>> Our next meeting via Zoom will be held on Monday evening, October 10th at 7:30PM.  A Zoom invitation will be sent during the week of October 3d.

>>       As most of you are aware, the petition to override the Work and Family Mobility (Driver’s License)  Act by placing a referendum on the ballot was approved by the Attorney General.  However the Question 4 explanation  was too late to make it into the Secretary of State’s Information for Voters mailing that was sent to all homes. Go to www.VoteInMa.com  to read what would have been included.  Question 4 will appear on the ballot.
            I suggest that it is imperative that those of us in favor must get out the VOTE YES ON 4.   The opposition is energized and is aware of the issue.  Most of the electorate is not even aware of the Question.  Thanks to Karen Walker for providing the information from MIRA attached below.
            Please don’t sit this one out.  Get involved.

>> I hope you’ll be able to drop by our shared table at the Harvest Fair, at GREEN’S FIELD, on Oct 1st from 12-4.  Note the new location.

>> USCIS published the following warning concerning scams: 

As always, be careful of scams, rumors, and bad advice. Scammers and other bad actors exploit changes to create uncertainty and misinformation in the community. Family members and friends who want to help may not have correct information. You can find more information on scams and legal services on USCIS’ Avoid Scams webpage.

Some common scams to be aware of include:

• Notarios Publicos and unauthorized practitioners of immigration law: In the United States, a notario publico is not authorized to provide you with any legal services related to immigration. Only an attorney or an accredited representative working for a Department of Justice (DOJ)-recognized organization can give you legal advice. For more information about finding legal services, visit our website.
• Misleading Websites: Some websites claim to be affiliated with USCIS and offer step-by-step guidance on completing a USCIS application or petition. Make sure your information is from uscis.gov or is affiliated with uscis.gov. Make sure the website address ends with .gov.
• Payments by Phone or Email: USCIS will never ask you to transfer money to an individual. We do not accept Western Union, MoneyGram, PayPal, or gift cards as payment for immigration fees. In addition, we will never ask you to pay fees to a person on the phone or by email.   

>>  Afghan Adjustment Act (AAA). 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.  

            >> Update on the AAA:  The New York Times reports that although military veterans and other supporters have been lobbying Congress to provide Afghan evacuees with a pathway to permanent legal status in the United States, the measure is unlikely to be included in the spending package this month because of opposition from some Republicans who argue that the evacuees pose security risks. On the contrary, the legislation would require eligible permanent resident applicants to undergo additional vetting to safeguard against any security risks. (Do some Republicans understand what is written in the bill, or that those qualified under the bill, worked for   the US government at great to themselves, while saving countless US lives ?)

>> IMMIGRATION IMPACT reports that Fact Check: Migrants Aren’t the Ones Smuggling Fentanyl Into the United States.  It’s United States citizens, primarily truckers going thru ports of entry.  SEE:  https://immigrationimpact.com/2022/09/07/fact-check-migrants-smuggling-fentanyl-into-united-states/?emci=413dbf7a-8930-ed11-ae83-281878b83d8a&emdi=37736801-da31-ed11-ae83-281878b83d8a&ceid=9900747

>>. Michael Diener sent the following to me:
            I am sending this because I feel so strongly about voting YES on this issue.  
There are now multiple ways to vote — in addition to voting live on election day and early voting in person, there is Vote By Mail. 
            I encourage vote by mail (although some people just like to vote in person). If you have not done this before, the form to request a ballot is here and it’s really simple: https://www.sec.state.ma.us/ele/elepdf/Vote-by-Mail-Paper-Application-2022.pdf .    Drop it off at your town clerk’s office or send it in. In Needham, you can scan and email to teaton@needhamma.gov . I sent in four for our household. You should get the ballot several weeks in advance — vote and be done with it!
            You can request a ballot for a family member who lives at your address, like kids in college or elderly parent. If the student is away, like at Ohio State, you can enter a different ballot address from the registration address in Section 2. The other person will have to sign the ballot themselves if they are able. You can then mail it in, or drop it off at Town Hall.

>>  Needham Diversity Initiative, Human Rights Committee Seek Input in Planning First Multicultural Festival in 2023
The Needham Diversity Initiative (NDI) and Needham Human Rights Committee are planning the first Needham Multicultural Festival in March 2023 and are seeking community feedback. The organizations are asking residents to fill out this 2-minute survey indicating any and all ways in which you and your family identify and whether you are interested in being involved with the event. The groups will reach out with more information and sign-ups for community planning and hosting of this creative and fun-filled event.Take the NDI/HRC Survey https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSe8Puo0uj0fpcorF-WplfLyCfyNciC4WlnYUVTxifmcB7GMUQ/viewform?ct=t(EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_5_18_2021_14_31_COPY_0 1
>> Are you interested in joining Needham Housing Coalition?  Would someone from the Immigration Justice Task Force be interested in joining us?  We are a new group of representatives from Needham service organizations whose constituents would benefit from more housing choice in Needham.  We’d love to have you join us to get your perspective on the housing needs of recent immigrants.  If you are interested, please contact me with your questions and/or thoughts about this effort.  Paula Dickerman (pauladickerman@gmail.com  )

>> Sounds like a good program at the Community Council:
Thursday, September 29 at 10:30 am Needham Community Council, 570 Hillside Ave, Needham   This is a community event for English language learners and native speakers. Join us for friendly conversation while seeing the sights around town. All levels welcome! We will walk at a leisurely pace for 40-60 minutes. 
Questions? Email Julie Tovar  jtovar@needhamcouncil.org or call 781-444-2415. 
RSVP appreciated, but not required.  
 Stay healthy and safe
Gerry Rovner