News from MIRA
Executive Vice-President of largest union in MA makes keynote speech at largest immigrant advocacy day of year
4/9/2012 BOSTON -- "Brothers and sisters, we ARE the New America â€” and a new America that votes," said Veronica Turner-Biggs to over 600 immigrants packed into the Gardner Auditorium for the 16th annual Immigrants Day at the State House. As Executive Vice-Presdent of SEIU1199, the largest union in Massachusetts, Ms. Turner-Biggs fittingly offered the keynote address at the largest immigrant advocacy day of the year. Indeed, the day's gathering was so successful that an additional 300 immigrants gathered outside the auditorium to rally in Nurse's Hall.
The first African-American woman to head a major union in Massachusetts, Ms Turner-Biggs focused on the event's theme, "Building Power Together."
"Together, our voices are stronger than they are alone," she said. "Together, we are building a stronger Commonwealth for everyone." She also emphasized the crucial importance of immigrants to the state's economy. "YOU are what keeps the Commonwealth working. And our legislators need to know that they cannot take your vote for granted."
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 â€” incumbent Senator Scott Brown and candidates Marisa DeFranco and Elizabeth Warren â€” have been invited.
Health Care for All and MIRA urge 37,400 documented immigrants who now qualify for Commonwealth Care to enroll or seek guidance
4/3/12 BOSTON - Today, representatives of Health Care For All (HCFA) and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) gathered to highlight the eligibility and enrollment process for the estimated 37,400 documented immigrants who now qualify for CommonwealthCare.
â€œWe are really excited that the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed our vision of health care as a right for all residents and we are committed to enrolling every single eligible individual into CommonwealthCare,â€ said Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, Executive Director of Health Care For All. â€œSome of our HelpLine callers are confused about the enrollment process. We are here today to make sure people understand what they are eligible for and how they can start getting their health benefits.â€
Health Law Advocates won this landmark legal victory on behalf of the class that sued the Commonwealth when state budget cuts included removing special status immigrants from the Commonwealth Care program and created a limited health plan known as the Bridge program.
Health Care for All, MIRA and community members to explain urgent enrollment issue
- Amy Whitcomb Slemmer, Executive Director - Health Care For All
- Eva Millona, Executive Director - MIRA Coalition
- Nicole Sammarco, President - Haitian American Organization for Social Economic Development (available for interviews in Haitian Creole)
- Documented immigrants who are now eligible for Commonwealth Care
- CesarÃaReynoso (available for interviews in Spanish)
- FlaviaPortinho (available for interviews in Portuguese)
WHAT: Groups that advocate for health care access and immigrantsâ€™ rights will hold a press conference to clarify eligibility and responsibilities of the beneficiaries of the Massachusetts Supreme Court Ruling, which will allow the enrollment of thousands of documented immigrants in Commonwealth Care in the next few weeks.
WHEN: Tuesday, April 3rd
12:00 pm â€“ 12:30 pm
WHERE: Health Care For All â€“ 9th Floor Conference Room
30 Winter St.
Boston, MA 02108
Friday events will show community support for immigrant families still fighting separation
3/7/12 NEW BEDFORD â€” At 5:30 on Friday evening, an interfaith service will begin an evening of community commemoration and support for the hundreds of families still grievously affected by the raid at the Michael Bianco factory by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which made national headlines five years ago this week. The raid took place in the early morning of March 6, 2007, when some 500 ICE agents and other law enforcement officials detained 361 undocumented garment workers at the New Bedford garment factory, mostly women from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Today, many of the detainees still face imminent separation from their families, often forcing them to choose between losing loved ones or taking their children away from the nation in which they were born and raised.