News from MIRA

Measures seek to deprive children of housing, burden small businesses, and deny employment to many authorized workers

May 25, 2012 BOSTON —Speaking on the Senate floor about a provision that mandates the use of E-Verify for businesses contracting with state government, Senator Wolf of Harwich said, "I have hired thousands of people in a lot of areas: New Bedford, Boston, Provincetown, Hyannis. I can tell you we have never had an issue that relates to E-Verification that would make me want to support it. The [current] I-9 validation requires multiple forms of proof that are working. Part of this amendment looks like a solution in search of a problem."

Read more: Once Again, State Senate Adopts Anti-Immigrant Amendment in Budget

Immigrants and advocates in Massachusetts applaud decision

June 25th, 2012 BOSTON — This morning, the Obama administration announced that it will provide administrative relief for young people eligible for the DREAM Act. This action covers anyone who came to the United States before age 16, is currently under age 31, has been here for at least five years, is a student or has earned a high school degree or GED or served in the military, and poses no threat to public safety or national security. Starting today, these young people will NOT be deported, and they will be eligible to receive a renewable two-year work permit.

Read more: President Announces Administrative Relief for Immigrant Youth Eligible for DREAM Act

Labor, Faith and Human Rights leaders join immigrants pledge resistance to the insecurity raised by new enforcement program

speakersMay 10, 2012 BOSTON"Any decent detective will tell you that this is the antithesis of what we need," said retired New Jersey police detective Robert Cole today at a press conference denouncing the implementation of "Secure Communties," an immigration enforcement program that automatically shares the fingerprints of anyone arrested with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Board Chair of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition, Mr. Cole noted that a  major impediment to effective crime fighting is lack of community trust, and Secure Communities shatters that trust, bringing immigration enforcement directly into regular local police practices.

Other speakers, including Cristina Aguilera, Campaign Organizer at the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, who criticized "S-Comm" for ensnaring hardworking mothers and fathers in deportation proceedings. "Nationwide, half of those deported through 'Secure Communities' have not been accused of serious crimes," Ms. Aguilera said, "And in Boston, almost half of those deported have no criminal conviction whatsoever — 49%."

Read more: "S-Comm" Should Be Ended, Not Extended Say Diverse Voices at Press Conference

Court Should Strike Down Arizona Immigration Law,  Say Scholars, Advocates and 11 State AGs

Supreme_Court_rallyApril 25, 2012 BOSTONLegal experts in Massachusetts today joined with civil rights leaders, clergy, immigrant rights advocates, and 11 state attorneys general across the nation, including Massachusetts Attorney General Martha Coakley, in urging the Supreme Court of the United States to uphold the ban on the most egregious parts of SB1070, Arizona's  radical and destructive immigration law. Experts have protested that the law unconstitutionally usurps the power of the federal government to make and enforce immigration law, and that it mandates discriminatory treatment based on people's look and accent. As the New York Times editorial board wrote on Sunday, "its enforcement provisions essentially turn all Hispanics, including American citizens and legal residents, into criminal suspects."

Read more: Supreme Court Urged to Strike Down Arizona's Immigration Law

Executive Vice-President of largest union in MA makes keynote speech at largest immigrant advocacy day of year

pledge44/9/2012 BOSTON -- "Brothers and sisters, we ARE the New America — 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."

Read more: Nearly a Thousand Immigrants Raise Voices at State House