Following fierce public opposition, the Newton Board of Alderman decided not to move forward on a resolution urging Congress to lift the ban on allowing Guantanamo detainees to move to the United States.
"It doesn’t need to advance any further this evening until we are one mind about it," said Aldermen Steve Linsky, one of the co-sponsors of the resolution, in an interview Tuesday morning.
The vote was passed Tuesday night with out any alderman opposing. Alderman Carelton Merrill was absent.
“I think that was the wisest move,” said Alderman Greer Tan Swiston.
Previously, the Programs and Services Committee unanimously approved the resolution presented by two Newton lawyers to allow Abdul Aziz Naji, a 34-year-old Algerian man to relocate to Newton.
Naji’s lawyers say that formal charges were never brought against him and that he worked for a legal charity affiliated with a terrorist group when he was arrested in Pakistan in 2002.
Newton City Hall was packed with protesters and residents holding signs that read “No Jihadists in Newton.” Last Friday, 30 residents met with Alderman Charles Shapiro to discuss and voice their concerns about the resolution.
“The most important thing to me is that there is recognition that this was not a good idea to begin with and that the Board should be spending its time focusing on normal, appropriate Board business,” said Shapiro.
Residents who attended the Board of Alderman meeting Tuesday night said they were happy the resolution is not moving forward.
“I’m very upset with the way it was handled,” said Judi Elovitz Greenberg. “I think the way it came about was really irresponsible and inconsiderate to the citizens of Newton.”