>> URGENT NEED:  I received a request from a husband and wife, both 35 years old,  who are from Ukraine.  They are living in Needham with an American family, but are seeking help finding housing.  Can someone volunteer to contact soloveimav@gmail.com  to learn the facts as to what status and when they entered the US; if they contacted any agency, like IINE; whether either the husband or wife are employed; what their training was back in Ukraine; what their exact needs are, etc.  She indicated they contacted an “ex-pat center in Boston for food stamps and English lessons”; do they need job training?  Then we might be able to refer them to Catholic Charities, MIRA, or IINE for specific help, or Jewish Vocational Services for job training.  Make it clear that we do not have the resources to find them housing.  Maybe one of you has a contact that would be willing to provide an apartment, once we find out the facts. Please contact me if you would be willing to contact the family.

>> Our next meeting will be held via Zoom on September 12 at 7:30.  As you can see from this email, we have a lot to discuss.  One item will be to decide of we wish to meet in person or continue virtual meetings.

>> DUES:  For our Task Force to be able to function, we require volunteers and funding.  We do not require dues, but ask for voluntary contributions of $30.00 (or more if you are able).  We are a 501C3 charity, so your contributions are tax deductible.  Your funds are used to help fund initiatives like food assistance for undocumented families; programs serving immigrants and undocumented families run by the International Institute of New England and other like programs.  Some funds will be used to pay for the website so you are able to receive this newsletter and fund printing costs for brochures used at events like the Harvest Fair or speakers’ programs, or to pay for post cards used to contact members of committees of Congress that deal with immigration related matters. Given the climate concerning immigrants, your support is needed more than ever.  We cannot survive without your active participation and donation.  Please send your donation made payable to the Needham Area Immigration Justice Task Force, to Bill Okerman, Treasurer, 100 Meeting House Circle, Needham, MA 02492.  If you prefer to pay via electronics, go to our web site and click on the “donate” button (https://www.immigrationneedham.org/donate/   ). Thank you in advance for your support.

>> Volunteers needed:  The Task Force has been invited to join the Needham Diversity Initiative at it’s table, Voices in Unity, on October 2d from 11:00-3:00 at the Harvest Fair at Greene’s Field.  If you would like to head up a committee to represent the Task Force, (and schedule volunteers) or would be willing to be at the table for an hour or two, please let me know asap.  I must rsvp by Sept 12.

>> As many of you are aware, the Legislature overrode the governor’s veto of the the Work and Family Mobility Act (driver’s license for residents of MA, regardless of immigration status). It is believed the Republicans have obtained sufficient signatures to attempt to void the legislation via a November ballot initiative.  Thus I am certain we will be involved in informational picketing in various locations around our area,  to defeat the repeal of the law.  Now might be a good time to familiarize yourself with the details of the legislation to counter the erroneous statements made by the opposition.  Stay tuned.

>> According to an article in Politico,  (SEE: https://www.politico.com/news/2022/07/06/appeals-court-daca-legality-00044275?nname=politico-nightly&nid=00000170-c000-da87-af78-e185fa700000&nrid=0000015f-1079-d343-abdf-127d3a1e0000&nlid=2670445 ) on July 6th, a 3 judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the  Fifth Circuit appeared unconvinced by DOJ’s arguments defending the legality of the DACA program during a hearing in New Orleans. The three-judge panel is hearing appeals by the Biden administration, certain states, and individual DACA recipients to U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen’s July 16, 2021, ruling that DACA is unlawful.
A ruling on the case is expected in the coming months, with the losing side likely to seek further review by the full bench of the Fifth Circuit and eventually at the Supreme Court.

            >>Debunking another myth: The American Immigration Council has published an informative article on Aug 4th that should put to rest the myth that current immigrants are different from the Europeans of the last century.   See: https://immigrationimpact.com/2022/08/04/debunking-major-myths-about-immigrants-socioeconomic-status-in-the-us/?emci=4ca0b8e9-ed14-ed11-bd6e-281878b83d8a&emdi=a3684f37-5916-ed11-bd6e-281878b83d8a&ceid=9900747

            >> Not good news:   Gallup Poll reports that unfavorable attitudes about immigrants is rising:
·      Americans are sharply divided over the direction U.S. immigration should take.
·      The 38% wanting it decreased is up from low of 28% in 2020
·      About two-thirds of Republicans vs. 17% of Democrats want less immigration
 (SEE: https://news.gallup.com/poll/395882/immigration-views-remain-mixed-highly-partisan.aspx )  At the end of the article are several other stories that may be of interest to you.

            >> In a lengthy report, The Atlantic reports on the history of the United States’ policy of separating children from their families as they crossed the U.S.-Mexico border. The records analyzed for the article show that as officials were developing the policy that would ultimately tear thousands of families apart, they publicly minimized its implications to obscure what they were doing. (SEE:  https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2022/09/trump-administration-family-separation-policy-immigration/670604/?utm_  )

>>   How many times have you been asked how we can fix immigration?  This article will give some perspective on one issue and is worth a read.  “Loss of 1.7 Million Immigrants Fuels U.S. Labor Shortages and Inflation”  Ethnic Media Services discusses backlogs and delays in the immigration process, quoting AILA’s Greg Chen, “As of today we have about 1.6 million cases that are waiting to be heard, (each one) typically takes four to six years now,” Chen said. “Many businesses can’t wait to be operational.”   SEE: https://ethnicmediaservices.org/economy/loss-of-immigrants-fuels-labor-shortages-and-inflation/?utm_source=Recent%20Postings%20Alert&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=RP%20Daily
>> Another article dealing with delays in processing, published by Forbes entitled, “ USCIS Trying To Speed Up While Immigrant Cases Remain Bogged Down”,
 can be found at https://www.forbes.com/sites/andyjsemotiuk/2022/08/31/uscis-trying-to-speed-up-while-immigrant-cases-remain-bogged-down/?sh=6864ca1e359b

>> Think Immigration: New Documentary Exposes the Realities of Life in Afghanistan for Women
Inspired by a new documentary about the issue, AILA member Mona Shah and co-authors Sarah Salarano and Shaun Chaudhry describe the terrible situation facing women and girls in Afghanistan and urge all of us to become informed and to take action.

 >> YOUR ACTION NEEDED:  The frenzied overthrow of the Afghan government one year ago and rapid withdrawal of U.S. forces just two weeks later led to tens of thousands of Afghans, many of whom risked their lives in direct support of the U.S. mission in Afghanistan, to enter the United States via humanitarian parole. While this temporary protection is welcome, it is only a partial solution for our Afghan allies as it does not provide a pathway to permanent resident status, as would have existed if they entered with a Special Immigrant Visa (SIV) or as refugees through the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program (USRAP). Further, many of our Afghan allies still remain outside the U.S., either in temporary third country havens or in hiding in Afghanistan.  The Afghan Adjustment Act (“AAA”), H.R.8685/S.4787, is bipartisan, bicameral legislation that ensures Afghans who have fled from Afghanistan may apply for permanent resident status. Eligible applicants will undergo additional vetting identical to that conducted through the USRAP and will be allowed to remain and work in the U.S. until their applications are adjudicated.  The AAA also expands SIV eligibility to certain Afghan military who worked alongside U.S. forces and requires the U.S. government to create and implement a strategy for relocating those Afghan allies who remain abroad. Congress has passed similar protections following both the U.S. withdrawal from Vietnam and U.S. military actions in Iraq and the AAA  would be an important step toward fulfilling the promises made to our Afghan allies and partners.  TAKE ACTION TODAY: Urge Congress to act now to pass the AAA by emailing your legislators today! Advocates are encouraged to customize the email to make it more personal.  

>> International Institute:
                    Volunteer drivers needed – IINE-Boston seeks volunteer drivers willing to accompany our clients to medical appointments and government offices in the Greater Boston area. If interested, please contact Leslie at lschick@iine.org

                        Food Pantry – IINE-Boston seeks volunteers to help pack and deliver donated food to immigrant families in-need residing in the Greater Boston area.  If  interested in participating, please reach out to Jessica@iine.org

                        In Kind – Diapers (all sizes), menstrual pads, hygiene supplies for men and women (soap, shampoo, deodorant, toothpaste), paper goods (paper towels and toilet paper), and laundry detergent, reach out to Jessica@iine.org

Enjoy the weekend and please stay safe,
Gerry Rovner