News from MIRA
Six-hour hearing ends with stream of spontaneous testimonies in favor of bill that would ensure all Massachusetts drivers are tested, licensed and insured
March 6, 2014 BOSTON — Yesterday over 500 immigrants and supporters "took over" the State House, as one admiring Representative put it, to advocate for passage of the Safe Driving Bill, which would allow all qualified Massachusetts residents to apply for a driver's license regardless of one's immigration status. In a long and impassioned public hearing on the bill, supporters seemed to win over the admiration of the Joint Transportation Committee co-chair, Representative William Strauss, who closed the hearing by commending participants on their dedication and civility.
Potential snow storm delays hearing on bill that would ensure all Massachusetts drivers are tested, licensed and insured
"By removing immigration status as a barrier to applying for a learner's permit and taking a driving test, the Safe Driving Bill would reduce both accidents and costs," said State Senator Patricia Jehlen, the lead Senate sponsor of the Bill. "Not only would roads become safer, police and other officials who monitor our roads and highways would be able to focus on that safety first and foremost.”
Business, labor, faith, and safety groups join to push for law to license and insure all Massachusetts drivers
WHAT: Press-Conference Supporting "Safe Driving Bill"
WHERE: Nurses Hall
Massachusetts State House
Quickly adopted provision in Welfare Reform Bill would eliminate state public housing eligibility for many immigrant victims of natural disasters, torture and sexual violence
Nov. 13, 2013 BOSTON — Tomorrow morning at 10 a.m., domestic abuse victims, war survivors, and others will walk the halls of the State House to visit legislators, urging them to reject a hastily adopted provision to the Welfare Reform Bill that would effectively bar many immigrants from public housing. The provision had been rejected by the State House a number of times over the past year, but similar measures were quickly added to the Welfare Reform Bill in both the House and the Senate versions.
"This is the same harmful, ill-considered measure that the Housing Bond Bill Conference Committee had previously rejected when they understood the real impact on families," said Shannon Erwin, State Policy Director for the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA). "We are dismayed that it would be adopted again, putting so many people at risk of losing their stable housing."
National condemnation of Speaker's comments swift and massive; immigrants in Massachusetts start closing accounts at unsupportive banks
Nov. 16, 2013 BOSTON — "He did not expect us to be there," said Community Organizer Miguel Leal yesterday afternoon, describing the reaction of a Bank of America manager when a group of immigrants and allies handed him a letter explaining their decision to close their accounts. "And I could hear him on the phone with another executive saying, 'We need to meet, now!'"
The scene was sparked by the Republican Caucus' final refusal to pass comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.
On Wednesday, Speaker John Boehner said that House action "is not going to happen" on a Senate immigration reform bill passed with overwhelming bipartisan support in June. "And frankly," the Ohio Republican continued, "I’ll make clear we have no intention of ever going to conference on the Senate bill."