TASK FORCE INFORMATION:
Our next meeting will be held next Monday, Nov 13 at 7:30. So far I have 6 responses to my request whether you prefer in-person or zoom. Our last meeting in September was in person. Rep Auchincloss’s staff was present and told us what his office could and could not do regarding immigration issues. It was one of the best meetings we have had in at least five years! It really made a difference having that session in person. So, PLEASE let me know if I should pursue other speakers or you are satisfied with zoom. We have to make a choice on renewing our contract with Zoom, so your response will help us decide which contract we pursue. Bill will present our options at the meeting.
To learn what was discussed about CASA with the Representative’s staff see attachment below.
I would also like to know if you would be interested in a behind-the-scenes tour at Logan Airport by Customs and Border Protection. When you return to Boston after a trip abroad, you are inspected by a CBP officer. Ever wondered what is going on behind the scenes? The tour would probably be limited to 15, IF (a VERY big IF) I can arrange a tour I will only try to do so if there is sufficient interest. If I get more than 15, I’ll start a wait list based on the time and date shown on your email. The tour would be conducted at the new Terminal E, at about 1:00PM. I must have at least 15 of you establish your interest before I reach out to CBP.
Cheryl has applied for a grant for the Task Force from the Needham Council for Arts and Culture to fund local arts and culture! The Council is seeking funding proposals, with $17,300 to grant for programming in the arts, humanities, and interpretive sciences. She will bring us up to date at our meeting.
A full meeting agenda will be emailed later this week. If you have an item for the agenda, please email no later than Thursday at noon.
BIDEN ADMINISTRATION NEWS
>> Passport Processing Times reduced: The US Dept of State has announced that Routine passport renewal costs $130; a routine application for a new passport book costs $165. The processing time for both is currently between 8–11 weeks. Expedited service for passport renewal or application costs an additional $60 and cuts processing time to 5–7 weeks.
Please note that processing times start the day that the State Department receives your renewal or application, not the day that you mail it. The State Department advises that it may take up to 2 weeks for them to receive your application by mail, and another 2 weeks for you to receive your new passport. Please consider the total time your application or renewal will take – adding together both processing and mailing times – when planning your travels. Thus it is recommended that you plan on applying for or renewing your passport at least 3–4 months before traveling.
>> Facts you should know about the Border Wall Construction is officially beginning on additional barriers at the U.S.-Mexico border. The administration will have to waive 26 laws—including ones used to protect the environment, endangered species, and indigenous lands—to construct the border wall. The funds for this section of the wall in the Rio Grande Valley were previously appropriated for such barriers during the Trump Administration in 2019. The Biden Administration says it was under a mandated deadline to use the funds by the end of September or risk violating the Impoundment Control Act, and repeated attempts to get Congress to reappropriate the funds failed. When asked by reporters if border walls work, President Biden simply said, “No.” Secretary Mayorkas himself later said that the decision “does not signify a change in policy.” However, the administration has still not explained why it chose to waive so many laws as part of this process. Border walls are a costly deterrent to a problem that needs nuanced solutions. This special report from the American Immigration Council provides recommendations for creating a humanitarian protection system that looks beyond border walls.
>> The Administration is extending the designation of Afghanistan for Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 18 months, from 11/21/23 through 5/20/25, as well as redesignating Afghanistan for TPS. SEE: Federal Register/Vol. 88, No. 184/Monday, September 25, 2023/Notice. In addition DHS has published a notice of Special Student Relief for Afghanistan, effective 11/21/23 through 5/20/25. (88 FR 65721, 9/25/23). Further, DHS will publish a notice of an 18-month extension of Venezuela’s 2021 TPS designation and a separate redesignation of Venezuela for TPS. The notice was published in the FederalRegister on 10/3/23.
>> USCIS issued a clarification that parents and legal guardians residing in the United States, whose children are living outside the United States, may seek consideration for parole for their children under Uniting for Ukraine or the Processes for Cubans, Haitians, Nicaraguans, and Venezuelans. SEE: https://www.aila.org/infonet/uscis-announces-update-for-children-under-uniting?utm_
>> The President has issued a memo to DOS with the presidential determination on refugee admissions for FY2024 with a limit of 125,000 refugees. A noticewill be published in the Federal Register as Presidential Determination 2023-13. Under the previous administration, the number had been cut from 125,000 to 18,000.
>> CBS NEWS reports that the U.S. will restart deportations to Venezuela in effort to reduce record border arrivals SEE: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/u-s-venezuela-deportations-reduce-record-border-arrivals/
>> DOJ and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a joint statement reminding financial institutions that all credit applicants are protected from discrimination on the basis of their national origin, race, and other characteristics regardless of their immigration status.
>> AP published an article detailing the settlement over the Trump family separation policy at the border, including the limitation of future separations for 8 years. SEE: https://apnews.com/article/separated-children-trump-biden-border-immigration-f9a73685d0ddbcda86e5b69997f5f7dd CBS NEWS added some additional details of the settlement. SEE: https://www.cbsnews.com/news/family-separation-lawsuit-settlement-agreement/
LITIGATION:>> Vanity Fair published an article entitled, “Texas Sheriff Hasn’t Forgotten About Ron DeSantis’s “Unlawful” Anti-migrant Stunt” . Read to the very end of the article. It will bring a smile. Go to: https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2023/10/texas-sheriff-hasnt-forgotten-about-ron-desantis-migrant-stunt
NATIONAL NEWS:>> The L A Times published an interesting article explaining what you should know about “public charge” disqualification for a green card. SEE: https://www.latimes.com/california/story/2023-09-17/what-you-need-to-know-about-public-charge.
>> Associated Press Fact Check reported that immigrants pay taxes and housing costs, regardless of status SEE: https://apnews.com/article/fact-check-immigrants-taxes-rent-vaccine-requirements-983035929946
>> ABC News published a news article with a video included “Migrant crisis explained: What’s behind the border surge”. SEE: https://abcnews.go.com/Politics/migrant-crisis-explained-border-surge/story?id=103364219
>> Will Rico sent the following video and comment: I thought this was a fantastic distillation of how politicians and “leaders” who have presented themselves as our allies on immigration have exploited the issue for their own purposes, and are quick to abandon our cause when it’s no longer convenient to their aims. Note: there is a short interlude where Greenwald brings in a guest to discuss another topic, the Google antitrust case. Bill, you might find that interesting given your experience in the tech world. After that segment, he resumes with the issue of Biden building the wall. SEE: https://rumble.com/v3n8lky-live-show-system-update-156.html?start=348
>> CNBC has published an article worth reading. The US Birthrate has dropped precipitously. The article argues that immigration may be the savior of our economic well being. SEE: https://www.cnbc.com/2023/10/12/immigration-reform-could-be-the-answer-to-the-falling-us-birth-rate.html
>> AILA has published a fact sheet explaining Visa Retrogression. See attached below
LOCAL NEWS:>> MIRA REPORTS ON MA TUITION EQUITY ACT. : see attachment
REMINDER:From: Valerie Kistler <email@example.com>Subject: Immigration Task Force Meeting Church Entry Info
Here is the info about church entry for our TF meeting. We will generally be using the library at the church for our meetings room at the church. Enter via the double doors off the parking lot. Val Kistler will be there to let everyone in and direct you to the meeting room. If you arrive late and the doors are locked, call Val’s cell phone (339-225-2283) and she will let you in. If you need to come in via the ramp off of Linden Street, call Val’s cell and she will let you in. Security at the church is much tighter than when we used to meet there. No more propping unattended doors open!
I hope to see you on Monday at our next meeting. For now it will be held in person. Your vote will determine if we revert to Zoom.