News from MIRA
Supporters laud opportunity to ensure that all Massachusetts drivers are licensed and insured
September 5, 2013 BOSTON — The Joint Transportation Committee of the State Legislature has scheduled a public hearing on Tuesday, September 10 for the Safe Driving Bill, a bill which would allow state residents to apply for a learner's permit or driver's license regardless of their immigration status, thereby improving the lives of thousands of immigrants and increasing the safety of our state roadways for everyone.
Across the nation, legislation of this type has gained momentum, with supporters including road safety experts, police chiefs, business associations, labor unions, health care providers, immigrant rights advocates, and others. On Tuesday, a broad coalition will appear at the State House to urge the Committee to endorse the bill and ensure that all drivers in Massachusetts are tested, licensed and insured. Earlier this summer, neighboring states Vermont and Connecticut passed similar bills, as have Oregon, Colorado, Maryland and Illinois over the past year.
MIRA joins groups around nation calling for an end to concessions
June 25, 2013 BOSTON — In a successful bid to win broader Republican support for the immigration reform bill, the Senate voted last night to adopt the Corker-Hoeven border-enforcement amendment, thereby agreeing to double allocations for border agents and raising spending by almost 70 percent. The 67 to 27 vote raised the probability that that the bill will not be filibustered, but the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) joined with immigrant rights organizations from across the country to decry the amendment's wasteful spending and dangerous threat to border residents' civil rights.
Passage of Senate immigration reform bill and end to same-sex discrimination demonstrate movement's powerful momentum
June 27, 2013 BOSTON — The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the largest organization representing the rights of the foreign-born in New England, commends the U.S. government for a week of major advances on the equal treatment of all residents of the United States. Today, the U.S. Senate passed S. 744, the "Border Security, Economic Opportunity, and Immigration Modernization Act of 2013," the broadest and most comprehensive reform of the immigration system in over a quarter century. The bill establishes a pathway to legalization for millions of men, women and children living in the shadows, and restructures the current immigration system so that the nation will more readily respond to the needs of our economy and of those wanting to emigrate to the Unites States. This comes the day after the Supreme Court struck down the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA), thereby allowing federal recognition of legally sanctioned same-sex marriages in Massachusetts and other states. The Obama Administration acknowledged that the Supreme Court ruling would allow the federal government to treat the petitions of same-sex married couples just like those of opposite-sex couples.
July 11, 2013 BOSTON — In a meeting on Capitol Hill yesterday, House Republicans decided to reject the Senate's historic bipartisan agreement on immigration reform and to only pursue piecemeal legislation gradually, with an emphasis on border security first. Immigrant advocates across New England reacted strongly against the decision, noting that the reform bill passed the Senate with unprecedented bipartisan support, that every major poll has shown the American people favor a strong and interconnected bill to deal with the current broken system, and that all impartial studies show that the nation and economy would benefit from a broad plan that affords 11 million immigrants the chance to contribute fully to American society through citizenship.
Speakers will celebrate campaign to raise naturalization rates in cities like Brockton.
June 13, 2013 BROCKTON — Early on a afternoon last September, upwards of 500 area residents swarmed to a citizenship clinic offered in downtown Brockton by the Greater Boston Citizenship Initiative (GBCI), Community Connections of Brockton, and the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA).
GBCI works across the state with groups like MIRA and Community Connections of Brockton to help eligible immigrants apply for U.S. citizenship. The turnout was by far the largest the two-year-old organization has yet seen, suggesting the tremendous desire for integration assistance in this Massachusetts Gateway City, where upwards of one in four residents is foreign-born.