>> Our next meeting will be held via Zoom on TUESDAY, MAY 9th at 7:30pm  (Town Meeting will be held on May 8th). You will receive a Zoom invitation later this week.
 >> Following up on a discussion about medical care in our region, Cheryl submitted the following report:   “I did some research to gather information related to what our communities offer for support signing for individuals who are un or underinsured  — help with MassHealth.
  Our local hospital, BID Needham, has one Certified Assistance Counselor (CAC) embedded in their hospital. ( Rayshelle sp?)  at 781-453-3071. ( I was not able to talk with her directly yet).
 The MWMC in Framingham has two CACs embedded in the hospital – trilingual (Heloise and Andrea) M-F  8:30am-5:00pm at 508-383-1752   They receive referrals for patients who were in the ER and inpatient who  are under/uninsured and need help with MassHealth. They manage most of this by phone. They will meet in person with individuals who are over 65 given the complexity of the paperwork and possible digital literacy issues. 
 Framingham – has several navigators that float and serve the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center patients – Milford, Worcester and Framingham. Typically there are 4 navigators that are in Framingham 1-2 days every month,  and another navigator consistently in Framingham CHC Wednesdays and Thursdays. There is a Community Health Worker (CHW) embedded in the Framingham Schools –  her sole responsibility is to support families to complete insurance applications and to register them at Kennedy CHC as their medical home.  Any of the EMK navigators can help her with applications any day of the week. 
 It would be good to check in again and consider next steps.  Marty/MWHF is open to hearing from us again, and explore possible funding needs. There is MW Legislative Breakfast on April 28th  – would be interested to hear priorities/initiatives.  Interested in your thoughts.”
 We’ll continue this discussion on May 9th.
>> New USCIS Center Is Good News For Some Of Its Worst Backlog Victims. SEE: https://immigrationimpact.com/2023/04/05/new-uscis-center-backlogs/?emci=15cfa211-7ad5-ed11-8e8b-00224832eb73&emdi=8f4b10cf-ded6-ed11-8e8b-00224832eb73&ceid=9900747
 >> President Biden announced a plan to expand health coverage for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipients. The White House is proposing to make immigrants who arrived in the United States as children eligible for health care benefits under the Affordable Care Act.  
>> Remember the flights of immigrants from FL, funded by the state of FL to Martha’s Vineyard?  The lawsuit filed by a number of immigration organizations has been voluntarily dismissed.  SEE: the story as reported on CBS:  https://www.cbsnews.com/miami/news/florida-migrant-flights-lawsuit-dismissed/
>> All you need is a lot of patience!  The Associated Press reports   Immigrants waiting 10 years in US just to get a court date.
 ( https://thehill.com/homenews/ap/ap-u-s-news/immigrants-waiting-10-years-in-us-just-to-get-a-court-date/?utm_   )  Some asylum seekers who crossed the border at Mexico may be waiting a decade before they even get a date to see a judge. In New York, ICE told asylum seekers this month to return in March 2033. In San Antonio; Miramar, Florida; Los Angeles; Jacksonville, Florida; Milwaukee; Chicago; Washington; Denver; and Mount Laurel, New Jersey, the wait is until March 2027. After that, their cases will work their way through the immigration courts—a process that takes about four years amid a backlog that reached 2.1 million cases in January!   
>> If you read nothing else in this issue, this article is the one to read.   On April 6th Axios Explained: “Why it’s so hard to come to the U.S. legally”. SEE:  https://www.axios.com/2023/04/06/legal-us-immigration-process-explained
>> The American Immigration Council published a report, after receiving a number of documents pursuant to a FOIA request, documenting how humanitarian parole was and is almost impossible for Afghans.  Makes for interesting reading.  SEE:  https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/foia/uscis-failures-afghans-parole?emci=52c6b180-efd2-ed11-a8e0-00224832e811&emdi=21cc7f30-f4d2-ed11-a8e0-00224832e811&ceid=9900747
>> Maybe one of these days the Republicans will get their facts straight.  In another story from the AIC, about drug smuggling:  “Last week, a top official of California’s largest police union was charged with importing fentanyl and other drugs with the intent to distribute them throughout the United States.  Her arrest came the same week as the Senate Judiciary Committee conducted a hearing about fentanyl and migration at the U.S.-Mexico border. Senate Republicans blamed the rise in fentanyl-related deaths on the Department of Homeland Security for failing to curb irregular migration.  In reality, the overwhelming majority of fentanyl isn’t brought into the U.S. by migrants or others crossing between ports of entry, but rather through our ports of entry—it’s most often smuggled by U.S. citizens in cars and trucks.” SEE:  https://immigrationimpact.com/2022/09/07/fact-check-migrants-smuggling-fentanyl-into-united-states/?emci=a4097819-f8cf-ed11-a8e0-00224832e811&emdi=a29279ab-5ed1-ed11-a8e0-00224832e811&ceid=9900747
>> One more myth debunked.  Yahoo reported that DACA recipients do not take jobs away from Americans.  SEE: https://finance.yahoo.com/news/immigration-dreamers-daca-jobs-americans-study-161102995.html
 >>AXIOS published an informative article explaining asylum in clear simple terms.  SEE:  https://www.axios.com/2023/04/06/asylum-process-us-immigration-explained

  >> Some facts from the AIC: The U.S. doubled the number of people admitted from February to March through the Refugee Admissions Program.  6,122 refugees were resettled last month, with the top nationalities coming from the Democratic Republic of Congo, Burma, Syria, and Afghanistan. This welcome development inches the United States closer to the number of refugees admitted prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.  
 >> Here are some interesting figures I found, dealing specifically with Norfolk County, MA:  Number of Immigrants.                       124,799

Immigrant Share of Population.          17.9%
Immigrant Taxes Paid       $2.0B

Immigrant Spending Power       $4.5B
Number of Immigrant Entrepreneurs.    8,437
Number of Eligible Immigrant Voters.  70,368 (but have not filed for US Citizenship)
>> The AIC reported that  “Over the next 30 years, immigrants will pay more in taxes than they will consume in benefits, a new study ( https://www.cato.org/white-paper/fiscal-impact-immigration-united-states )  from the Cato Institute found”.  So much for the canard that immigrants bleed the welfare system dry!   
>> CNN reports that as tax season comes to a close, a large number of undocumented immigrants in the United States will be filing as well. Critics of illegal immigration have long argued that undocumented immigrants who pay taxes are able to do so because they’re using stolen Social Security numbers, but millions of federal tax dollars are paid every year by people who don’t have Social Security numbers at all. Instead, they file using what’s known as an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN). SEE: https://www.cnn.com/2023/04/18/us/undocumented-immigrants-taxes-cec/index.html?utm_   (my comment: billions paid in taxes by the undocumented to the Social Security system are never collected by the undocumented and is one key reason the Social Security system manages to survive)
>> Not to bury you in a flood of statistics, the following op ed discussing polling information about how the US population feels about immigration, published by the Dallas Morning News is enlightening.  SEE: https://www.dallasnews.com/opinion/commentary/2023/04/17/what-polling-reveals-about-americans-feelings-about-immigration/?outputType=amp
>> On April 4th, Axios published an article entitled, “ How Massachusetts advocates are curbing the high cost of citizenship”  SEE: https://www.axios.com/local/boston/2023/04/04/citizenship-cost-massachusetts-clinics .  You don’t need to be an attorney to help out on this project.  Let me know if you would like to have this project discussed at our next meeting.
>> Ever wonder what the small building on your left after you enter the Needham Recycling Center (AKA Town Dump) in the first driveway to your right?  There is a sign in front of the building, by the way.  It is the perfect location for you to discard your bottles and cans that carry a return deposit.  Or you can place them in the barrels that are beside each of the “trash” dumpsters. For several years, retired Needham resident Jeff Dinneen collects those cans and bottles, turns them in at Roche Brothers and uses the proceeds to buy milk for the Community Council.  The Council then distributes the milk at its food pantry to anyone in need, without regard to immigration status.
QUOTE OF THE WEEK:  “The secret to change is to focus all of your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new.” – Socrates

I hope to “see” you next Tuesday.
Gerry Rovner