At Our Shared Table, a moment to give thanks – and a call to action
Hundreds of immigrants, refugees, advocates and public officials gathered for ‘one of the best things done at the State House’ – a Thanksgiving meal together.
BOSTON, November 21, 2017 – “I stand before you as a child of immigrants,” Sen. Linda Dorcena Forry said as she welcomed guests to Our Shared Table, MIRA’s 13th annual Thanksgiving luncheon at the State House, on Tuesday.
Like so many in the room, her parents came looking for a better life and new opportunities. They came from Haiti, but one of the great things about this country is that it doesn’t matter where you come from, she said. “When we come to these shores, we are all Americans.”
MIRA hosts Our Shared Table as a way to bring together immigrants and refugees – including newly sworn-in U.S. citizens – with public officials and advocates, providing a warm and friendly setting to get to know one another, share stories and find common ground.
“It’s one of the best things done at the State House,” said, Rep. Jeffrey Sanchez, chairman of the Joint Committee on Ways and Means. “Let’s be real: We’ve got to talk, and if we want to talk, we’ve got to get together like this.”
DACA ending: What you can do as a Dreamer – or ally
The program has transformed the lives of nearly 800,000 young people, enabling them to study, work and fully participate in their communities. Now we must fight to protect them.
Established by President Obama in 2012, the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) has allowed undocumented immigrant youth who meet strict requirements to apply for “deferred action” and obtain a Social Security number and a work permit, subject to renewal every two years.
Almost 800,000 young people across the U.S. have benefited, including more than 8,000 in Massachusetts. But now the Trump administration has said it will end DACA. The small window provided to renew, by Oct. 5, has now closed.
What can you do?
Coalition celebrates a victory for students across Massachusetts
The LOOK bill will enable schools to tailor programs to the diverse needs of English learners, and will encourage kids to fully master two languages, a huge asset in a global economy.
BOSTON, November 15, 2017 – The Massachusetts Legislature tonight approved the Language Opportunity for Our Kids (LOOK) bill, greatly expanding options for English learners in the Commonwealth’s public schools and creating a new Seal of Biliteracy that will help students compete in the global economy.
English learners are the fastest-growing population in Massachusetts schools, doubling since 2000 to more than 90,000 students, or about 9.5% of total enrollment. Some are immigrants, but 82% of them are U.S. citizens, and they live throughout the state: 90% of school districts have at least one English learner.
The time to act is now: Support the Safe Communities Act!
One in six Massachusetts residents is an immigrant. Yet under the Trump administration, our immigrant friends, neighbors and coworkers are being demonized and targeted for mass deportation. The federal government wants state and local law enforcement to serve as “force multipliers” for its crackdown on immigrants. The Safe Communities Act would stop that from happening in our state.
The Safe Communities Act protects the civil rights, safety and well-being of all residents by drawing a clear line between immigration enforcement and public safety. Sponsored by State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (S.1305) and State Rep. Juana Matías (H.3269), it ensures that our tax dollars are not used to help the Trump administration deport immigrant families or create a Muslim registry.
Nearly half the Massachusetts Legislature has co-sponsored the bill, and more than 100 organizations have endorsed it so far. On June 9, 2017, hundreds of people came to show their support at a hearing by the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security, with testimony from elected officials, to civil rights leaders, health care providers, educators and community members.
Now we need your help to keep up the momentum! Click here to email your legislators and join our campaign.
Take action to protect immigrant rights!
- Find online "Know Your Rights" resources in English, Spanish and other languages.
- Request a "Know Your Rights" workshop in your town or region.
- Learn what public health professionals can do to protect undocumented residents and their families.
- Find out actions school officials can take to protect undocumented students.
- Report bias incidents to the Attorney General's anti-harassment hotline.
- And check out MIRA's Facebook page for local events and actions.