TASK FORCE INFORMATION:>> Our next meeting will be conducted via Zoom, given there is no real interest in meeting in person.  An “invitation” will be sent at the end of the week of Dec 4th.The meeting will start at 7:30PM, on Monday, Dec 11th.  Please send any item you wish added to the meeting Agenda.
>> The minutes from the Nov 13th meeting are attached below, prepared by Bill Okerman with notes taken by Bev Freeman.  Thanks to Bill Okerman stepping in for me at the last meeting.  I had a family matter that literally popped up at the last moment.  
>> Diego Low has sent a report about the activities of CASA, entitled, “FALL UPDATES”, a copy of which can be found below.
>> Cynthia Ganung has been in contact with the Town about the potential of immigrants being housed in Needham.  PLEASE SEE THE RESPONSE BELOW. This will be the first order of business on Dec 11th.  In my opinion, if we do not get involved as the Task Force, what is the reason for us to continue?
>> The New England chapter of the American Immigration Lawyers Assoc (AILA) has sent the following Call to Action:  Remove ITIN Barrier For Immigrant Families   The largest antipoverty cash assistance program in the U.S. is the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) which benefits low to moderate-income households, especially those with minor children. In Massachusetts if either parent on a tax return has an ITIN (Individual Taxpayer Identification Number) rather than a Social Security number, no one can claim the EITC – even U.S. born children. Other states are providing EITC to families with ITINs. An Act to Reduce Poverty by Expanding the EITC and the Child and Family Tax Credit (Bill S.1798) would eliminate this barrier. The EITC is a critical part of the safety net supporting struggling working families with cash even if they have no tax liability. We urge you to write to your state representative in support and also voice support to the Joint Committee on Revenue. You can find your state legislator here

NATIONAL NEWS:>> MSNBC, citing a Pew Research study, aired an article about the truth of numbers of  undocumented immigrants.  SEE:  https://www.msnbc.com/opinion/msnbc-opinion/republicans-undocumented-immigrants-report-rcna125447?cid=eml_mda_20231117&user_email=afc61eb7673188cc6bfed2a9385493a1bb8ef9d5377a0bf4780e05317704e191   The simple truth is there has been a marked DECREASE   – 19% since the Bush Administration.
>> The Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM) is a national movement of immigration groups from 37 states (MIRA is one such group) that has started a campaign to reform the immigration laws. It’s first target is to seek an amendment to the immigration law first enacted in 1929, and most recently amended in 1971 to provide green cards for immigrants who have been long term residents, by means of a simple process called “Registry”.    The law grants discretion to the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security to grant lawful permanent admission (i.e. a green card) for those persons who entered prior to Jan 1, 1972.  If the law were brought up to date, approximately 8 million immigrants could be affected, depending on the date of eligibility of the amendment. 8 U.S.C. 1259 provides the current eligibility requirements: a) entered before Jan 1, 1972; b) has been here continuously since then; c) is of good moral character; and d) not ineligible for citizenship or deportable on national security or other grounds.
>> The American Immigration Council published some eye opening statistics in its Map the Impact Report as of 2021.  Note you can use the interactive map to learn about any state;

When you turn on the news, you get a particular—and often bleak—view of immigration in the United States. But when you look at the real data, you get a different story:                                                                                one of the continuing and evolving role immigrants play in our nation’s economic and civic wellbeing.  The American Immigration Council just released its 2023 Map the Impact report, an interactive data-map showcasing the contributions of immigrants in the country, all 50 states, and industry sectors across the economy. It also features hundreds of stories and videos from local leaders talking about why immigration matters to them.  For the full report see:  https://data.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/map-the-impact/?emci=77f76940-0883-ee11-8925-00224832e811&emdi=6048c0c0-1583-ee11-8925-00224832e811&ceid=9900747

>> On November 28, 2023, The Federal Reserve Bank of Boston published a paper entitled, “Recent Migration and Visa Trends in New England and Implications for the Labor Market”.         SEE the full Report at https://www.bostonfed.org/publications/new-england-public-policy-center-regional-briefs/2023/recent-migration-and-visa-trends-in-new-england-and-implications-for-the-labor-market.aspx.  The Summary is well worth reading. 

LOCAL NEWS:>> MIRA is spearheading a drive in MA to convince the legislature to support the “Language Access and Inclusion Act”.  About 10% of residents in MA do not speak English as their primary language.  There is no law currently on the books that mandates all state agencies provide interpreter services. Currently only hospitals and the courts are required to provide interpreter services.
>> MIRA published an article entitled,”How to Support Newly Arrived Immigrants in MA”, a copy of which is attached below.
I hope you all had a FULL-filling Thanksgiving.
Gerry Rovner