I hope all of you and your families are well.

As you know events in immigration are moving quickly. The information contained in the “From the Chair” emails are up to date as of the date noted in the following items.

Last week, April 23, I sent an email that included an item that a Representative had filed legislation that allowed individuals with Individual Taxpayer Identification Numbers (ITIN) OR a Social Security Number would qualify for stimulus payments by the federal government. Now Sen Eldridge of the MA Legislature has filed a like bill covering residents of MA: SD2916 (Eldridge): An Act to provide equal stimulus checks to immigrant taxpayers (even all undocumented workers who pay withholding and all pay sales tax etc) , which provides stimulus checks to immigrant taxpayers who were excluded from the stimulus provisions of the federal CARES Act.

From Diego : Sen. Eldridge has filed the ITIN Parity bill along with Rep. Miranda and Rep. Balser. You might wish to send your senator and representative an email asking for their support and vote on the bill.

AILA has published a flier explaining in brief, the current travel ban (April 2020). See Attached

And the beat goes on. Why do we put up with this injustice? CNN reports that despite much of the country being shuttered due to the COVID-19 pandemic, DOJ has continued to hold some deportation hearings, including those of unaccompanied minors. Given guidelines on social distancing, many of these hearings are being conducted remotely, with the judge, attorneys, and the child all participating from separate locations.

And this is even worse: The Hill reports that, according to a new model mapping the spread of COVID-19 in ICE detention centers, in the best case scenario, 72 percent of individuals at ICE detention facilities will be infected within 90 days, and in the worst case, nearly all will. As of April 28, out of 705 detainees tested for COVID-19, 425 tested positive. Join the Immigration Justice Campaign in calling on Congress to demand that ICE take steps to stem the spread of COVID-19 in detention facilities.

Both the The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post published editorials on April 21 that are well the read. See attachments below.

REAL ID date extended: DHS issued a final rule delaying the date for card-based enforcement of the REAL ID Act regulations from October 1, 2020, to October 1, 2021. Beginning on October 1, 2021, federal agencies may not accept a state-issued driver’s license or identification card for official purposes from any individual unless such license or card is a REAL ID-compliant driver’s license or identification card.

PLEASE go to our web site for a list of organizations seeking financial help to provide food or other financial help to those immigrants in need during this Corona Pandemic. Thanks to WILL for putting the information on to the web site.

The Minutes from our last meeting are attached.

Be safe.

Gerry Rovner