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‘A Good Ruling': Mayor Walsh Praises Supreme Court's DACA Decision

"This is a good ruling for our city and our country and many residents in our city," he said

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Mayor Marty Walsh praised the Supreme Court's decision Thursday to reject President Donald Trump’s effort to end legal protections for 650,000 young immigrants.

"This is a good ruling for our city and our country and many residents in our city," Walsh said. "Nearly 4,500 DACA recipients are in the Boston area. They're our neighbors, they're our friends, they're our coworkers, many of them on the front lines as essential workers responding to the COVID-19 crisis. Our city has embraced DACA recipients and supported the expansion of DACA under President Obama."

"I am encouraged by today's decision," he added, "but this is only a temporary solution. We need to pass the Dream and Promise Act at a federal level, which will provide lasting immigration status to many people who have been part of our country for decades. This is not a Democrat or [Republican] issue, this is an issue for all Americans."

The mayor also provided an update on the city's coronavirus response, saying 29 new cases and six new deaths were reported Wednesday. He said the positive test rate in the city is down to 19.6%, the first time it has fallen below 20%.

"Trends continue to go in the right direction," he said.

Boston Mayor Marty Walsh said he would support Juneteenth being made a holiday, but said the decision needs to be made at the state level.

Walsh also said there has been no evidence that the large number of public gatherings and protests in the wake of George Floyd's killing have led to a spike in coronavirus cases.

Of the 1,400 people who were tested at a pop-up site in Roxbury last week, he said the positive rate was just 1%.

"Anytime we see a protest, we've seen a very high rate of face coverings," he said, adding that protesters should "continue to be safe as you make your voices heard."

Walsh stopped short Thursday of endorsing the police reform legislation announced by Gov. Charlie Baker on Wednesday, which includes a police certification program.

"It depends on what the bill is," the mayor said. "Not just certification, but an inclusive bill with other aspects."

Massachusetts Gov. Charlie Baker addressed calls for police reform with new legislation.

Walsh submitted a revised budget for the 2021 fiscal year on Monday in which he calls for diverting some police overtime funds to support police reforms and bolster social services.

The resubmitted $3.61 billion budget also takes into account $65 million in projected revenue losses due to the coronavirus pandemic.

The projected losses from the pandemic are more than double those from his original proposal in April, which estimated $30 million in losses as a result of COVID-19.

The new budget also involves reallocating 20%, or $12 million, of the Boston Police Department's overtime budget to invest in equity and inclusion after Walsh last week declared racism a public health crisis.

Amid calls for police reform, Boston Mayor Marty Walsh announced Friday that racism is a public health crisis in the city.

The proposal comes amid calls to defund police departments, a rallying cry for protesters who want funds to be diverted from law enforcement to social services to support communities impacted by systemic racism.

Walsh has also bolstered the Boston Public Health Commission's budget with a $13 million increase to $106 million in what the administration deems "especially vital," to maintain an effective coronavirus response.

The recommended budget represents an increase of $119 million, or 3.4 percent, over the current fiscal year, and the re-submission follows over 30 city council hearings targeting investments and cost-savings. 

The proposal includes an additional $35 million in cost-saving measures across city departments through a hiring freeze on non-essential vacant positions for six months, revisions to fixed costs like debt service, non-personal reductions and a revised snow removal appropriations based on updated projections for average actual spending.

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