Please note there will be no FROM THE CHAIR on November 29.
Our next meeting will be held on December 9th at 7:15 at the Congregational Church

A FAVOR: I would find it very helpful if you have an item you wish to have placed on the Agenda for the 12/9 meeting you send me an email no later than Dec 5th. Our meetings have so many items of concern that I want to leave sufficient time for proper consideration. In planning the agenda, the time I plan for each item generally depends on the items for discussion.

On Wednesday afternoon I emailed the minutes of the last two meetings. PLEASE notify me by email (Gerry80059@Comcast) to include your name, email and telephone number if you received them.


>>. Please remember to add your name to Georgina’s email list ( so you will receive notices of the location of the POST CARD WRITING WEDNESDAYS” once the VIGIL moves indoors for the winter.

>>. The hearing on the SAFE COMMUNITY BILL will be held on December 2 at the State House. A large crowd is expected so plan to be early to clear security and get a seat in hearing room. If you need a ride, contact Bill Okerman ( He will be driving in, but must leave early, so you will need to arrange a means of returning to Needham. Details can be found on the MIRA website ( and follow the links.


>>. The Trump administration published two proposed rules that will detrimentally impact individuals who are seeking to legally live and work in the United States. One would adjust USCIS’s FEES by a weighted average increase of 21 percent, add new fees, and make other changes. The other proposed rule would make multiple changes to the regulations governing ASYLUM applications and eligibility for employment authorization based on a pending asylum application. READ this CBS NEWS article ( this COMMONWEALTH Magazine article ( for more information.

>>. REUTERS reports ( that the U.S. will change migration rules in a bid to send asylum seekers elsewhere. In my opinion it is truly disingenuous to send people back to countries whose citizens are themselves seeking asylum and to areas our Dept of State has cautioned US Citizens to refrain from visiting due to violence, kidnapping, and gang activity.

FROM Capitol Hill

>>. Thank goodness for the WHISTLEBLOWER LAW: CNN reports “Whistleblowers blast Trump administration’s immigration policies”. The Trump administration’s immigration policies have taken a toll on some of the officers tasked with carrying them out, according to a scathing report by Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley. The 81-page report released November 14th compiles whistleblower accounts and media reports to provide an overview of the administration’s crackdown on migrants seeking asylum in the United States and attempts to curb migration to the southern border. SEE:

>>.USCIS Releases REPORT ON ARREST HISTORIES for Individuals Who Requested DACA, but the American Immigration Lawyers Association warns that an arrest may not have ended in a conviction, and cautions to look carefully at the definitions used in the Report. Under long-standing DACA guidelines, not all convictions or arrests will necessarily result in a denial or termination, unless, as a matter of its discretion, USCIS determines that DACA is not warranted due to public safety, national security, or other discretionary factors on a case-by-case basis. However, pursuant to the DACA guidelines, an alien may request consideration for DACA if, among other things, he or she has not been convicted of a felony, a significant misdemeanor, or three or more non-significant misdemeanors. Please see the DACA guidelines archived on the USCIS website at


>>. Federal Court BLOCKS Trump ASYLUM BAN.2 from Being Applied to Thousands of Asylum Seekers. The U.S. District Court of the Southern District of California provisionally certified a class consisting of “all non-Mexican asylum seekers who were unable to make a direct asylum claim at a U.S. [port of entry (POE)] before July 16, 2019 because of the U.S. Government’s metering policy, and who continue to seek access to the U.S. asylum process.” The court also blocked the government from applying the Asylum Ban to members of the provisional class and ordered that the government apply pre-Asylum Ban practices for processing the asylum applications of members of the class. (Al Otra Lado, Inc. v. McAleenan, 11/19/19). The class members in this case did exactly what the government told them to do: they did not make direct claims for asylum at a POE and instead returned to Mexico to wait for an opportunity to access the asylum process in the United States. Now, the government is arguing that these class members never attempted to enter, entered, or arrived at a POE before July 16, 2019, and, therefore, the newly promulgated Asylum Ban is applicable to them.

Have a great Thanksgiving

Gerry Rovner