"Immigrants Day at the State House" Coming Monday, April 9

Executive Vice-President of 1199SEIU keynote speaker at largest immigrant advocacy day of year

4/4/12 BOSTON -- The largest immigrant advocacy day of the year will take place on Monday April 9 as more than 500 immigrants and advocates fill the Gardner Auditorium for the 16th annual Immigrants Day at the State House. This year's keynote speaker will be Veronica Turner-Biggs, Executive Vice-President of 1199SEIU, MA Region. Ms. Turner-Biggs served as a rank and file member at Boston Medical Center before becoming the first African-American female elected as the head of a major union in Massachusetts.

The event also includes three immigrant success stories, a cultural presentation, and a candidates' forum for the Massachusetts U.S. Senate race. All major candidates — incumbent Senator Scott Brown and candidates Marisa DeFranco and Elizabeth Warren — have been invited.

After the convocation at the auditorium, immigrant constituents will visit their individual representative's offices to ask for their support on budget priorities, including adequate funding for Commonwealth Care, for the naturalization assistance program CNAP, and for ABE/ESOL classes, as well as seeking a restoration of funds for the RISE program for victims of domestic violence and for outreach grants to ensure immigrants enroll in appropriate health coverage. Constituents will also ask their legislators for support on important bills, including the establishment of greater flexibility in instruction to English Language Learner children, the "Right to Know" bill that would ensure  temporary workers are informed of the full nature of job assignments, and a bill that would close an age loophole that prevents abused youth from applying for status.

Equally important, constituents will ask legislators to oppose the raft of anti-immigrant bills and amendments that would divide communities, harm community-police relations, and hamper the Commonwealth's economic recovery.

WHO: Hundreds of immigrants from across Massachusetts and:

Speakers Confirmed:

  • Cheryl Clyburn Crawford, Co-Director MassVote
  • Eva Millona, Executive Director, MIRA Coalition
  • Sal DiDomenico, State Senator (D-Boston)
  • Veronica Turner-Biggs, Executive Vice President 1199 SEIU, MA Region
  • Marisa DeFranco, Attorney and Democratic Senate Candidate
  • Elizabeth Warren,  Consumer Advocate and Democratic Senate Candidate

Multicultural Presentation: Orale Con Veronica

Immigrant Success Stories From:

  • El Centro del Cardenal Adult Education Program
  • Asian Task Force Against Domestic Violence
  • Haitian American Organization Socio-Economic Development - MIRA Citizenship Clinics

WHAT: Sixteenth Annual Immigrants Day at the State House

WHERE: Gardner Auditorium
Massachusetts State House
Boston, MA 02133

WHEN: 10 a.m. – 12 p.m., Monday, April 9, 2012

The event is open to the press without registration. Others wishing to attend should visit
http://tinyurl.com/IDSH2012 or call Macony Almeida at 617-350-5480 ext. 205.