News & Events

Six candidates speak on issues from safe driving to language access at talk-show style event

(photo courtesy Suzanne Hinton)

forumbackgroundAugust 14, 2014 BOSTON —Twisting around to look up at the sponsors' logos at last night's gubernatorial candidates forum on issues affecting immigrant communities, Republican candidate Mark Fisher pointed out the word "integration" with approval. It was perhaps the only concept that all the candidates present agreed upon over the course of the 90-minute forum at Bunker Hill Community College.

Organized by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), the forum was held in a talk show-style format, with each candidate sitting down for a 15-minute discussion with moderator Phillip Martin, Senior Investigative Reporter at WGBH-FM. Though Republican Charlie Baker and independent Mark Lively declined the invitation, the six candidates in attendance spanned the gamut, including independents Evan Falchuk and Jeff McCormick, and all three Democratic primary candidates, Don Berwick, Martha Coakley and Steve Grossman. Phillip Martin set a friendly, engaged tone with his questions, and the audience of over 200 listened with polite reserve, yet sharp differences between the candidates’ positions still poked up beneath their smooth words.

Read more: Gubernatorial Candidates Differ on Issues Affecting Immigrant Communities at Non-Partisan Forum

Speakers urge due process for children who have fled violence in Central America and call for end to family separations

rallystatehouseaug7

August 8, 2014 BOSTON — "There's a fact that has gotten lost in the media over these past few
weeks," said State Senator Sonia Chang-Diaz to hundreds of ralliers in the Boston Common yesterday evening. "At times, the calls coming into the administration have numbered three to one in
FAVOR of the Central American children fleeing violence. It shows that despite a loud minority, the state of Massachusetts cares about all children in need."

Read more: A Thousand New Englanders "Stand Up for All Children" at Boston March and Rally

March from Copley to State House will support Central American children, and all children seeking refuge from harm

August 6, 2014 BOSTON — Though the federal government is no longer seeking temporary shelter in Massachusetts for Central American children who have recently cross the border, hundreds of concerned Massachusetts residents will still gather tomorrow to express support for these children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras fleeing harm, as well as to thank Governor Patrick and the thousands of residents who have offerred help. The rally will also express support for all children in the Commonwealth who have experienced trauma, whether they have suffered unsafe conditions here or in a distant land.

Read more: Massachusetts Residents will "Stand Up for All Children" Tomorrow, August 7

First roundtable meeting draws 150 community leaders to help people escaping life-threatening conditions

unaccompminorforumJuly 15, 2014 CHELSEA — Dressed in a plain skirt, top and sandals, but with a GPS detention device strapped firmly to her left ankle, a Honduran woman addressed nearly 150 community leaders Thursday afternoon at the Chelsea Collaborative, speaking about the gang brutality that forced her to flee her country, about her detention by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), and about her temporary reunion with family members in Chelsea. Her story exemplified those of many Central Americans who have come to Massachusetts in the past few months to await immigration proceedings that could ultimately result in either amnesty or deportation.

Read more: Community Responds Strongly to Help Central Americans Fleeing Harm

The March along Freedom Trail is one of many nationwide actions to stop separating families

June 28, 2014 BOSTON — Today, one year after Congress last took action on immigration reform, members ofJune28_StateHouseWEBsmall the New England Coalition for Keeping Families Together marched the Freedom Trail today wearing orange t-shirts with their hands bound. Those marching included families who had lost their fathers to deportation, like the Chaudhrys; activists who see the pain and fear in local immigrant communities, like Carlos and  Merida Arredondo; and members of community agencies, immigrant rights organizations, unions, and faith-based organizations.

Read more: To Demand an end to Deportations, Massachusetts Immigrants and Allies March the Freedom Trail in...