News & Events
MIRA calls for robust funding of key programs that support immigrants
Priorities include citizenship, English and adult basic education classes, job-seeking support, health coverage, domestic and sexual violence prevention.
BOSTON, March 31, 2017 – As federal policies become increasingly hostile to immigrants, MIRA Executive Director Eva A. Millona today submitted testimony in support of public programs that help keep communities healthy and safe, build workforce skills, and transition eligible immigrants to citizenship.
“Now more than ever,” she told the Joint Committee on Ways and Means, “we respectfully request your support in the state budget for funding of programs that promote immigrant integration, opportunity and safety, strengthening the Commonwealth’s economic, civic, and social fabric and fueling economic growth.”
In particular, MIRA is advocating for four line items in the fiscal 2018 budget, plus a policy change:
Bill aims to mobilize skilled practitioners trained abroad to help meet Mass. healthcare needs
More than 20% of foreign-trained doctors, pharmacists, nurses and other health professionals living in the Commonwealth are unemployed or working outside their fields.
BOSTON, March 28, 2017 – Massachusetts has a lot of doctors, but when it comes to meeting basic needs, it falls short. More than 7 percent of state residents lack adequate access to primary care, dental care, or mental health services. This includes more than 500,000 low-income people in 25 cities and towns in Berkshire, Bristol, Essex, Franklin, Hampden, Middlesex, Suffolk and Worcester Counties.
A new bill before the Massachusetts Legislature aims to narrow the gap by tapping into a major source of underused talent: the 8,000 foreign-trained health professionals living in the Commonwealth, including doctors, nurses, pharmacists, physical therapists and mental health professionals, among others. More than 20 percent of those practitioners are currently unemployed or working in lower-skilled jobs. They have been unable to reenter their professions due to complex and costly licensing requirements, lack of information, and lack of targeted career services.
MIRA celebrates federal court orders blocking travel ban
BOSTON, March 16, 2017 – Federal courts have blocked the Trump administration’s travel ban, finding that even though the new Executive Order (EO) is slightly different, it is motivated by religious bias, just like the EO that was struck down in January.
The U.S. District Court for Hawaii issued a temporary restraining order yesterday after finding that the new EO, signed on March 6, clearly violates of the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment. The court issued a national order blocking the administration from halting the issuance of visas to refugees and citizens of six Muslim countries.
Revised travel ban persists in repudiation of American values
BOSTON, March 7, 2017 – The MIRA Coalition denounces in the strongest possible terms the revised executive order issued today by the Trump Administration in an effort to circumvent the court order that blocked the original travel ban issued on January 27. This new EO would suspend the U.S. refugee program for 120 days, and stop for 90 days the issuance of visas for travelers from Iran, Sudan, Syria, Libya, Somalia and Yemen, with an exception for U.S. lawful permanent residents.
Iraq was removed from the list of seven majority-Muslim countries in the original ban. The order also cuts by more than half the cap on the number of refugees accepted each year, from 110,000 to 50,000.
MIRA condemms the executive order on refugees and Muslims
BOSTON, January 30, 2017 – The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) strongly condemns President Trump’s latest executive order on immigration, issued on Friday.
The order suspends America’s refugee program for 120 days, suspends our refugee program in Syria indefinitely, and suspends all visas for people from seven predominately Muslim countries for at least 90 days. While we are not surprised by this order, we are appalled that this administration would so quickly, and without any consultation with stakeholders, issue an order that amounts to an attack on some of the most vulnerable populations in the world.