>>. Solidarity with the Asian Community. Progressive Needham is sponsoring a vigil on the Town Common tomorrow, March 20, on Saturday afternoon at 2:00PM.

>>. Our next meeting will be held on April 12 . A Zoom invitation will be sent a few days in advance. PLEASE join the meeting at 7:15pm. Our guest speaker, thanks to Eleanor Shore, will be Boston City Councilor LYDIA EDWARDS, who will speak starting at 7:30 followed by a Q&A period. Ms. Edwards is no stranger to the Task Force and frequently joined our meetings before being elected to the Boston City Council.

In addition, thanks to Rinaz Mala, Andy Freedman, the Co-founder of Miles for Migrants will also be attending. For more about Miles for Migrants, SEE: https://miles4migrants.org/how-the-booking-process-works/

>> You may also wish to save the date for our May 10th meeting, when our newly elected CONGRESSMAN JAKE AUCHINCLOSS will be our guest speaker. That meeting will also start at 7:15pm. Although there is no charge to attend this event, reservations will be required. More information will be forthcoming.

>> As the Covid pandemic begins to wind down and as many of you will have completed vaccinations, we hope to become more physically active in our activities. If you are interested in any specific program, such as refugee placement, accompanying immigrants to sign-in at ICE, medical appointments or court hearings, as the Task Force was doing before Covid, please send me an email (Gerry80059@Comcast.net) with your interests.


>> DHS Announces Process to Address Asylee applicants required by Trump Administration to remain in Mexico with Active MPP Cases. SEE the announcement at: https://www.dhs.gov/news/2021/02/11/dhs-announces-process-address-individuals-mexico-active-mpp-cases .


>> The Supreme Court has agreed to hear a challenge to the Trump Administration’s public charge rule. SEE: article published in the HILL Feb 22: https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/539849-supreme-court-to-hear-challenge-to-trump-public-charge-rule?utm_source=AILA+Mailing&utm_campaign=f63649f4c5-AILA8-02-23-2021&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_3c0e619096-f63649f4c5-290775989

>> Diego sent along the following Supreme Court Decision: Justices reject immigrant’s bid to seek relief from deportation The Supreme Court on Thursday issued its opinion in Pereida v. Wilkinson, a case about whether an immigrant living in the country without authorization can seek relief from deportation for a minor crime. The court ruled 5-3 that because the noncitizen bears the burden to prove he is eligible for relief, he cannot carry that burden when his criminal record is unclear as to whether he was convicted of a crime that disqualifies him from relief. Justice Neil Gorsuch wrote the opinion for the court. Justice Stephen Breyer wrote a dissent in which Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan joined. Justice Amy Coney Barrett did not participate in the case because the oral argument occurred before she joined the court. SEE: https://www.scotusblog.com/2021/03/justices-reject-immigrants-bid-to-seek-relief-from-deportation/


>> TheLos Angeles Timesreports ( https://www.latimes.com/world-nation/story/2021-02-26/biden-immigration-border-migrant-camps?utm_campaign=Hubspot-AILA8-02-26-2021&utm_medium=email&_hsmi=113182703&_hsenc=p2ANqtz–TIh08W7jCAGOUc91fiMkfXrTXohRqnjftG6y2ns_sN8LynnZqPzDaJ3EXAcIdrdSm2o02I0-tc45fpNnSxinIIBlBpA&utm_content=113182703&utm_source=hs_email ) on the experiences of asylum seekers currently residing in migrant tent camps on the Mexican side of the southern border as the Biden administration begins the first steps in its phased approach to processing individuals returned to Mexico under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP). Officials from DHS and the UN have said they will prioritize asylum seekers at the camps for processing. Although 12,000 migrants have registered to be processed online, only 27 have been allowed across the border. See DHS’s FAQs on MPP processing


>> Jen Muroff of the LVW provided the following on important two items:

1. Safe Communities Act: Have your legislators signed on as official cosponsors yet? Check here. If not, please contact them to cosponsor.

Sample email:

I write to urge you to cosponsor the Safe Communities Act (SD.532 and HD.1165) which would put an end to state and local involvement in deportations. Please see this factsheet for more information. (For body of email, choose one or 2).

The bill has over 200 organizational endorsements, including those by the Massachusetts Medical Society and the Massachusetts League of Community Health Centers, who see this bill as a critical public health response to the ongoing global pandemic. As we celebrate the federal government’s renewed appreciation for the contributions of immigrants, we caution that state and local involvement in deportations preceded the Trump administration and is likely to continue without state action to end it. The COVID-19 pandemic has underscored the detrimental impacts of this collaboration, undermining testing, treatment and contact tracing efforts in immigrant communities, and impeding immigrant access to court and police protection. In the interest of public health, public safety, and an equitable recovery that includes our most disproportionately impacted state residents, I hope I can count on your support for the Safe Communities Act this session.

2. Driving Families Forward: The Driving Families Forward coalition is hosting its first virtual press event of the 2021-22 legislative cycle, tomorrow, Tuesday, February 23rd at 11 AM. Join us as we come together virtually to elevate the voices of the impacted communities, and hear from essential workers, public health professionals, elected officials, law enforcement and business leaders on why Massachusetts should be the 17th state allowing families to access a driver’s license. Access the English livestream of our virtual press event at https://www.facebook.com/DrivingFamiliesForward

Resources for new bill:

Updated one-pagers and factsheets can be found here

Legislator outreach email templates:

Email for previous co-sponsors/supporters

Email for first time ask/non co-sponsors

>> Bill Okerman sent along the following link about AG Healey Suing a Lynn Landlord for Intimidating Tenants and Threatening to Report Them to Immigration Authorities SEE:


>>. Bev Freeman sent along The Boston Globe Editorial in favor of passage of the Driving Families Forward bill, quoting favorably Speaker Mariano’s position. SEE: https://www.bostonglobe.com/2021/03/09/opinion/long-overdue-measure-mass-drivers-without-lawful-status-should-get-drivers-licenses/?link_id=0&can_id=09d665b9180ce0e7033814a9a3d31432&source=email-boston-globe-editorial-featuring-speaker-marianos-statement&email_referrer=email_1102900&email_subject=boston-globe-editorial-featuring-speaker-marianos-statement

Stay safe,

Gerry Rovner