How to make the most of Worcester’s global talent pool?
MIRA Executive Director Eva A. Millona invited Chamber members to join her in advocating for investments in integration and policies to protect vulnerable immigrants.
WORCESTER, December 18, 2018 – As President and CEO of the Worcester Regional Chamber of Commerce, Tim Murray represents a wide range of business leaders, more than 2,000 in all. But despite their diversity, they share a common challenge.
“The single biggest issue that I hear from our members… is the need for a motivated, educated workforce,” Murray said. And immigration, he added, is “clearly a major component of that.”
Worcester is home to about 40,000 foreign-born people, and the Worcester Metro Area, to about 100,000 – from Ghanaians to Vietnamese, Brazilians to Albanians. More than one-fifth of the city’s population is foreign-born, more than double the share in 1990.
For Thanksgiving, stories of hope, struggle and resilience in America
Damaris Velasquez, co-founder of Agencia ALPHA, was undocumented for 23 years. To those who still are, she said: “Don’t allow this broken system to try to define your identity.”
At Our Shared Table 2018, speakers urged immigrants and refugees to ‘dream big’ and define their own identity, while calling on elected officials to bring Massachusetts realities closer to its ideals.
BOSTON, November 20, 2018 – Iván Espinoza-Madrigal was 9 when he came to the U.S. from Costa Rica. His mother worked for minimum wage so he could get an education, and he was the first in his family to graduate from college, then from NYU Law School.
Now, as executive director of Lawyers for Civil Rights, he fights to ensure that millions like him can enjoy the same opportunities. Looking out at hundreds of immigrants and refugees gathered in the Great Hall of the State House, he praised them for “not just surviving, but thriving,” and he offered a call to action.
“It is important for all of us to join forces, because we are stronger together,” he said. “I know it can be exhausting, I know it can be demoralizing. But I also know that each of us has the capacity to protect ourselves and each other.”
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.”
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.
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).
Help make college dreams a reality for Boston students!
Thousands of immigrants attend Boston’s high schools. They work hard and have big dreams, but at graduation time, many face a huge obstacle: If they’re undocumented, they don’t qualify for federal financial aid, and if they enroll in a public college in Massachusetts, many will have to pay out-of-state tuition.
Nationwide, only about 3% of undocumented students finish college, mainly because of the cost. The Unafraid Scholarship was created by a group of teachers to help students from Boston Public Schools who’ve been accepted to college but aren’t eligible for federal financial aid.