>>. Our next ZOOM meeting is this coming MONDAY, Feb 14th at 7:15PM.  Our guest speaker from the Needham Community Council will join us at 7:30.  After the Q&A we will spend some time discussing our current financial situation.  We really need your input. The Zoom address for the meeting is: Join Zoom Meetinghttps://us02web.zoom.us/j/84588120416?pwd=R0w1Qmx2RTgyL1ViMXJWRHFoUVZLdz09
>> On 2/1/22, President Biden directed the Secretary of State to submit a determination to Congress for assistance of up to $1.2 billion from the United States Emergency Refugee and Migration Assistance Fund to support Operation Allies Welcome and related efforts, including additional relocations of individuals at risk as a result of the situation in Afghanistan.
 (87 Fed Register 6759, 2/7/22 is the original document that basically states the description that precedes the citation))

 >> Roll Call reports that refugees and those granted asylum may now renew their work permits in two-year increments rather than having to renew annually, a change made by USCIS in an effort to address lengthy processing delays. The update to its policy manual will affect foreign citizens who have been admitted as refugees or granted asylum, those who have self-petitioned for green cards under a program for domestic abuse survivors, as well as certain migrants who fled persecution and have since been provided deportation relief known as withholding of removal.

>> CBS News reports  that the Biden administration is establishing a system, based in Qatar, designed to fast-track the processing of at-risk Afghans overseas and ensure they can arrive in the United States with permanent legal status (green card) and to a resettlement destination already selected. Through the new program, the United States is seeking to ensure future Afghan arrivals are ready to be placed in American communities without further processing at domestic military sites. https://www.cbsnews.com/news/afghanistan-us-expedited-processing-hub-qatar/
>> Amazing!  The MA House of Representatives FOR THE FIRST TIME will debate and vote on The Work and Family Mobility Act ( drivers’ license bill for the undocumented in MA). House Speaker Mariano is working to round up enough votes to override an expected veto by Gov. Baker, if the Bill is also enacted in the Senate.  This Bill can affect between 43,000 – 78,000  of the estimated 200,000 undocumented residents in MA.   This bill, in various iterations,  has been introduced in the legislature for the past 20 years, but never made it out of committee for a floor debate and vote in the House.

>> VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR ELL PROGRAM. The Needham Community Council English Language Learners program is growing even during these cold winter days. It currently has more students than it does tutors. So, if you or someone you know would be interested in lending their time, it would love to provide the opportunity to enrich their students’ lives.  The ELL director aligns Tutors with the training and resources they need to be successful in teaching Needham residents who are new to English. Please call the NCC office at 781-444-2415 or email Jtovar@needhamcouncil.org

>> If you would like to help the Metrowest Legal Services by researching country conditions for asylum seekers, please contact me.  A training session will be scheduled.  You need not be an attorney.  The Task Force is also exploring how to assist refugees, asylees and undocumented to qualify for Mass Health coverage – stay tuned.

 Happy Valentine’s Day.

 Stay safe