News from MIRA
Boston area advocates discuss new national report; call on Congress, U.S.C.I.S. to support "Green Card" holders pursuing dream of American citizenship
February 15, 2013 CHELSEA —"It's never been the intention of this country to give out citizenship to the highest bidder," said Juan Vega, Executive Director of Centro Latino. "But that's what it seems we're doing now."
Vega was speaking today as the host of a press event at Centro Latino highlighting a new report, “Nurturing Naturalization: Could Lowering the Fee Help?” Written by a team headed by Dr. Manuel Pastor, Co-Director of the Center for the Study of Immigrant Integration, the report explores how the $680 naturalization fee has become a major barrier to applying for U.S. citizenship for legal immigrants in low-wage jobs.
Zilda Castro and Juan Vega at today's press conference
February 14, 2013 BOSTON – On one side of Government Center, in Boston City Hall, government officials join couples inmatrimony.On the other, in the JFK Federal Building, they tear couples apart in immigration courts. Tomorrow morning, immigrants and advocates will gather at 8:15 at the Government Center to highlight this plight on the day all couples should be together, Valentine's Day.
Commuters will be handed a free flower with the story attached of a local couple affected by a deportation system that separates hundreds of thousands of people every year. The stories and accompanying flyers will also ask commuters to support comprehensive immigration reform, with a clear pathway to citizenship for the nation's 11 million undocumented men, women and children. The action comes two days after the president again forcefully called for comprehensive immigration reform in his State of the Union Address, and when bipartisan groups in both houses of Congress are fashioning immigration reform bills. The goal is to let the Massachusetts Congressional delegation know of the public support for immigration reform, and to encourage them to step up as champions of the issue.
Immigrants share family stories and diverse allies express support at press event
February 5, 2013 BOSTON – Ever Barrera has a dream to serve his country, but yesterday at a Boston City Hall press conference, the Salvadoran immigrant said he couldn't prove to a U.S. military recruiter on paper the feeling that he held in his heart. "I miss my grandma in El Salvador," Barrera told the full audience at City Hall's Piemonte Room. "But I went to school here, formed my identity here, and feel like part of this country. I want one day to become a U.S. citizen, and to serve in the U.S. military as an officer."
Barrera was one of two immigrants whose family stories framed Monday's press launch of the New England Coalition For "Keeping Families Together," a campaign of families and community based organizations that highlights the moral cost of the broken immigration system on undocumented and mixed-status families. Comprising nearly two dozen groups across New England, the coalition forms one part of the national Keeping Families Together campaign to win comprehensive immigration reform in 2013.
Ever Barrera speaking at the press conference
Tour stops in Lawrence, New Bedford, Chelsea & Lynn to promote new legislation against temporary-worker exploitation
This Thursday, activists will mobilize to promote that Massachusetts will become the second state in the nation to ensure that low-wage temp workers are provided with critical written employment information to prevent labor abuses
Bi-Partisan blueprint from eight senators marks opening for passage of reform this year
January 28, 2013 BOSTON —Immigrant advocates and allies in Massachusetts today welcomed the release of a major legislative blueprint for immigration reform that would create a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants. Published by the New York Times, the "Bipartisan Framework for Immigration Reform" was crafted by Democratic Senators Schumer, Durbin, Menendez, and Bennet and Republican Senators Rubio, Graham, Lindsey and Flake.