News from MIRA

We will not be bullied by Operation ‘Safe City’

BOSTON, September 29, 2017 – Yesterday, U.S. Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced that it had arrested nearly 500 immigrants nationwide, including 50 in Massachusetts, as part of Operation “Safe City.” The four-day campaign targeted cities and regions that limit police cooperation with ICE, or refuse to hold people on civil immigration detainers.

Eva A. Millona, executive director of MIRA, issued the following statement in response:

“This is blatant political propaganda. The Trump administration wants to intimidate states and local communities into rounding up immigrants for deportation, and they’re willing to ruin hundreds or thousands of lives just to scare and shame us.

There is not a police department, sheriff or court in Massachusetts – or in this country – that will not honor a criminal arrest warrant. If federal officials want to arrest anyone on criminal charges, native- or foreign-born, every police department in our Commonwealth will work with them. In fact, just in the last few months we've seen prominent cases of “sanctuary cities” such as Somerville, Chelsea and Lawrence work closely with federal agencies to target gangs and drug dealers.

Read more: We will not be bullied by Operation ‘Safe City’

A strong, unified response to DACA rescission – and a call to action

Dreamers poster at MIRA rally
About 300 people gathered outside Faneuil Hall to show solidarity for Dreamers and vow to fight for them and all immigrants.

At a MIRA press conference and rally, elected officials, community leaders, Dreamers and allies vowed to fight to protect young immigrants, from the federal to the local level.

BOSTON, September 5, 2017 – Today, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has enabled nearly 800,000 young people to come out of the shadows, attend college and work legally, will be phased out.

No new DACA applications will be accepted, but those already submitted will be processed, and anyone whose DACA benefits are set to expire between now and March 5 has until October 5 to apply for renewal.

President Trump said it’s now up to Congress to decide these young people’s fate. Several bills have already been filed – from the DREAM Act to the short-term BRIDGE Act. But at a press conference and a rally organized by MIRA yesterday, one message was loud and clear: We’re fighting back.

Read more: A strong, unified response to DACA rescission – and a call to action

We will not lose hope: Next steps after the DACA rescission

Eva at press conference with Sen. Markey, AG Healey and Mayor Walsh
MIRA Executive Director Eva A. Millona speaks at a press event with, from right, U.S. Senator Edward Markey, Attorney General Maura Healey and Boston Mayor Martin Walsh.

BOSTON, September 5, 2017 – Today, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which has enabled more than 7,900 Massachusetts residents to come out of the shadows, attend college and work legally, will be phased out.

MIRA hosted a press conference with U.S. Senator Edward Markey, Attorney General Maura Healey, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh, Boston Schools Supt. Tommy Chang, community leaders and two Dreamers, and Executive Director Eva A. Millona issued the following statement:

Our hearts ache for our Dreamers today. We want every DACA beneficiary to know we stand with you, and we will work relentlessly to ensure that you’re safe and have the resources you need.

The Trump administration has been relentlessly anti-immigrant. Now, just days after defying due process to pardon a rogue sheriff, the President wants us to believe he’s acting out of respect for the law, but this is pure political pandering, at the expense of 800,000 innocent, hard-working people.

Read more: We will not lose hope: Next steps after the DACA rescission

Scholarship brings college dreams closer for 10 Boston students

With contributions from over 100 donors, the program was able to award $24,000 to 10 undocumented immigrants, all 2017 graduates of the city’s high schools.

College kids hands for scholarshipBOSTON, September 1, 2017 – Several aspire to caring professions: nurse, surgeon, pediatrician, teacher. One will study international relations and hopes to work at the United Nations. Another aims to become an FBI agent.

All 10 are undocumented immigrants – some protected by Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) or Temporary Protected Status (TPS), some living completely in the shadows. Without papers, they don’t qualify for federal financial aid; those without DACA don’t even qualify for in-state tuition at Massachusetts public colleges and universities.

But this week, the 10 young women got good news: The Unafraid Scholarship, started by a group of educators under the auspices of the Boston Teachers Union, distributed $24,000 in grants to help them cover the cost of their first year of college.

Read more: Scholarship brings college dreams closer for 10 Boston students

MIRA & ACLU warn legislators of pitfalls of ICE detainer bill

A woman holds a sign in front of Massachusettes State House during a rally against Governor Baker's ICE detainer bill.A woman holds a sign in front of State House during a rally to oppose the Governor’s ICE detainer bill.

BOSTON, Aug. 10, 2017 – MIRA and the ACLU of Massachusetts today distributed a memorandum to state legislators in which they outline their legal analysis of the recent Supreme Judicial Court ruling on immigrant detention and of Gov. Charlie Baker’s proposed legislation that seeks to undo that ruling.

As the memo explains, the Court held in Commonwealth v. Lunn that it is unlawful for local law enforcement officials to hold a person solely at the request of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Baker’s proposed legislation asks the Legislature to create new authority for such detention.

“The [Supreme Judicial Court] decision is based on statutory and common law, but aligns with core constitutional principles regarding due process,” the memo explains. “Any attempt to authorize state and local law enforcement to hold people on the basis of a mere ICE detainer request, including the bill filed by Governor Baker on August 1, 2017, would be unconstitutional.”

Read more: MIRA & ACLU warn legislators of pitfalls of ICE detainer bill