TASK FORCE INFORMATION:
>> The April 11 meeting was recorded. To access:
https://us02web.zoom.us/rec/share/jttCSkUOx4wd2PTtlxfsXa93J3bYFNkWFMJH-W0-2uLn3STC_HYCIEdPXPlVGDnB.BwoNFN9ZIlnYW2Z5 REQUIRED Access Passcode: %kY=1wf&
>> Eleanor Shore sent me the following: “ If one Googles “Resettlement of Ukrainian Refugees” one is directed immediately to “How you can help Ukrainian refugees right now.” The bottom line is that they need money, and that’s something our group can do now. The only question is whether we give as a group or as individuals. I wonder if we should do both, given the dire need.” We’ll discuss this at our next meeting.In addition, we will briefly discuss the need for housing possibilities for foreign nationals in Needham, based on a conversation I had with Jill Olive.
>> Our next meeting will be held via ZOOM , on Monday, May 9th at 7:30PM. Please send me any item you wish to have added to the agenda.
>> If you would like to volunteer to serve on the nominating committee , please let me know. Elections will be held in June. The committee’s report will be sent as soon as it has been completed.
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION NEWS
>> UNITING FOR UKRAINE: On April 21, 2022, the United States announced a key step toward fulfilling President Biden’s commitment to welcome Ukrainians fleeing Russia’s invasion. Uniting for Ukraine provides a pathway for Ukrainian citizens and their immediate family members who are outside the United States to come to the United States and stay temporarily in a two-year period of parole. Ukrainians participating in Uniting for Ukraine must have a supporter in the United States who agrees to provide them with financial support for the duration of their stay in the United States. For the details, see: https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/uniting-for-ukraine
>> BLOOMBERG reports that a bipartisan group of senators will meet next week (May 5th) to discuss options for passing some stand alone immigration legislation this year to include path to US Citizenship for DACA SEE: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2022-04-27/senators-to-convene-bipartisan-immigration-meeting-after-impasse .
>> In addition THE HILL reports that review of farm labor issues may also be discussed. “ It’s no secret that U.S. farmers have been burdened with ongoing labor shortages for years. The pain points of this issue include immigration laws in their current form and a declining interest in agricultural employment.” SEE: https://thehill.com/opinion/immigration/3467527-immigration-reform-can-ease-farm-labor-shortages/
>> The American Immigration Council obtained a list of the data bases used by DHS in enforcement of immigration as a result of a Freedom of Information Act request. It is eye opening to see the list which contains 180 line items on a spread sheet! And that is not all of the sources it uses. For the one page explanation and the date base list SEE: file:///Users/gerryapple/Desktop/DHS%20Data%20Bases.html or the attachment below.
>> The League of Women Voters sent the following news. Obviously edit the suggested scripts provided.
Fantastic news: The Senate announced today that the Work and Family Mobility Act will be voted on next Thursday, May 5. Given the Senate press conference today, it should be a successful vote. Please contact your state senator to vote YES on S2851 the Work and Family Mobility Act. Note the new bill number with minor language tweaks. Here is a sample script to use for email, phone call, or voice mail message:
“Hi my name is [NAME], and I am a resident of [CITY/TOWN]. I’m calling today to ask my state representative to vote YES for S2851, the Work and Family Mobility Act when it comes to the Senate floor vote. All qualified drivers should be able to apply for a Massachusetts license, regardless of their immigration status. This bill promotes everyone’s safety, including law enforcement officials who need to know drivers’ identities, Massachusetts motorists who benefit when every driver is tested and insured. Many immigrants’ lives would be transformed by this bill, and everyone in the Commonwealth would have safer and more secure roads for it.” [Remember to include your complete name and street address if you communicate via email.]
**Needham residents represented by Senator Mike Rush**: Historically he has opposed this bill based on the false IDs used by the 9/11 bombers. However, the implementation of a federal Real ID extinguishes that excuse. Most importantly, this bill “meets the Governor Baker standard for identification”. Despite Rush’s potential no vote, he needs to hear from his constituents.
Regarding the Safe Communities Act:The reporting deadline for the Safe Communities Act is next week, May 4th. The Joint Committee on Public Safety and Homeland Security needs to act by then. Will you contact your legislators and urge action on this bill? Feel free to modify this sample script:
I strongly support H.2418/S.1579 An Act to Protect the Civil Rights and Safety of all Massachusetts Residents. To quote testimony, “Undocumented people are unwilling to report domestic abuse, wage theft, or seek medical treatment for life-threatening conditions due to fear of deportation. This fear contributed to a surge in COVID-19 rates as undocumented folks believed that testing, contact tracing, and vaccines would trigger deportation proceedings. During the height of the pandemic shutdown, mixed status families chose hunger over accepting cash assistance due to fear of deportation. I believe that we need a uniform statewide policy to ensure civil rights are protected for all, so residents feel safe calling 911, or accessing medical care during a global pandemic, regardless of where they reside or where they work”. (Add personalized information as to why this matters to you. If communicating via email, be sure to include your complete name and street address.)
For further information contact: Jennifer Muroff. 617.877.9017
Legislative Specialist, Immigration League of Women Voters:
>> MIRA sent the following: “It’s that time of the year again – Massachusetts state budget season! The state budget is a values statement – it signals what the Commonwealth is prioritizing for the next fiscal year. This year, for the first time, the MIRA Coalition is supporting two budget amendments having to do with language access. Both amendments would build
state and local capacity to provide equal access to state services and the ballot for all state residents.
Amendment #1381, Language Access Implementation, filed by Chairman Antonio Cabral of New Bedford, would provide $8 million to improve the capacity of our public-facing state agencies to meet the critical language access needs of our Commonwealth’s increasingly diverse population. Massachusetts is one of the most linguistically diverse states in the country with nearly one in ten residents considered limited English proficient. We must ensure that limited English speaking residents have equal access to public health information, education, unemployment assistance, healthcare, housing, and other crucial services! Email your state representative and ask them to co-sponsor budget Amendment #1381”
>>IINE sent, in part, the following information: Save the date: Town Hall update on Afghanistan on May 19
In January, IINE held a Town Hall meeting to update our supporters on the progress of resettlement for the 495 Afghan evacuees we have resettled since October 2021. These clients are receiving continued case management, cultural orientation, English language support, and immigration legal services, and services many …, have begun their first jobs in the U.S. On May 19, we will be holding be another virtual town meeting on Zoom to deliver an in-depth update to the community that has done so much to help with the resettlement process. Keep an eye on your inbox for meeting registration details, coming soon! The link to register will be out soon. Continue to monitor iine.org for current information.
(COMMENT: you may wish to sign up for the IINE newsletter so you get current information that I may not be able to include in as timely a manner. Also space considerations play a role in what I can include.)
.. The NEEDHAM COMMUNITY COUNCIL has sent me the following information about its spring events for its English Language Learners program. See the attachments below.