News from MIRA

Speakers include Phoenix City Councilman Daniel Valenzuela, Gaston Institute Director Maria Idali Torres, and Rafael Collazo from National Council of La Raza



September 28, 2012 EAST BOSTON — On the morning of Saturday, October 13, the East Boston Social Center will host the first gathering of Boston community agencies and residents to explore the issue of Latino power in the city and its greater environs. Sponsored by the East Boston Ecumenical Community Council (EBECC), the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), Neighbors United for a Better East Boston (NUBE), ¿Oiste?, and SEIU615, the half-day conference will explore the issues impacting area Latinos and their electoral potential in Massachusetts before this critical general election. Looking toward the future, participants will share the possibilities for building Latino power in Boston and beyond, and they will create the foundation for future discussion and increased unity among Latinos and the social service providers working with them.

Read more: East Boston to Host First 'Boston Latino Conference' Oct. 13

June 28th, 2012 BOSTON — The Budget Conference Committee this morning released the final version of the FY 2013 state budget and submitted it to the legislature, which was expected to approve it quickly  Many of the amendments that were most harmful to immigrants were removed from the budget, including one that would have mandated the implementation of the expensive and error-prone E-Verify for all businesses contracting with the state, and one that would have excluded mixed-status families from state subsidized housing, thereby threatening to make U.S. citizen children homeless.

Read more: Immigrant Advocates React to Final Legislative Budget

Dozens of volunteers help new citizens in "the first duty of citizenship"

June 29, 2012 BOSTON — Newly naturalized U.S. citizen Siewnarine Mohaber lifted his red baseball cap and gently patted the top of his head."See, my friend, I had an accident," said the Guyanese native. "It made it difficult to study for my citizenship exam."

Through perseverance, the story had a happy ending — as did the stories of almost 1,800 other people from 114 countries who became U.S. citizens today, swearing an oath of allegiance before United States Magistrate Judge Marianne Bowler at the Seaport World Trade Center.

Read more: Hundreds of New Americans Registered to Vote Today

July 9, 2012 BOSTON — Four provisions targeted at the undocumented immigrant population of Massachusetts were included in the final budget sent to Governor Patrick. These included increased penalties for infractions related to driving without a license and distributing false I.D.s, and the creation of a residency check for vehicle registration. Yesterday, the governor signed the final budget, allowing three increased-penalty measures to stand and amending the registration provision.

Read more: Governor's Final Budget Curbs Targeting of Undocumented Immigrants

Lawyers and advocates offer group and individual assistance at largest gathering in New England

August 16, 2012 BOSTON — Over 400 young people packed into the gymnasium at Roca in Chelsea last night, eager to hear advocates and lawyers explain how to apply for the program that will allow young undocumented immigrants to obtain work permits and live without fear of deportation. Organized by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Organization and Roca, the gathering was the largest in New England, and one of dozens held that day by similar organizations across the country. Nationally, 1.8 million young people are estimated to qualify for this administrative action, known as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), including some 10 to 20,000 young people between the ages of 15 and 30 in Massachusetts. The Chelsea forum lasted nearly three hours, with a presentation on community outreach by the Chelsea Police Department, followed by a detailed PowerPoint presentation in English and Spanish about the program by MIRA staff and board president John Wilshire-Carrera, of Greater Boston Legal Services.The event also offered immigrants one-on-one legal consultations, with the assistance of volunteers from the American Immigration Lawyers' Association.

Read more: Over 400 Pack Forum of First Day of Deferred Action for DREAMers