Our guest speaker will be Attorney Alissa Weinberger, from the Metrowest Legal Services who will discuss how we could be of service to their office. 

 >> Part 2 of the backgrounders, from the Congressional Research Service entitled, “US Customs and Border Protection’s Powers and Limitations: A Primer” can be found at https://crsreports.congress.gov/product/pdf/LSB/LSB10559
 >>  Many of you may be aware of a committee within your faith community, or social group, that is or will be sponsoring an Afghan Evacuee family.  If the committee chair will send me notices of the status of that committee or wishes to have a notice posted in this newsletter, please have them contact me.  I will be glad to do so. Sharing information among these local groups could prove useful to all.

 >> Temple Aliyah, Needham, is sponsoring the re-settlement of two Afghan evacuees and is in need of furniture for two adult males.  Furniture Still Needed for Afghan Resettlement Project. “We are still in need of furniture and furnishings for the apartment (bedding, small appliances, kitchenware, etc.) that we rented for the Afghan evacuees we will be resettling. PLEASE review this list and see what items in new or reasonably new condition you can donate. Let us know by email, sending a picture if appropriate.” SEE: mailto:welcomethestranger@templealiyah.comand then scroll to the list mentioned.
 >> The Providence Journal published a wonderful article presenting lots of detailed information in a very readable  fashion, about how New England is responding to assisting Afghan evacuees with necessities to start a new life.  Don’t just sit back and let someone else do it – get involved! SEE:  https://www.providencejournal.com/story/news/2021/09/21/afghan-refugees-evacuees-resettling-me-ma-ct-nh-ri-vt-end-afghanistan-war-help-resources/8334944002/
>> On Dec 29, 2021 CNN reports that the Biden administration asked the Supreme Court for permission to end the Trump-era “Remain in Mexico” program, which requires non-Mexican migrants to stay in Mexico until their U.S. immigration court dates. The filing also requests that the Supreme Court review the case this term, arguing that an appeals court ruling threatens to disrupt other cases where the government’s policies on issues like immigration detention and parole are challenged.

>> ON LABOR published an article entitled, “The New DHS Memoranda: A Humane New Approach to Undocumented Workers”  It is well worth reading. SEE:  https://onlabor.org/the-new-dhs-memoranda-a-humane-new-approach-to-undocumented-workers/.    Thanks to Bill Okerman for sending it to me.
>> February 2, 2022 is the reporting deadline for this session of the MA Legislature. Bills not reported out of committee favorably by that date (except for healthcare financing bills) cease to progress and will need to be re-filed next session. The League of Women Voters asks that you email the Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security this week and ask the members to report the Safe Communities Act favorably out of committee.  Contact Jen Muroff  from the League  (jenmuroff@gmail.com) for a list of the members of the committee and a suggested email.
>> The Needham Community Council English Language Learning – ELL
The FREE English Language Learning program housed at the Council is steadily growing. It continues to place tutors and students together and started group classes at the Needham Department of Public Works for those employees. If you know someone who might be interested in becoming a tutor or someone in need of language and cultural support, please call their office at 781-444-2415.  I believe some instruction can be done virtually. For more information See: https://needhamcouncil.org/programs/english-language-learning/

Happy, safe and fulfilling  New Year to all.

Gerry Rovner