Join our May Day actions this Monday in Boston, Chelsea and Everett!
Advocate for #SafeCommunities, fair treatment of workers, a pro-immigrant budget and other priorities
May Day – International Workers’ Day – is this Monday, and we want to make a strong statement for social justice and for fair treatment of all working people, including immigrants and refugees. MIRA is part of the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), a national coalition fighting for immigrant rights at the local, state and federal level.
Community and immigrants’ rights organizations are mobilizing across the country to speak out against the Trump administration’s deportation agenda and every kind of racism and injustice, and advocate for pro-worker and pro-immigrant state policies.
• 12 pm: Rally on the State House steps for the Safe Communities Act and #HeretoStay
• 4 pm: Meet at Everett City Hall, then march to Chelsea
• 4 pm: Meet at East Boston Maverick Station, then march to Chelsea
• 5:30 pm: Rally at Chelsea City Hall
Boston activists are also holding a rally at 5 pm at the Boston Common Bandstand.
If you live in Revere, join us early but make sure to be at Revere City Hall by 5:30 pm (see below).
Mobilize Monday in Revere to fight an anti-immigrant measure
Immigrants and allies in Revere, we need you to mobilize on Monday at 5:30 pm to block a toxic proposal before the City Council and stand up for #SafeCommunities.
At an April 3 City Council meeting, Councilor George Rotondo requested that the Council “go on record against any effort to make Massachusetts a sanctuary state,” and endorsed President Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and proposed border wall (watch the video: it’s in the last 10 minutes).
The legislative sub-committee is meeting at 5:30 pm to consider a measure to this effect. If it passes, the City Council wants to present its vote to Revere’s legislative delegation, which includes House Speaker DeLeo. Don’t let this go any further! Email us to connect with the Revere Immigrant Solidarity Network.
Budget victories in the House – but more battles ahead!
We did it! Eight budget amendments targeting immigrants in Massachusetts were all defeated this week when the state House of Representatives took up its budget for fiscal year 2018.
Thank you for your calls and other advocacy, we were able to kill proposals to further restrict access to housing assistance and public higher education, and to penalize cities and towns with “sanctuary” policies or laws. Special thanks to our legislative allies in the House who fought against the eight proposals!
Please thank Rep. Byron Rushing (Boston) and Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez (Boston) for mobilizing such a successful rout – and Rep. Marjorie Decker (Cambridge), Rep. Denise Provost (Somerville) and Rep. Antonio Cabral (New Bedford) for their impassioned defense of immigrants and other vulnerable state residents during the House debate.
The House budget adopted late Tuesday night included about-level funding for MIRA’s four priority line items funding citizenship programs, domestic violence prevention and services, English and adult basic education classes, and employment readiness and training programs (ESSP) – though adult education got an increase of $300,000.
We look forward to the Senate budget release in May – and will advocate for greater funding for citizenship and other programs and fight any anti-immigrant amendments there!
Join the fight to save AmeriCorps!
As you may know, the “skinny budget” presented a few weeks ago by the Trump administration would kill many valuable federal programs – among them, AmeriCorps.
MIRA hosts two AmeriCorps programs that provide crucial services to Massachusetts residents: the New American Integration Program, which places up to 30 AmeriCorps members yearly in immigrant-serving organizations across the state to teach English and provide citizenship and job training services; and justice AmeriCorps Massachusetts, which provides vital legal representation in Boston Immigration Court to more than 160 unaccompanied minors from Central America.
Want to do more?
• Are you in the clergy or active in a church? The national group CLINIC (Catholic Legal Immigration Network Inc.) is seeking faith-based organizations and faith leaders to sign on to an interfaith letter urging the Trump administration to extend the Temporary Protected Status for about 50,000 Haitians currently in the U.S. (See a Boston Globe editorial explaining why this is crucial.) The deadline to sign on is TODAY!
• In the MetroWest area? Tomorrow, April 29, join us at the MetroWest Immigration Forum: A Call to Action, from noon to 2 pm at Heritage, Framingham Senior Living Center, 747 Water St. The event will bring together grassroots organizations, activists and interested citizens to discuss what’s happening in immigrant communities and how to respond. Learn more here.
• In the Merrimack Valley? Join a Unity Rally: We Are All Immigrants, this Sunday, April 30, at 12:30 pm in North Andover Common. There will be a flash mob singing of “Bread and Roses,” which you can learn ahead of time by watching videos in English and Spanish. On Monday, May 1, from 10 am to 2 pm, join Cosecha for a Unity March: National Day Without Immigrants, starting in Campagnone Common in Lawrence.
• On the Cape? On Sunday, April 30, at 2 pm, First Parish Brewster will present The Immigration Puzzle, an educational forum examining various aspects of the issue of immigration, at the Brewster Meeting House, 1969 Main St., Brewster. Speakers will include State Rep. Sarah Peake, Immigration Resource Center Coordinator Collin Mickle, immigration attorneys Sarah Leidel and Emily Leung, and Brewster Chief of Police Richard J. Koch, Jr. The event is FREE. To connect with First Parish Brewster, go to their Facebook page.
• Support a gorgeous photo book celebrating immigrants from around the world who’ve made Massachusetts their home! Photographer Mark Chester is exhibiting some of his photos at the Milton Public Library from May 1 thru June 30. If you can’t make it, you can still learn more and donate to the project!
• The International Institute of New England is hosting “meet and greet” events to introduce communities to immigrants, refugees and experts and talk about how to build inclusive communities. They’ll answer questions about how and why new Americans come to New England, and explain the work they and partners do to help them contribute to their new communities. Join them for events in Lowell, May 3, and Boston, May 9. Learn more here.
• In Salem? As you may know, there’s a big backlash against the “Sanctuary for Peace” ordinance, including a petition that, if it can gather 3,600 signatures, could stifle local leaders’ efforts to keep Salem a safe, welcoming and inclusive community. Call your City Councilor and talk to your friends and neighbors, and stand up for our shared values!
• In Boston or within commuting distance? MIRA needs volunteer help for several tasks related to Give Liberty a Hand 2017, our 30th anniversary celebration. If you have some free time during office hours and could help our Development Coordinator, Sue Parsons, please let her know at email@example.com. We could also use some graphic design help (hours totally flexible); contact Marion Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org.
• In the MetroWest area? If you want to make a bigger commitment to helping some of the most vulnerable immigrants and refugees, check out this opportunity to be trained to become a legal interpreter. The Center for Health Impact in Worcester is hosting this two-session training program, cosponsored by MIRA and other partners, on May 23 and 25.
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