STATE REP RACE Q&A: Erika Johnson Discusses Her Positions On Illegal Immigration, Abortion

WILMINGTON, MA — Wilmington Apple is asking weekly questions to the seven candidates running in contested primaries for the Wilmington/Tewksbury State Representative seat (19th Middlesex).

Below, in her own words, are the responses to this week’s questions from candidate Erika Johnson (D-Wilmington).

#5) How big a problem is illegal immigration in Massachusetts? What, if anything, should the legislature be doing to curb illegal immigration? Do you support or oppose Massachusetts becoming a sanctuary state?

The name “Sanctuary State” is a misnomer, becoming a “Sanctuary State” would limit Massachusetts cities and towns’ cooperation with federal immigration enforcement agents in order to protect low-priority immigrants from deportation, while still turning over those who have committed serious crimes. I support Massachusetts becoming a “sanctuary state” because immigration status should not change the way local police respond to 911 dispatch calls, children should not have to worry about their parents/family being deported at any time and since undocumented victims and witnesses of crime are afraid to call for help, we are all safer when police officers don’t perform the job duties of ICE.

The US is overdue for Comprehensive Immigration Reform, especially with the current situation on our southern border, and that reform is in the hands of the federal government. In the meantime in Massachusetts, I support the Safe Communities Act that is currently in the legislature (Senate Bill: S.1305 and House Bill: H.3269. This bill would bar police from arresting or detaining a person solely based on immigration status, ensures due process is upheld equally for citizens and non-citizens, and requires notice to immigrant detainees of their legal rights in their native language.

#6) Do you consider yourself a pro-choice candidate or a pro-life candidate? Under what circumstances, if any, should abortion be legal?

I am proudly and outspokenly pro-choice; women have the right to a safe, legal abortion under any circumstances as upheld by the Supreme Court case Roe v. Wade in 1973. The difficult decision of whether or not to abort a pregnancy, is one to be made between a woman and her healthcare provider, no one else, a stance that 70% of all Americans agree with according to a Pew Research poll.

I am proud to be endorsed by First Ask of America, an organization that supports and recruits pro-choice women to run for office at state and local levels.
On the subject of reproductive health, I also believe in accessible and affordable contraception as well as quality sex education in public schools that includes topics of safe sex and consent.

BONUS FUN QUESTION: How are you spending your Fourth of July?

Wilmington and Tewksbury do an amazing job with all the community festivities leading up to the 4th of July. I’ll spend time at both towns’ celebrations and spend July 4th with friends and family.

(NOTE: Do you have a question for the candidates? Email wilmingtonapple@gmail.com and it may be asked in a future Q&A or in a debate.)

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