News from MIRA

MIRA joins Mayor Walsh at City Hall ceremony to swear in 27 New Americans from 19 countries on Constitution and Citizenship Day

September 17, 2014 BOSTON — "I'll just share one story," said Boston Mayor Marty Walsh this
morning to a group of immigrants who had just taken the oath of citizenship. "When I was beginning to enter politics, my mother had been hanging on to her green card for years and years, and she said, 'I guess I'll have to become a citizen now to vote for you one day.'" natzceremonyweb

The story drew a long laugh from the packed audience in the Eagle Room in the Mayor's Office at City Hall, which included city and federal officials, immigrant advocates, TV camera crews, and 27 naturalized Americans from 19 different countries, ranging from Aruba to New Zealand. But the story also neatly summarized the proud mood and profound message of the day - citizenship intertwines great benefits and great responsibilities Or, as Boston Health and Human Services Chief Felix Arroyo said in the ceremony's keynote remarks: "The process you went through, while arduous, is not the end but the beginning...One of your responsibilities now is to participate in our democracy."

Read more: Mayor Walsh Hosts Naturalization Ceremony and proclaims Boston "A City of Citizenship"

MIRA: President Obama's decision to delay executive action breaks promise and hurts America

September 6, 2014 BOSTON — Immigrant advocates in Massachusetts today joined a chorus of voices from across the nation criticizing President Obama for his decision to delay taking executive action on immigration until after the midterm elections. On June 30, the President had promised to take executive action to overhaul the immigration system by the end of the summer if Congress did not act on immigration reform by then. But today, an unnamed administration spokesperson quoted in the New York Times blamed "Republicans’ extreme politicization of this issue" for the decision to delay action until after November. The Times and other news sources reported the decision was taken to alleviate the fears of Democratic Senate candidates about the political ramifications of action now.

Read more: Advocates Deplore President Obama's Delay on Immigration Action

MIRA applauds Councilor Josh Zakim for his strong leadership and the full Boston City Council for its decisive action to restore trust and comply with the Constitution.

August 20, 2014 BOSTON — The Boston City Council voted unanimously on August 20 to adopt an ordinance introduced by Councilor Josh Zakim that would limit the damage of the so-called "Secure Communities" program by refusing cooperation with ICE detainer requests in the absence of probable cause.  Mayor Walsh publicly pledged to sign the Boston Trust Ordinance when Councilor Zakim first filed the proposal earlier this summer.   MIRA celebrates this landmark together with the full Massachusetts Campaign to Restore Trust and the Boston Immigration Group.

Read more: Boston City Council Unanimously Adopts Local Trust Ordinance Limiting Harms of S-Comm. 

At least 5, as many as 10, children were killed in Honduras in the last six months following deportation by U.S. government.

August 20, 2014 BOSTON — The MIRA Coalition reacted strongly to reports that at least 5, and as many as 10, of the many children murdered since February in San Pedro Sula, Honduras were killed following recent deportation by the U.S. government. "We mourn with the families of these children and with all those who have lost a family member to deportation" said Eva Millona, Executive Director of the MIRA Coalition. "The current crisis facing Central American families and children is no time to circumvent the requirements of legal due process. When a parent has faced the wrenching choice of whether to send her child on a harrowing journey to possible safety or keep her family intact and risk losing her child to gang violence, our common humanity demands that we take her child's life and safety seriously."

Read more: MIRA Coalition Condemns Killing of Children Deported to Honduran Violence, Demands Due Process and...

Six candidates speak on issues from safe driving to language access at talk-show style event

(photo courtesy Suzanne Hinton)

forumbackgroundAugust 14, 2014 BOSTON —Twisting around to look up at the sponsors' logos at last night's gubernatorial candidates forum on issues affecting immigrant communities, Republican candidate Mark Fisher pointed out the word "integration" with approval. It was perhaps the only concept that all the candidates present agreed upon over the course of the 90-minute forum at Bunker Hill Community College.

Organized by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the forum was held in a talk show-style format, with each candidate sitting down for a 15-minute discussion with moderator Phillip Martin, Senior Investigative Reporter at WGBH-FM. Though Republican Charlie Baker and independent Mark Lively declined the invitation, the six candidates in attendance spanned the gamut, including independents Evan Falchuk and Jeff McCormick, and all three Democratic primary candidates, Don Berwick, Martha Coakley and Steve Grossman. Phillip Martin set a friendly, engaged tone with his questions, and the audience of over 200 listened with polite reserve, yet sharp differences between the candidates’ positions still poked up beneath their smooth words.

Read more: Gubernatorial Candidates Differ on Issues Affecting Immigrant Communities at Non-Partisan Forum