For the 22nd year in a row, MIRA organized Immigrants’ Day at the State House, the biggest lobbying day of the year for immigrants, refugees, and allies. After a brief speaking program, we fan out through the building to meet with legislators and advocate for priority bills and funding for programs such as English classes and adult basic education.
Our theme this year was “Immigrants Get the Job Done.” We wanted to highlight the key role of foreign-born workers in some of Massachusetts’ top economic sectors, such as healthcare, technology, and hospitality, with business leaders and public officials joining us.
Our speaking program which was taken place in the Great Hall (Hall of Flags) for a celebration of immigrants’ vital role in Massachusetts’ economy and a chance to hear diverse immigrant perspectives:
- Alejandra St. Guillen, Boston Mayor’s Office for Immigrant Advancement (emcee)
- Rosalin Acosta, Mass. Secretary of Labor and Workforce Development: watch video excerpt
- The Honorable Harriette Chandler, President of the Massachusetts Senate
- Andrea Campbell, Boston City Councilor
- José Palma, co-founder, Massachusetts TPS Committee: watch video excerpt
- Palloma Jovita, student, Framingham State University, and DACA recipient
- Claude Toussaint, student, graduate of the Haitian Multi-Service Center
Meet with your legislators!
The most powerful aspect of Immigrants’ Day isn’t the speaking program, but the hundreds of immigrants and allies who fan out through the State House to meet with legislators and staff and advocate for pro-immigrant policies and crucial investments.
Only YOU know what’s most important to you: It may be English classes for adults, for which there’s now a 16,000+ person waitlist; it may be tuition equity legislation so undocumented students without DACA can also afford to attend state colleges and universities; it may be domestic violence programs. You may want to focus on reducing barriers to licensure for foreign-trained health professionals, or on expanding access to dental health care.
Or if you’ve been part of our campaign for the past 15 months, you may want to focus on the Safe Communities Act.
We have two documents to help you prepare:
- Updated talking points and asks on Safe Communities, recognizing that the bill itself is unlikely to pass this year, but key provisions can still be adopted by other means, including the state budget.
- MIRA’s top priorities in the fiscal 2019 state budget, the House version of which is expected April 11. These include English classes, domestic violence programs and workforce development.