News & Events
Despite pain of family seperation, immigrants take strength from unity and promise of comprehensive immigration reform bill in March
March 5, 2013 BOSTON – "The only thing that makes us different from most Americans is a social security card," said Samantha, an undocumented immigrant from Brazil who rode a bus across 500 miles through four New England states this weekend to share her story and ask Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform this year. Along with other riders, Samantha spoke before gathered crowds and to individual reporters at six stops on the New England "Keeping Families Together" Bus Tour, part of a national mobilization to show the human face of the current broken immigration system.
Samantha and her brother João, front left, with the Keeping Families Together Bus traveling through New England this weekend.
As a part of a national strategy, Agencia ALPHA and latino churches launch the 40 day scripture & prayer "I was a stranger" campaign
February 20, 2012 BOSTON– On Friday, February 22, 2013 Agencia ALPHA and the Fellowship of Latino Pastors of New England (COPAHNI), a group of influential evangelical Churches who support sensible immigration reform, will launch the "I was a Stranger" immigration prayer and scripture challenge. This challenge is an integral part of national strategy to encourage pastors, congregants and elected officials to read 40 verses of Scripture that relate to immigrants and to reflect on these passages as they are confronted with the task of fixing the broken immigration.
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