TASK FORCE INFORMATION:
>> Our next meeting will be held on Zoom on Monday, June 13th at 7:30PM. A Report from the Nominating Committee will be presented, followed by an election of Officers for the coming year.
>> Request for help: Diego’s office needs volunteers to assist immigrants in accompanying them to appointments; to help pack food for distribution; to help with immigrants sign-up for Mass Health; and general secretarial services. If you can volunteer a couple of hours, contact Val,[ firstname.lastname@example.org ] who will act as the Task Force’s Liaison with CASA.
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION NEWS
>> Normally full time foreign students are not allowed to obtain work authorization, beyond campus employment for no more than 20 hours per week. However on May 20th, the Secretary of Homeland Security has issued a notice pursuant to his authority, allowing full time students from Afghanistan permission to work off campus, so long as the student maintains at least 6 semester hours of classes. See the full details as published in the Federal Register: Federal Register/Vol. 87, No. 98/Friday, May 20, 2022/Notices.
NATIONAL NEWS:>> AILA has submitted a flier explaining Temporary Protected Status. Copy attached below.
>> The Seattle Times reports that the state of Washington has taken a significant step toward expanding health and dental insurance coverage to nearly all residents, particularly those who are undocumented. The Washington Health Benefit Exchange, the state’s health insurance marketplace, submitted a waiver application that, if approved, allows the state to bypass or change some Affordable Care Act requirements, and would make thousands more Washingtonians eligible for new health and dental benefits starting in 2024. SEE: https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/wa-takes-step-toward-expanding-health-insurance-coverage-for-all-residents-regardless-of-immigration-status/?utm_dA&utm_content=213574450&utm_source=hs_email [WHO WANTS TO WORK ON THIS BY CONTACTING THE LWV and MIRA TO LEARN IF THERE IS INTEREST IN PROPOSING LEGISLATION FOR MA TO DO THE SAME?]
>> TIME reports on the conditions that have led federal judges to be on the frontlines of interpreting and dictating the scope of executive actions, federal guidelines, and agency rules—thereby determining how U.S. immigration policy works. Because Congress has not passed significant legislation on immigration since the 1990s, immigration policy has been increasingly shaped by court challenges SEE: https://time.com/6172684/judges-us-immigration-policy/?utm_ [Now that is certainly something to give us all pause for thought]
>> YAHOO FINANCE reports that analysts from Goldman Sachs have released a report that determines that increasing immigration into the United States could potentially fix the country’s growing labor force participation gap. The analysts wrote, “While reduced labor force participation is primarily behind the lower number of available workers, reduced immigration has also played a role.” SEE: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/immigration-could-fix-the-us-labor-gap-goldman-sachs-185635183.html?guccounter=1&guce_referrer=aHR0cHM6Ly93d3cuZ29vZ2xlLmNvbS8&guce_referrer_sig=AQAAAHbKPU-SEdoURbbfv0zpo75A9OhtzH8ofCkwzHOShP-zz6Piq5DPzV9D1tyUY5CY-doBus8-cAm7z1vt7X-qXbws7euIfAo9d2BEoEq78tq6FrxmMJ1r2aRppvRiuy7mVhmEUHtfJIjaen_wqowHimTVHNg8wKwo8XZ83k2UZRBX&utm_campaign=HubSpot-AILA8-05-24-2022&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=214162642&_hsenc=p2ANqtz-9cfInGhogBazLxDuT-fVaqYpqif9clTf4ClgJ73tOeZDvl2_a146nN2q7RE0jKt_N5oOfGWq8Pjn3Fx4jsmQPlJPwDxQ&utm_content=214162642&utm_source=hs_email
>> FORBES provides an opinion piece on the recent string of research showing that immigrants are vital to U.S. economic prosperity, contrary to the arguments of those who restrict the entry of refugees and asylum seekers based on the idea that humanitarian admissions make America poorer. SEE: https://www.forbes.com/sites/stuartanderson/2022/05/26/refugees-make-america-better-off/?sh=11ef5fdcdfa8&utm
>>As part of its recent newsletter MIRA sent thru the following reminder: “For too long, the interests and rights of immigrants and refugees, and those of our nations’ working people, have been portrayed by some as existing in opposition to each other. Nothing could be further from the truth. Immigrants’ rights are workers’ rights, with immigrants holding together the economic and social fabric of our communities at every level. This is nowhere more true than in the Commonwealth and especially in Boston, where nearly 1 in 3 people are foreign-born and immigrants and their children make up a plurality of essential workers.”
FYI: The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) is the largest organization in New England promoting the rights and integration of immigrants and refugees. Since its inception 35 years ago, MIRA chose a collaborative approach to change, which multiplies the power of a statewide coalition of 143 organizational members, relationships with community and political leaders, and a wide network of individuals committed to federal reform.
>> The International Institute (IINE) is looking for bikes: In Boston, IINE has partnered with Jamaica Plain’s very own Bikes Not Bombs to bring used/refurbished bicycles to our newly resettled Afghan refugees, to help them commute to work and access community resources. Our enthusiastic and invaluable volunteers are helping to repair, tune up, and deliver donated bicycles to these clients. So far, we’ve distributed 26 bikes, along with bike helmets generously donated by the law firm Breakstone, White & Gluck, and more are on the way! If you would like to donate a used adult bicycle in good or repairable condition, please fill out this form and one of our volunteers will be in touch with you. Go to: https://iine.wufoo.com/forms/z6cvn5q0go3y5q/?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=5404903d-b015-4493-9ce2-f682e78f786
>> The Needham Diversity Initiative and the Needham Human Rights Committee are sponsoring a RACE AMITY AFTERNOON on June 12th from 4-6PM at a location to be named soon. See the flier attached for more information
>> Gerogina has sent the following: Breaking news: Governor Baker has Vetoed The Work and Family Mobility Act Please contact your MA State Representative and Senator to make sure Governor Baker’s veto of the #WorkandFamilyMobility Act. is overridden. Find your MA legislator(s): https://malegislature.gov/Search/FindMyLegislator
>> >> Of further interest, Attorney Heather Yountz, who is no stranger to the Task Force, has joined the staff of the Massachusetts Law Reform Institute.