News from MIRA

Bill proposed today attacks innocent students and powerless families

Monday, September 26, 2011. BOSTON —Immigrants, advocates and concerned citizens across the state today condemned a new bill introduced at a noon press conference that could potentially invite racial profiling and punish innocent students and powerless families. The bill was introduced after local media exposure of some DUI incidents involving undocumented immigrant, but it largely ignores the issue of driving under the influence and instead imposes punitive measures that would establish invasive and costly procedures in numerous arenas, thus unnecessarily burdening taxpayers' wallets while encroaching upon the civil rights of all state residents.

"This bill demonstrates an over-reaction on the part of legislators that should trouble all those concerned with public safety, with efficient use of resources, and with the protection of civil liberties," said Eva Millona, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition. "MIRA encourages lawmakers to oppose its passage and instead support comprehensive immigration reform in Congress, as well as embark on a focused examination of the serious problem of drunk driving itself."

Read more: Immigrants & Advocates Oppose Anti-Immigrant Bill

BOSTON, MA – "This should be on the front page of every paper," said Lieutenant Governor Timothy Murray today at a non-profit in Lynn crammed with almost a hundred state officials, business leaders, labor organizers, community workers, and immigrants. "This is a good news story: how business working cooperatively with government is creating opportunities to realize the American Dream."

The Lieutenant Governor was speaking about the English Works Campaign, which had organized the gathering to honor 18 businesses that have partnered with government and the non-profit sector to offer their immigrant workers the chance to learn English.

Read more: Lt. Governor and English Works Honor Businesses that Support English Classes for Immigrants

Over 100 volunteers help at year's largest naturalization ceremony

Wednesday, August 31, 2011. BOSTON — Bearing clipboards, pens and a simple registration form, over a hundred volunteers met thousands of newly sworn citizens today at TD Gardens today and offered them the chance to register to vote. The volunteers were organized by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), which worked with staff, member organizations, and allies such as MassVOTE to register the new citizens at the largest naturalization ceremony held in Massachusetts this year. Coordinators of the drive counted over 1,000 completed registration forms, with 2,500 more distributed to the happy crowd of new citizens.

Read more: 1,000 New Citizens Registered to Vote at TD Garden 

Clinic marks launch of new collaborative to increase naturalization rates in Greater Boston

BOSTON — On Saturday, September 17, 2011, dozens of specially trained volunteers will help qualified immigrants fill out and submit all the paperwork required so they can become United States citizens. Held on official Constitution Day and Citizenship Day (to commemorate the signing of the Constitution on Sept. 17, 1787), the clinic marks the public launch of Citizenship Works, a new collaborative of eight organizations seeking to increase naturalization rates in Greater Boston.

Read more: New Collaborative Gives Free Citizenship Clinic

Immigrants applaud decision as humane and rational approach to enforcement

Thursday, August 18, 2011. BOSTON — Immigrant advocates and other community agencies learned today that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has sent a letter to 23 U.S. Senators, including Massachusetts Senator John Kerry, responding to their request for a review of immigration deportation policy. In the letter, DHS announced that they are joining with the Department of Justice to make a case by case review of 300,000 people currently in the deportation pipeline, and they will subsequently remove "low priority" cases from deportation. This will bring DHS' immigration enforcement in line with a memo about prosecutorial discretion issued on June 17 by John Morton, Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

Read more: Homeland Security Announces End to Deportation of Low-Priority Cases