I hope you all enjoyed the Thanksgiving Holiday with friends and family.

I am wondering if one of you might volunteer to be the keeper of the name plates we will be using shortly.  The keeper would be responsible for issuing name plates, distributing them at meetings, collecting and retaining them after meetings.

The guest speakers for Dec and Jan are all set.  Please let me know if you have a speaker that would be of interest to us for February 11.

It takes a fair bit of time to compile this newsletter.   Please let me know if it  is useful, should be changed, or ceased publication.  No points or demerits issued for your opinion!

Thanks to Bev Freeman for the Minutes from our last meeting. Both the minutes and agenda for the December 10th  meeting will be distributed on December 3d.  Please bring both of them with you to the meeting.  If you have an item for the agenda please email me asap.


The first of the Caravan arrived at our border.  Everyone knew this would happen. Rather than taking the time to set up administrative offices, assign additional asylum officers and immigration judges to interview the expected asylum seekers or conduct removal hearings, the government spent close to $300M dollars to send in the military, who are barred from police duties by the Posse Comitatus laws which date back to the Civil War era.  SEE: https://definitions.uslegal.com/p/posse-comitatus-act  Then it closed the border, which accomplished nothing positive.

You may wish to read an Overview of U S Immigration Laws regulating admission and exclusion of aliens at the border, SEE:  https://fas.org/sgp/crs/homesec/LSB10150.pdf   a Report published by the Congressional Research Service on Aug 22, 2018.

You may also be interested in the following as well:

>>  The Presidential Proclamation, which has been stayed in part, can be found at:  https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/presidential-proclamation-addressing-mass-migration-southern-border-united-states.

>>  The Temporary Restraining Order issued in Federal District Court, EAST BAY SANCTUARY COVENANT V. TRUMP, NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA can be found at:  https://www.aclu.org/legal-document/east-bay-sanctuary-covenant-v-trump-tro-granted.  This decision is well worth reading, even if you skip the Overview of the law, or the Presidential Proclamation.


>>  I received the following from Amelia Klein of the Needham Human Rights Committee:

The Departments of Homeland Security (DHS) and Health and Human Services (HHS) have released a proposal (DHS Docket No. ICEB-2018-0002) to establish new regulations to replace the existing standards of care for noncitizen children. Source: The New England Journal of Medicine, opposes the changes. SEE:    https://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMp1814340

>>  I received the following from several sources in one form or another:

Comment Upon the Proposed Public Charge Regulation by December 10, 2018

As you know, on October 10, 2018, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) published a proposed regulation that, if finalized, would impose a draconian “wealth test” on all green card applicants and immigrants seeking admission to the United States. This test would undermine the U.S. legal immigration system by endangering the unity of immigrant families, shutting out workers vital to the national economy, and prompting new heights of bureaucratic inefficiency.

DHS is soliciting comments from the American public through December 10. If you have not done so already, I encourage you to speak out against this proposed rule. Below is a sample comment. Please personalize it to ensure the government counts it separately and hears your voice.   individually and hear your unique voice.

“I respectfully submit this comment opposing the proposed rule regarding public charge grounds of inadmissibility, DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012. This proposal would undermine the function and functioning of the U.S. legal immigration system by reversing decades of established public charge policy in favor of a convoluted test that is as restrictive as it is inefficient.  Through the rule, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) seeks to radically heighten the standard for whether an applicant for admission to the United States or adjustment of status is “likely to become a public charge” and is thus inadmissible under INA § 212(a)(4). If implemented, DHS would subject affected applicants to an income test, penalize even the modest use of an array of public benefits, and exclude all too many from the United States under an expansive new public charge definition.

These changes would significantly advance the alarming shift in our legal immigration system from a posture of welcome toward one of exclusion–with harmful consequences across the country. Noncitizen spouses and parents, who may just be starting out on the path to economic security, would face potential separation from their loved ones, including U.S. citizen children. Vulnerable immigrant families would be deterred from obtaining basic, life-sustaining medical and nutritional assistance. Budding entrepreneurs would find themselves shut out of the American dream. Altogether, the wealth bar proposed by DHS threatens the very foundation of our immigration system–one that is based on preserving family unity; powering the economy; and upholding our tradition as a nation of immigrants.

The proposed rule would also mandate a public charge determination process that is confusing at best. This process, bound to result in inconsistent decisions that will confound both adjudicators and the regulated public, would compel applicants to submit reams of paperwork that may be ignored or deemed unnecessary. The operational burden of administering that paperwork would fall on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) –an already overstretched agency–deepening nationwide case processing delays. In short, the proposed rule would foster inconsistency, uncertainty, and inefficiency throughout our legal immigration system–the opposite of what government regulations should achieve.

[Here, please draw upon your personal and/or professional experiences to describe one or more likely outcome or impact of the proposed regulation if implemented.]

You may submit your comments through the Federal eRulemaking portal http://www.regulations.gov . Follow the website instructions for submitting comments. Please reference DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012. Or submit them by mail to: Samantha Deshommes, Chief, Regulatory Coordination Division, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Homeland Security, 20 Massachusetts Avenue NW, Washington, DC 20529-2140. To ensure proper handling, please reference DHS Docket No. USCIS-2010-0012 in your correspondence. Mail must be postmarked by December 10, 2018. Be certain to include your name and address, either in the letterhead or the signature block.


The following which I edited lightly, was received from Jessica Day, Resettle Together:

On Nov 12th, we agreed to go forward with planning a Welcome Dinner for 2-3 of the families serviced by the International Institute in Lowell to take place December 16 and to host a second Suitcase Stories event rather than a Children’s Drive. Most of you may remember that we hosted a Suitcase Stories event at Trip Advisor in June of 2017. At this moment, we could use as much help as possible with organizing the Welcome Dinner, help with purchasing the groceries and paper goods, cooking, and serving/ hosting.

If any of these options sound like a possibility for you, please contact Jessica (857-498-0072) as soon as possible.

The Safe Communities Coalition sent the following:

Please save the date for the next full coalition meeting, which will be held on Monday, December 17 from 2pm to 4pm, location (in Boston) place to be determined. We’ll have coalition updates based on your interest and feedback, and talk about proposals and strategy for House and Senate legislation in the upcoming session. Stay tuned for an agenda closer to the date.  Contact: Amy Grunder, agrunder@miracoalition.org if you have any questions.  This would be a good meeting to attend and report back to the Task Force before we schedule a meeting with Sen. Rausch, Reps. Garlick and Rush.  Any volunteers?

If you wish to go to represent the Task Force, and carpool, please let me know as soon as possible. Gerry80059@Comcast.net


>>  Our next meeting will be held on December 10th at 7:15pm, at the Congregational Church, 1180 Great Plain Ave.  Thanks to Diego Low, our Guest Speakers will be Martha Yager who works with Diego at the Metrowest Worker Center. She will be joined by Liz Garrigan-Byerly, who is one of the leaders of Metrowest Immigrant Solidary Network (MISN) and Brenda Quintana, the Quaker Service Volunteer at CASA and active with MISN.  For information about the MetroWest Workers Center, see:   http://www.mwc-casa.org/about-us.html

One of the things that MISN does is fundraise to help with bonding people out of detention, obtaining legal counsel and with emergency supports for the family.  I am including the link to that page  www.bit.ly/neighborfund should you wish to make a contribution.

>>  The next following meeting will be held on January 8.  Thanks to Bill Okerman the Guest speaker will be Marcony Almeida-Barros, the Director of the Attorney General’s Community Engagement Division, who will present an overview of the AG’s efforts to protect the rights of immigrants in MA.

I look forward to seeing many of you on Dec 10th

Gerry Rovner