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).
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.
An unconscionable betrayal of immigrants and their families
BOSTON, Aug. 14, 2018 – A court filing by the ACLU of Massachusetts in Calderon v. Nielsen reveals that U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) personnel have actively collaborated with Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) to facilitate the detention and deportation of immigrants.
MIRA strongly encourages its members and concerned citizens to read the entire filing, which has prompted immediate condemnation from public officials (see letter from Congressman Michael Capuano).
Eva A. Millona, executive director of MIRA, responded with the following comments:
“The revelations in the ACLU’s court filing are deeply disturbing. We have come to recognize that at this point, ICE really is just ‘in the removal business,’ with little regard for public-safety priorities, much less the human impact of its actions. USCIS, however, has a very different mission. Every immigrant who enters this country, applies for a green card, or seeks U.S. citizenship goes through USCIS. And under our Constitution, they all deserve due process.
Mass. Legislature abdicates moral leadership in budget deal
BOSTON, July 18, 2018 – Today the Conference Committee released its version of the FY2019 state budget, stripped of four provisions to protect immigrant families that the Massachusetts Senate had overwhelmingly approved in May.
Eva A. Millona, executive director of the MIRA Coalition, responded with the following statement:
“We are deeply disappointed. The Massachusetts Legislature had a prime opportunity to stand up for civil rights and human decency, and under political pressure from Governor Baker and conservative Democrats, it backed down. The safety and well-being of tens of thousands of immigrant families will suffer as a result.
“It is particularly disturbing that the Legislature succumbed to fear-mongering about ‘sanctuary’ policies. Though nothing in the four provisions approved by the Senate actually met the definition of ‘sanctuary’ used by U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions, prominent House members embraced nativist propaganda misrepresenting those provisions, using the falsehoods as political cover for their inaction.
Travel ban decision sets a dangerous precedent for America
When the travel ban was first implemented, protesters flooded airports across the U.S. Photo by Rhododendrites/Wikimedia Commons.
BOSTON, June 26, 2018 – Today the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the Trump administration’s travel ban, which forbids travel to the U.S. for the 150 million citizens of five Muslim-majority countries — Syria, Iran, Somalia, Libya and Yemen — as well as North Korea, with very limited exceptions.
The 5–4 decision in Trump v. Hawaii rests on a broad definition of executive authority. Even in the face of extensive evidence of the President’s anti-Muslim animus, the majority found, the ban must be upheld if it can be reasonably linked to “a justification independent of unconstitutional grounds.”
Indeed, Chief Justice John Roberts wrote, the few policies the Court has struck down in the past were found to be “divorced from any factual context… [showing] a relationship to legitimate state interests.”
“Today’s decision is deeply troubling and sets a dangerous precedent,” said Eva A. Millona, executive director of MIRA. “What the Supreme Court said, in essence, is that no matter how obvious the President’s racist and anti-Muslim motivations may be, if he can wrap the travel ban in the pretext of national security, it must stand.”