Wednesday, October 22, 2014
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Media Center: Press Releases

MIRA Statement Regarding Charlie Baker's Absence at Last Night's Gubernatorial Candidates Forum

October 15, 2014 BOSTON —  The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) is deeply disappointed that Charlie Baker, Republican candidate for Governor, was absent from last night's Non-partisan Gubernatorial Candidates Forum on Immigration, Justice, and Equality. Mr. Baker was the first candidate to confirm his participation at the forum, and the MIRA Coalition received no written or oral notification that he would not be present. Over a period of weeks, the MIRA Coalition followed up with the Baker campaign with logistical information and briefing materials, and never received any indication that he would not appear.

"We had no idea that Charlie Baker would not come to the forum last night and were surprised by his absence," said Eva Millona, Executive Director of the MIRA Coalition. "The event was live streamed, and we delayed the start for fifteen minutes as we waited for all confirmed participants. We hope that Mr. Baker's absence was the result of a good faith miscommunication. More importantly, we hope that the significant issues we addressed last night are not eclipsed by this unfortunate situation. We look forward to receiving his answers to the questionnaire that was sent in advance to all the candidates, by the deadline of Thursday, October 16."


MIRA Coalition Receives AmeriCorps Grant to Provide Legal Services to Central American Children

Greater Boston Legal Services to provide technical assistance for 12 AmeriCorps attorneys and three paralegals at legal service organizations statewide

September 25, 2014 BOSTON — On September 12, at the 20th anniversary celebration of the AmeriCorps network, President Obama announced the launch of "justice AmeriCorps," a new public service program that will provide legal services to unaccompanied children in immigration courts across the country. This week, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) was informed that it has received a $298,350 grant to create and implement that program in Massachusetts.

Read more: MIRA Coalition Receives AmeriCorps Grant to Provide Legal Services to Central American Children


Massachusetts Immigrant Advocates Decry President's Delay on Immigration Action

Press conference underscores trauma caused by White House delay and urges calls to President, pressure from Congressional delegation, and voter engagement

pressconfwebSeptember 24, 2014 BOSTON - A few days after Independence Day, a Mexican immigrant and father of three named Jose left his East Boston apartment to get one of his daughter's bag from the family car. He hasn't been able to return home since.

Jose has lived in this country for 17 years, is a foreman in his trade union, and volunteers with religious organizations. None of that mattered when he was stopped outside his apartment and asked for ID by agents for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) who happened to be looking for a neighbor. Jose could only produce an old Mexican passport, and as his three daughters watched through the apartment window, protesting and crying, Jose was detained. (The children have since had to undergo therapy for the trauma).

Read more: Massachusetts Immigrant Advocates Decry President's Delay on Immigration Action


Mayor Walsh Hosts Naturalization Ceremony and proclaims Boston "A City of Citizenship"

MIRA joins Mayor Walsh at City Hall ceremony to swear in 27 New Americans from 19 countries on Constitution and Citizenship Day

September 17, 2014 BOSTON — "I'll just share one story," said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh this
morning to a group of immigrants who had just taken the oath of citizenship. "When I was beginning to enter politics, my mother had been hanging on to her green card for years and years, and she said, 'I guess I'll have to become a citizen now to vote for you one day.'" natzceremonyweb

The story drew a long laugh from the packed audience in the Eagle Room in the Mayor's Office at City Hall, which included city and federal officials, immigrant advocates, TV camera crews, and 27 naturalized Americans from 19 different countries, ranging from Aruba to New Zealand. But the story also neatly summarized the proud mood and profound message of the day - citizenship intertwines great benefits and great responsibilities Or, as Boston Health and Human Services Chief Felix Arroyo said in the ceremony's keynote remarks: "The process you went through, while arduous, is not the end but the beginning...One of your responsibilities now is to participate in our democracy."

Read more: Mayor Walsh Hosts Naturalization Ceremony and proclaims Boston "A City of Citizenship"


Advocates Deplore President Obama's Delay on Immigration Action

MIRA: President Obama's decision to delay executive action breaks promise and hurts America

September 6, 2014 BOSTON — Immigrant advocates in Massachusetts today joined a chorus of voices from across the nation criticizing President Obama for his decision to delay taking executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections. On June 30, the President had promised to take executive action to overhaul the immigration system by the end of the summer if Congress did not act on immigration reform by then. But today, an unnamed administration spokesperson quoted in the New York Times blamed "Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue" for the decision to delay action until after November. The Times and other news sources reported the decision was taken to alleviate the fears of Democratic Senate candidates about the political ramifications of action now.

Read more: Advocates Deplore President Obama's Delay on Immigration Action


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