Submit comments opposing the ‘public charge’ proposal!
Emma Lazarus’ poem at the foot of the Statue of Liberty invites the world to “give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” For centuries, people have come with little or nothing, and built new lives and new fortunes here. It’s the American Dream.
But now the Trump administration wants to slam the door on working-class immigrants by subjecting anyone who earns less than 250% of the federal poverty line ($62,750 for a family of 4) to intense scrutiny, and effectively excluding anyone below 125% of FPL ($31,375 for a family of 4).
Immigrants applying for a green card or visa could be deemed to be a “public charge” – someone who depends on the government – and turned away if they earn below 250% of FPL and use any of a wide range of public programs for working families, or are deemed to be likely to use them in the future. [ LEA EN ESPAÑOL ]
An important reprieve for TPS holders – but Congress still must act
A Haitian immigrant at a rally in January. More than 4,700 Haitians in Massachusetts have TPS and risk deportation as soon as next July.
BOSTON, October 4, 2018 – Yesterday, U.S. District Judge Edward Chen granted a preliminary injunction preventing the federal government from ending Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for immigrants from Sudan, El Salvador, Haiti and Nicaragua.
The ruling, in a case filed last March by the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California and other advocates, provides a much-needed reprieve for hundreds of thousands of TPS holders – especially those from Sudan, whose protection was scheduled to end on Nov. 2.
In Massachusetts, more than 6,000 Salvadorans and 4,700 Haitians face deportation as soon as next July once their TPS ends – even though they’ve lived here lawfully for at least 15 years, and many have U.S. citizen children.
In his ruling, Judge Chen cited multiple statements by President Trump about immigrants of color and Muslims as evidence that TPS termination was “based on animus against non-white, non-European immigrants in violation of Equal Protection guaranteed by the Constitution.” The issues raised by the plaintiffs, he wrote, “are at least serious enough to preserve the status quo.”
MIRA Executive Director Eva A. Millona hailed the decision, but warned that it’s only a temporary victory.
Business leaders launch coalition to advance sensible immigration policies
Thomas N. O’Brien, managing partner of The HYM Investment Group, said the coalition will promote fair, predictable immigration policies that reflect the importance of global talent to our economy.
BOSTON, October 1, 2018 – Leaders from some of Massachusetts’ top business sectors came together today to launch the Massachusetts Business Coalition on Immigration, focused on advancing federal and state policies that enable talent from around the world to continue to thrive in our Commonwealth.
“From high tech to construction, health care to hospitality, immigrants are vital to Massachusetts’ economy,” said Thomas N. O’Brien, managing partner of The HYM Investment Group, which hosted the launch event in its Boston offices. “The xenophobic agenda coming out of Washington poses a direct threat to our position as a global hub of innovation and productivity. As business leaders, we cannot stand on the sidelines.”
The new group was born out of conversations with MIRA Executive Director Eva A. Millona. As employers increasingly feel the impact of Trump policies on their workforce, Millona saw an opportunity to mobilize together around common goals.
Mass. advocates vow to fight Trump administration effort to penalize working-class immigrants
A proposal to redefine ‘public charge’ would deny green cards to people who access key safety net programs – or whose jobs don’t pay high enough wages.
BOSTON, September 23, 2018 – The Trump administration yesterday released a proposed regulation that seeks to penalize legal immigrants for accessing programs that help working families with health care, housing and nutrition, or for holding low-wage jobs that don’t enable them to meet an arbitrary income threshold.
The draft regulations would vastly expand the definition of “public charge” – someone who is dependent on government benefits and thus may be denied a green card – to include not only people who receive cash benefits or need long term care, but also those who participate in numerous “safety net” programs used by millions of working Americans. It would also make it easier to deny permanent residency to anyone earning less than 250% of the federal poverty line ($62,750 for a family of four).
“This proposal is a toxic blend of nativism and class warfare,” said MIRA Executive Director Eva A. Millona. “It is overtly discriminatory, and we will fight vigorously to ensure that it is never adopted.”
Immigrants in Massachusetts can be a powerful political force. About 1 in 11 state residents – 1 in 7 in Boston – is a naturalized U.S. citizen. Add the U.S.-born children of immigrants and the thousands of citizens who have mobilized to fight for immigrant rights across our Commonwealth, and we have a political force to be reckoned with.
So let’s use that power to effect change!
For the 2018 election, MIRA is doing two things: 1) helping voters choose by providing videos, Q&As and other informational materials; and 2) getting out the immigrant (and pro-immigrant) vote through canvasses and phone banks – both for the Sept. 4 primaries, and for the Nov. 6 election.
Below is a list of the races for which we’ve produced videos so far.
Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA)
KEY THINGS TO KNOW (updated Sept. 1, 2018):
On Sept. 5, 2018, it will be a year since the Trump administration has announced it would end DACA. For those who already have DACA, your work permit and deferred action will continue until their expiration date, and until further notice, due to several court orders (see below), you can renew your DACA for another two years.
For authoritative, regularly updated information on DACA litigation, see the National Immigration Law Center.
We also recommend this excellent overview of DACA’s positive impact on beneficiaries and the whole economy.
Watch our bilingual segment on DACA on WBZ’s Centro (taped Aug. 31, 2018).