News from MIRA

Decision hailed as humane solution to Immigration Catch-22; experts call for extension of changes to all petitioners

1/6/12 BOSTON —Today, the Obama Administration announced an immigration regulatory change that will positively affect thousands of families with U.S. Citizen members. Under the current process, U.S. Citizens who petition for the "green cards" of their undocumented immigrant spouses or children often find their families placed into a Kafkaesque situation. In order to get their green cards, their spouses or children must return to their native countries, but once they leave the U.S., they are barred from returning for three or (more often) ten years. They can apply for a hardship exemption waiver of the three or ten year bar while in their home country, through a process at a U.S. consulate, but this process often takes months or years, during which time they are separated from their families and often face dangerous, even life-threatening, situations. As a result, many people who are otherwise eligible for a family-based petition fail to apply and continue to live in the shadows, on the periphery of our society.

Read more:  Immigration Rule Change Will Help Thousands of American Families 

Advocates expect full restoration of health care coverage for thousands

1/5/2012 BOSTON --Today, in a unanimous decision, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court ruled that  the constitutional rights of tens of thousands of legal immigrants were violated when the state stripped them of their health care coverage in 2009. These immigrants were cut from the state's universal healthcare program, Commonwealth Care, during the budget crisis that resulted from the economic crash of 2008. The court's decision today furthered a previous ruling that financial considerations are not a justification for such discrimination.

Read more: Mass Supreme Court Rules in Favor of Legal Immigrants in Health Care Case

12/20/2011 WORCESTER —  Today, on the morning before the longest night of the year, 40 workers, union leaders, elected officials and community organizers sang, chanted and raised signs outside Discover Marble and Granite in Millbury to "shed some light on the darkness of temporary agency abuse," in the words of Father Kevin Bean, from All Saints Church in Worcester.

Read more: Worcester Workers Demand Back Wages and End to Temp-Agency Fraud 


MIRA joins non-profits and officials at signing of strong bill protecting victims and prosecuting abusers

11/21/2011 BOSTON -- After signing Massachusetts' anti-human trafficking bill into law today in his office at the State House, Governor Deval Patrick said, "it has been a long time trying to pass a more modern, more focused, more effective law to deal with a devastating issue that effects all corners of the Commonwealth."

Read more: Immigrant Advocates Applaud Trafficking Bill Signing

11/7/2011 BOSTON — "Un-American, un-practical and un-godly," was how the Reverend Hurmon Hamilton, President of the Greater Boston Interfaith Organization, characterized the attacks on immigrants that have occurred in Milford over the past few months, a wave of anti-immigrant sentiment that some lawmakers have exploited to propose "An Act to Enhance Community Safety," a sweeping set of anti-immigrant crackdowns today introduced to the judiciary committee on Beacon Hill.

Read more: Ministers and Human Rights Leaders Condemn Abuse of Immigrants