wrong about the way they jumped it without thoroughly informing people.” He said green card holders should not be detained, but otherwise it is good to “double check.”
“There’s no government in some of these places. It’s good to vet people coming in and why?”