>> Our next meeting via zoom will be held on February 13.  Bill Okerman will be chairing the meeting, since I have another obligation that I could not re-schedule. Bill will be sending an invitation shortly.
>> Rinaz now has yard signs available for the Needham Multicultural Festival . She will drop some off at my house (48 Cynthia Road) .  If you would like one, call me (781-444-7170) after Feb 14th to arrange to pick one up to post one up in your yard, once the ground melts.  Six weeks left for the festival!  The Task Force is financially helping  to support this event.  If you would like more details about this exciting event, contact Rinaz (renazm@yahoo.com).
 >> Need a refresher on PAROLE?  I am attaching an update from the American Immigration Council that gives an excellent summary.  SEE:  https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/use-parole-under-immigration-law
   >>  MIRA published a list of newly filed LEGISLATION related to immigration matters.  See attachment below.  The Task Force is looking for a volunteer to follow these bills and report back to us periodically.  Contact me if you are interested.

>> WOW this is fantastic news for those encountering wage theft. ABC News reports on DHS allowing noncitizens to report labor violations without jeopardizing immigration status. 
SEE attached :https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/dhs-allowing-noncitizens-report-labor-violations-jeopardizing-immigration/story?id=96419737    A copy of the story is attached below.

>> Also attached below is a specific article published by AILA dealing with the new program established by the Biden Administration concerning Parole Programs for Venezuela, Nicaragua, Haiti, and Cuba  

>> Quote of the Week:  Speaking on a panel at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland, former Boston Mayor and Current U. S., Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh stated:
                        “We need immigration reform in America. America has always been a country that has depended on immigration. Right now, we don’t have good immigration policy…
     There are jobs available right now in the U.S. that we don’t have enough people for… The threat to the American economy long-term is not inflation, it’s [about] immigration. 
   It’s not having enough workers.”     ( FOR EXAMPLE see: https://immigrationimpact.com/2023/01/26/shortage-home-health-aides-immigrants/?emci=5a9ea589-899e-ed11-994c-00224832eb73&emdi=81cb5e9a-e59f-ed11-994c-00224832eb73&ceid=9900747  noting a severe shortage of health care workers.)

>> NBC reports that “Large majorities support immigration policies stuck in limbo for a decade”  SEE:    https://www.nbcnews.com/meet-the-press/first-read/majorities-back-immigration-policies-stuck-limbo-decade-rcna68338

>> And then we have bad news: On January 13th,  FORBES reported  “House GOP To Vote On Immigration Bill That Could End Asylum”
“SEE: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2023/01/13/house-gop-to-vote-on-immigration-bill-that-could-end-asylum/?sh=1ceb581656b6 .  Copy attached below.  (This might be an appropriate time to send your thoughts to Speaker Kevin  McCarthy, US House of Representatives, United States Capitol, Washington, DC 20515)

>> “Message from US asylum hopefuls: Financial sponsors needed”. The Associated Press reports migrants and asylum seekers fleeing violence and persecution in their home countries have increasingly found that protections in the United States are available to those with money or the savvy to find someone to vouch for them financially. This comes amid the recent announcement from the Biden Administration of a massive expansion of humanitarian parole Thursday for Cubans, Haitians, Venezuelans, and Nicaraguans that is reserved for those who apply online, pay airfare, and have a financial sponsor for two years. SEE:  https://apnews.com/article/biden-venezuela-mexico-spokane-violence-0eb316a474baed22f433359b0644320b?utm_
>>  You may wish to refresh yourself about who qualifies for a grant of asylum.  SEE: a general paper published by the American Immigration Council at https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/asylum-united-states
>>The NJ Monitor reports that “ N.J. expands health care coverage to all children, regardless of immigration status”:  SEE: https://newjerseymonitor.com/2023/01/19/n-j-expands-health-care-coverage-to-all-children-regardless-of-immigration-status/      Are you interested in joining with other Task Force members to bring this matter to the MA Legislature?  If so contact me as soon as possible.

>> Roll Call published an article on why there is little hope of immigration reform for the next two years, “Senators fight partisan headwinds in pursuit of immigration deal”.  SEE:  file:///Users/gerryapple/Desktop/Senators%20fight%20partisan%20headwinds%20in%20pursuit%20of%20immigration%20deal%20-%20Roll%20Call.html
>> CNN reported on Dec 22 that the US asylum backlog is nearing 1.6 million, the highest number on record.  SEE: https://www.cnn.com/2022/12/26/us/asylum-backlog-highest-record/index.html

>> On Jan 19th WBUR aired a news item on Here and Now, entitled, “One Massachusetts man’s fight to stay with his family as he battles against deportation to Haiti” SEE:  One Massachusetts man’s fight to stay with his family as he battles against deportation to Haiti 
>> On Jan 20 the Boston Globe published an opinion piece entitled, “The ongoing disgrace over the Trump-era family separation policy” SEE:  file:///Users/gerryapple/Desktop/BostonGlobe.The%20ongoing%20disgrace%20over%20the%20Trump-era%20family%20separation%20policy%20-%20The%20Boston%20Globe.html

>> The Washington Post published an article on Jan 20th entitled, “ A lawyer and a sheriff help Martha’s Vineyard migrants get a ‘bit of justice“ Read the story about Boston immigration attorney Rachel Shelf at https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2023/01/17/marthas-vineyard-migrants-desantis/

>> The International Institute is seeking the following volunteers: • Volunteer drivers needed – IINE-Boston seeks volunteer drivers willing to accompany our clients to medical appointments in the Greater Boston area. If interested, please contact Aidan at akaminer@iine.org. • English Classes (ESOL) – IINE-Boston seeks volunteers to help with our English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) classes.  If interested in participating, please contact Aidan at akaminer@iine.org. • Tutoring – IINE-Boston seeks volunteers to help tutor school-aged clients in Boston. If interested, please contact Aidan at akaminer@iine.org. • Volunteer Support in Lynn – IINE-Boston seeks volunteers to support a refugee family in Lynn. Please contact Aidan at akaminer@iine.org to learn more about this opportunity.
A FINAL THOUGHT: From that wise sage, Plato:
“One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors”

Stay safe