Decision on travel ban spares family members, students and workers
BOSTON, June 26, 2017 – The U.S. Supreme Court today agreed to examine whether President Trump’s travel ban was a legitimate exercise of executive power, and in the meantime, stayed two injunctions that had blocked the implementation of the travel ban.
In a careful attempt to balance competing interests, the Court only allowed the travel ban to be applied to foreign nationals who lack “any bona fide relationship with a person or entity in the United States.”
For individuals, the Court ruled, a “close familial relationship” is required. For entities, the relationship must be “formal, documented, and formed in the ordinary course,” such as a student’s admission to a U.S. university, an offer of employment, or an invitation to give a lecture.
All other citizens of the six designated countries – Iran, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Sudan and Yemen – may be barred from entering the U.S. for 90 days. The Court also upheld a 120-day suspension of the U.S. refugee resettlement program, and a reduction of the annual cap from 110,000, as former President Obama had planned, to 50,000. In fiscal 2016, the U.S. admitted 85,000 refugees.
America; I Too – a dramatic look at immigration enforcement
With the Trump administration cracking down on undocumented immigrants – not just criminals, but also people living peacefully in the U.S. and raising families – it’s crucial to know what rights immigrants have when they’re arrested by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).
America; I Too is a dramatic short about three immigrants who are arrested and go through the system, trying to avoid deportation. The film was written and directed by Newton native Anike Tourse, with support from the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles (CHIRLA). It stars Academy Award nominee Barkhad Abdi (of Captain Phillips) and features the music of the Grammy-winning band Quetzal.
Join us on Friday, June 30, 2017, for the film's New England premiere, as part of the Roxbury International Film Festival. Get tickets here (just $10) . You can also see a trailer for the film in Spanish.
‘You have to come close to other people to see them’
A City Hall exhibit and World Refugee Day event offer a glimpse behind the numbers.
BOSTON – The portraits are displayed in pairs: one life-size, the other a close-up, with a questionnaire in the middle that includes the subject’s name, the year of departure from Syria, and tidbits of daily life: fondest memory, favorite TV book, favorite TV show, hopes for the future.
We learn that Raed, who left Syria in 2013, loves the Czech composer Antonín Dvořák, but also the lyrics of the Arabic-language singer Majida Halim El Roumi. Ali, who fled Syria in 2014, loves The Simpsons – but in English, not the German dub, which isn’t funny. He’d love to meet Angela Merkel.
Talar, who left Syria in 2012, misses school life and her friends, many of whom are still in Syria. Rawa’a, who was resettled in Canada, wants to make Prime Minister Justin Trudeau proud of the Syrians his country has welcomed. Oh, and she loves the phrase “How’s it goin’?”
Good news for Dreamers – but not for immigrant parents
BOSTON, June 16, 2017 – U.S. Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly said yesterday that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program will remain in effect – though a Homeland Security spokesman said today that the future of DACA “continues to be under review with the administration.”
Secretary Kelly’s update on DACA came on the fifth anniversary of the establishment of the program, a single line in a larger announcement that President Obama’s 2014 memorandum creating the Deferred Action for Parents of Americans and Lawful Permanent Residents (DAPA) program, which has been blocked by court action, is being rescinded.
“We are pleased and relieved to see DACA continue at least for now, despite the president’s campaign promises to eliminate the program,” said Eva A. Millona, executive director of MIRA. “Since DACA started, more than 7,900 Massachusetts residents have successfully applied, with huge benefits not only for these young people, but for our entire communities.”
Make your voice heard and support safe communities!
From the Boston Tea Party to the anti-slavery and marriage equality movements, Massachusetts has been a leader on civil rights. Today we need to see that kind of courage on behalf of immigrants and Muslims in our communities.
Immigrants are one-sixth of Massachusetts’ population and an integral part of our social fabric. Yet under the Trump administration, they are being demonized and targeted for mass deportation. The administration is counting on state and local law enforcement to serve as “force multipliers” for its crackdown on immigrants. The Safe Communities Act would prevent that from happening in our Commonwealth.
The Safe Communities Act asserts Massachusetts values and protects the civil rights, safety and well-being of all residents by drawing a clear line between immigration enforcement and public safety. Sponsored by State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (S.1305) and State Rep. Juana Matías (H.3269)., it ensures that our tax dollars are not used to help the Trump Administration deport immigrant families or create a Muslim registry.
Nearly half the Massachusetts Legislature has co-sponsored the bill, and more than 100 organizations have endorsed it so far. On June 9, 2017, hundreds of people came to show their support at a hearing by the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, with testimony from elected officials, to civil rights leaders, health care providers, educators and community members.
Now we need your help to keep up the momentum!
Take action to protect immigrant rights!
- Find online "Know Your Rights" resources in English, Spanish and other languages.
- Request a "Know Your Rights" workshop in your town or region.
- Learn what public health professionals can do to protect undocumented residents and their families.
- Find out actions school officials can take to protect undocumented students.
- Report bias incidents to the Attorney General's anti-harassment hotline.
- And check out MIRA's Facebook page for local events and actions.