News from MIRA
First U.S. runner to win since 1983 brings city, nation and world together at Patriot's Day event
April 22, 2014 BOSTON — Cheers could be heard sweeping through the pack of runners at the Boston Marathon, as news spread that the first person to cross the finish line was Meb Kefleziighi, the first U.S. runner to win the race since 1983. The news also struck a chord of pride among local immigrant advocates, who noted that the 38-year-old Keflezhighi is also an American by choice, having taken the oath of citizenship at age 22, a decade after he arrived in San Diego with his family from their native Eritrea. Over 18 million Americans have also completed their own immigrant journeys by taking the same oath, and Keflezhigi raised their profile the moment he decided to run the Boston Marathon a year ago, when he was an observer of the tragedy near the finish line.
Government, academic and non-profit experts at invited to partner with Task Force
April 28, 2014 BOSTON — "My job is to be a good closer and just bring the game home," said Ron Marlow, Assistant Secretary of the Massachusetts Office of Access and Opportunities, as he began his closing remarks on Friday at a symposium on immigrant professionals organized by the MIRA Coalition and partners. Of course, baseball analogies in April sprout as fast and wide as dandelions, but the Assistant Secretary covered multiple bases with his pitch at this wide-ranging and energized gathering at The Boston Foundation.
Marlow's baseball analogy applied not only to the symposium's impressive array of demographic analysis, practical lessons and personal testimonials, but also to the Patrick Administration's long-standing commitment to better integrate immigrants and refugees into the fabric of the Commonwealth. As the administration winds down its game in the next few months, Marlow announced, one of the team's closing projects would be a task force "that will produce a set of recommendations to serve high-skilled immigrants" in the critical health care and life sciences sectors. Set to be co-chaired by Marlow and symposium participant Josiane Martinez, Executive Director of the Office of Refugees and Immigrants, the task force will seek "to compile information produced by [the symposium's] hard-working individuals," with the goal of providing "a blueprint for action" for the next governor to better utilize immigrant professionals' skills and talents.
April 10, 2014 BOSTON — MIRA is proud to announce that Executive Director Eva Millona, in her capacity as co-chair of the National Partnership for New Americans, will participate in a new, ground-breaking initiative, Networks for Integrating New Americans, which aims to advance immigrants’ economic and civic integration in five U.S. communities and beyond.
Funded by Office of Technical, Career and Adult Education (OCTAE) at the U.S Department of Education, this initiative will refine and document collaborative program models for helping immigrants to achieve their dreams.
Decision on Safe Driving Bill postponed to May 15; Trust Act passed favorably out of committee
March 20, 2014 BOSTON — Immigrant advocates and their allies reacted positively to the decisions yesterday from various legislative committees on bills that would increase public safety and equity in Massachusetts. The Joint Committee on Transportation extended until May 15 its consideration of the Safe Driving Bill, which would allow all otherwise qualified Massachusetts residents to earn a driver's license, regardless of their immigration status. And the Joint Committee on Public Safety favorably reported out the Trust Act, which would grant local law enforcement decision making power over whether or not to honor detainers issued by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement for low-level, non-dangerous detainees.
A thousand students would lose adult education classes under current BPS budget proposal
March 12, 2014 BOSTON — Adding to a petition signed by nearly 300 classmates and appearances at previous budget hearings, a group of adult students will rally tonight at 4:30 outside the Boston Public Schools building to ask the School Committee to reject cutting almost all funding from the Department of Adult Education and Community Services. The budget proposal under consideration would eliminate 85 percent of the program's funding, cutting $1.1 million dollars
from a program that cumulatively serves nearly 1,000 students at its four sites. In the daytime, the program offers classes in Adult Basic Education (ABE) and English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), and in the evening also offers the city's only credentialed adult high school program, located at the Madison Park High School complex.
Maria Harris (center), Director of Adult Education, informing evening students of potential school cuts, O'Bryant High, February 25