If you haven’t seen the Needham Times for today, check out the announcement about our program on May 10th with Rep. Auchincloss.  Kudos to our public relations team! Please remember to register.  If you have any questions for him, please email me ASAP with your question.

 Our meeting will start promptly at 7:15pm, with the Congressman scheduled to speak at 7:30pm.


>> The Washington Post in a preview of the President’s address to Congress reported on his intent to tackle immigration overhaul:  https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-will-pledge-to-tackle-immigration-in-address-to-congress-while-signaling-openness-to-more-targeted-deal/2021/04/27/f00324d6-a795-11eb-8c1a-56f0cb4ff3b5_story.html?outputType=amp&utm_

  >> On April 28th, DHS  issued a memo to ICE and CBP pertaining to the limited circumstances in which civil immigration enforcement actions may be carried out in or near a courthouse. This policy supersedes the ICE directive on this topic issued in 2018. In other ICE-related news, President Biden is tapping a Houston-area sheriff to lead ICE. Ed Gonzalez, who served as sheriff for Harris County, TX, has been a vocal critic of the Trump administration’s immigration policy and, in 2017, ended the practice of allowing local officers in the county to carry out some immigration enforcement.

  >> Also on April 28, MSNBC aired an opinion piece entitled, “.Biden’s struggling on immigration.  It’s not all Trump’s fault” that is quite enlightening:   https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/biden-s-struggling-immigration-it-s-not-all-trump-s-n1265676?cid=eml_mda_20210429&user_email=afc61eb7673188cc6bfed2a9385493a1bb8ef9d5377a0bf4780e05317704e191


MIRA sent thru the following information about pending Federal Legislation:

            Several key pieces of legislation have now either passed the US House of Representatives or are being considered by the Senate, each with their own distinct measures and importance for immigrants and the children of immigrants across the United States.

· HR.6 – The American Dream and Promise Act was passed by the House of Representatives in March 2021, by 228-197 votes, with 9 Republicans joining all 219 Democrats to vote in favor of the measure. The bill would offer legal status to about 2 million Dreamers  through “conditional permanent resident status,” help TPS holders to get green cards, and protect individuals eligible for the bills protections from DHS deportation actions, among other considerations. In the Senate, at least 10 Republicans would need to join the 50 Senate Democrats to break a filibuster and pass the bill into law.

· HR.1603 – The Farm Workforce Modernization Act was passed by the House the same day as HR.6, with specific reforms targeted at addressing the migration of foreign labor to work in U.S. Agriculture. It would build a new temporary worker visa program for undocumented farmworkers already in the U.S., provide certain protections for employees, their families, and employers, and reform existing E-Verify systems. 

            Other Legislation:  The U.S. Citizenship Act of 2021 was introduced to Congress almost immediately upon President Joe Biden’s inauguration, and is more comprehensive and far-reaching than either HR.6 or HR.1603. It would create a roadmap to citizenship for millions of undocumented immigrants, reform family-based immigration systems, and address some of the root causes of migration by increasing assistance to the countries most impacted by U.S. policies and which send the largest number of migrants annually. Unfortunately, this more comprehensive bill faces stiff opposition in both the House and Senate, and neither chamber has passed it.


>> NBC News reports that lawyers tasked with reuniting migrant families separated during the Trump administration informed a federal court yesterday that they have recently contacted the parents of 61 more children. This brings the number of known separated children whose parents have yet to be reached by the pro bono attorneys down from 506 to 445. 


>> The Needham Assistant Manager at Cynthia ‘s suggestion has requested we consider endorsing  the Town’s vision statement on racial equity. This vision statement has been the work of the Needham Unite Against Racism Initiative and has been adopted by the Select Board. (NUARI) welcomes any other entity (public, private, non-profit) in town to adopt it, as well. There is more information here: https://needham1711my.sharepoint.com/:w:/g/personal/kking_needhamma_gov/EVsD_i4WbRlOvGNC_ffRQPwB544q_lWuDW9EdFp8KJFyiQ?e=1rTP8y     I plan to take up the matter at the May 10th meeting after the Congressman’s presentation and the Q&A that will follow.
 Stay safe

Gerry Rovner