Our Next Meeting will be held on Monday, January 11, 2021 at 7:30PM.  Please be certain to send me any item you wish to have included on the Agenda before Noon on Wednesday, January 6th.

The Minutes from the December 14, 2020 meeting are attached below, thanks to Bev Freeman.

ABBREVIATIONS:  From time to time I receive requests to explain an abbreviation that appears in From the Chair. I am working on a list of the abbreviations for our website, info@immigrationneedham.org .  If you have a question about any abbreviation let me know so I can include it..

Thanks to Carolyn Lynes who has volunteered to be our liaison to At My Neighbor’s Table.


>>The Boston Globe also reported that on Dec 21, the MA Supreme Judicial Court was asked by the Lawyers for Civil Rights to nullify the Plymouth County Sheriff’s office agreement to identify, arrest and transport undocumented immigrant, stating there is no right under either MA law or Constitution to arrest for violation of civil law (being undocumented is NOT a crime, but a civil violation).  SEE: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/12/21/metro/highest-court-asked-nullify-sheriffs-office-agreement-with-ice/


>>DHS Announces Finalization of Asylum Cooperative Agreement with Honduras
On Friday, December 18, DHS announced that the United States and Honduras have concluded the implementation accords for the Asylum Cooperative Agreement, under which certain migrants requesting asylum or similar humanitarian protection at the border will be transferred to Honduras to seek protection in Honduras. Also last week, DHS announced that El Salvador has also begun implementing its Asylum Cooperative Agreement with the United States. 
[You may recall that the US Department of State has posted a Do Not Travel Warning concerning El Salvador as follows:
“Violent crime, such as murder, assault, rape, and armed robbery, is common. Gang activity, such as  extortion, violent street crime, and narcotics and arms trafficking, is widespread. Local police may lack the  resources to respond effectively to serious criminal incidents’
For Honduras the following Do Not Travel Warning:
“Violent crime, such as homicide and armed robbery, is common. Violent gang activity, such as extortion,  violent street crime, rape, and narcotics and human trafficking, is widespread. Local police and emergency  services lack sufficient resources to respond effectively to serious crime.”]


>>Did you know the Relief Legislation currently pending signature or veto passed by both Houses of Congress last week contains provisions in the COVID-19 relief package that authorize stimulus checks for mixed-status families and that provide retroactive relief for mixed-status families who didn’t receive payment in the CARES Act?  {Mixed-status families are those where at least one member is lawfully present and at least one family member is undocumented.  No sense in detailing the provision until we learn what the President does.]

>>The Washington Post on Dec 22 noted that “ Biden says he’ll reverse Trump immigration policies but wants ‘guardrails’ first”

>>The Washington Post reports on Dec 2 that President-elect Joe Biden will take office under pressure to repudiate and rescind many, if not most, of the more than 400 executive actions President Trump has used to tighten the U.S. immigration system. But Biden also will start his term in a bind that could make such changes difficult to accomplish in short order.s((https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/12/02/biden-trump-immigration-policy/?arc404=true


>>Metrowest Immigration Solidarity Network (MISN) periodically publishes a very informative newsletter.  In some instances,  it comes to me just after I have sent you a Friday email, and would contain some information that would be obsolete, if I added it to my next email.   You may wish to have your name added to its list serve. SEE:  https://mailchi.mp/4a1ddc0d048b/events-and-actions?e=8316703924
>>On December 17, PBS station WBUR presented a Commentary in its weekly newsletter entitled, “The Safe Communities Act Isn’t Only About Immigration. It Will Protect Public Health”. It’s worth a read.  SEE:   https://www.wbur.org/cognoscenti/2020/12/16/safe-communities-act-covid-pandemic-massachusetts-david-rosman-michael-curry

>>On December 15, The Boston Globe reported that MA Attorney General’s determined in a 60 page report, that the Bristol County sheriff violated immigration detainees’ civil rights during a May, 2020 melee.  For the full story see: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/12/15/metro/bristol-sheriff-violated-immigration-detainees-rights-during-may-melee-attorney-general-says/

>> Then on December 22, in an Editorial entitled, “Times up, (Bristol) Sheriff Hodgson” , stating in part,”Hodgson has demonstrated that he cannot be trusted to respect immigrant detainee rights.”  [You may remember that the sheriff has been an ardent supporter of President Trump, and had even offered to send prisoners in the jail to the Southwest border to help construct The Wall.]. SEE: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2020/12/21/opinion/times-up-sheriff-hodgson/

I hope you and your families have a safe, peaceful and healthy new year.

Just a final thought:  “Service to others is the rent we pay for our time on earth.  It is the very purpose of life and not something you do in your spare time”, Marian Wright Edelman

Gerry Rovner

Don’t forget our website!  info@immigrationneedham.org .