ABBREVIATIONS:  From time to time I receive requests to explain an abbreviation that appears in From the Chair. You will find a list of the abbreviations on our website, info@immigrationneedham.org.  If you have a question about any other abbreviation let me know.

 Our next meeting will be held on February  8 , 2021 at 7:30pm.  Please email me any item you wish to have added to the agenda.


 On January 12th, POLITICO reported that Vice President-Elect Kamala Harris told Univision’s Ilia Calderón that the incoming administration will focus on decreasing wait times to obtain citizenship, granting green cards to immigrants protected by TPS and DACA, and adding immigration judges to decrease backlogs in immigration court. Harris teased a sweeping immigration reform bill that her and President-Elect Joe Biden’s administration plans to introduce.  SEE:    https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/12/kamala-harris-immigration-green-cards-daca-citizenship-458455?utm_
A comprehensive immigration bill will be sent to the Congress within the next few days, presumably on January 29.  Once I receive more information I will send it along.


Politico features an article about a recently released January 14 Report by the DOJ Office of Inspector General that found that then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions and top DOJ officials moved forward with a “zero tolerance” immigration policy in 2018, aware that it would forcibly split up families, and were unprepared for the impact. Sessions’s office was a “driving force” in pushing DHS to begin referring adults who entered the United States without authorization with children to be prosecuted by DOJ.  For the story SEE:  https://www.politico.com/news/2021/01/14/sessions-family-separation-policy-459423?utm .    For the OIG Report See:  https://oig.justice.gov/reports/review-department-justices-planning-and-implementation-its-zero-tolerance-policy-and-its
Customs and Border Protection published a Report on the status of construction of  “The Wall” as of December 18, 2020  ( www://cdn.factcheck.org/UploadedFiles/CBP-Border-Wall-Status-Paper_as-of-12182020_FINAL.pdf ) Of the 452 miles of border wall that have been constructed only a fraction is of the 1,954 miles of U.S.-Mexico border. And only a small portion of the 452 miles — about 40 miles is new.


Bloomberg Law reports that President-Elect Biden’s efforts to reverse President Trump’s immigration executive actions may not be as simple as issuing a contrary edict, as court rulings show that the government should consider both the scope of authority as well as underlying reasons for actions taken. As Trump learned when he tried and failed to rescind the DACA program, Biden will need to address the rationales behind policies like the travel and visa bans in order to undo them. President Trump has invoked INA §212(f), which gives the White House broad authority to suspend immigration programs if the president deems it necessary. AILA Director of Government Relations Sharvari Dalal-Dheini noted, “We haven’t really tested it in both directions, but I would think if the president has the broad discretion to enact things then he should have the authority to rescind it.  SEE:  https://news.bloomberglaw.com/daily-labor-report/trumps-executive-orders-on-immigration-could-be-tough-to-undo?utm_

 NPR reported on January 13th that the U.S. Census Bureau has halted all work on President Trump’s directive to produce a state-by-state count of unauthorized immigrants, which the president planned to use to alter a key set of census numbers that will be used to reallocate each state’s share of congressional seats and Electoral College votes for the next decade. Three lower courts found the president’s memo unlawful, unconstitutional, or both before the Supreme Court ruled in December that it was too early for any court to weigh in because the case is “riddled with contingencies and speculation.”  SEE:  https://www.npr.org/2021/01/13/956352495/census-bureau-stops-work-on-trumps-request-for-unauthorized-immigrant-count?utm

LOCAL NEWS:>>MIRAsent the following letter to me.  Go to https://mailchi.mp/miracoalition/what-happened-last-week-at-the-capitol-3239862?e=f201471685 for the letter.
>>MISN’sJanuary newsletter can be found at https://mailchi.mp/1f95a5e4cc93/misn-january-newsletter?e=8316703924

>>Saturday, Jan 23 Seminar  2:00 – 3:30 PM. Wage Theft in Massachusetts and the Failure of the State to Effectively Enforce Its Wage and Hour Laws,Bill Okerman, Workers’ Rights and Immigrants’ Rights Activist will be among the presenters. In his presentation, Massachusetts-based workers’ rights and immigrants’ rights activist Bill Okerman will discuss the serious problem of wage theft in Massachusetts and tell the story behind how the state has long been failing to effectively enforce its wage and hour laws. The presentation will include a discussion of Proposition 22—the California ballot initiative overwhelmingly approved on November 3 that allows app-based transportation and delivery companies, such as Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Instacart, and Postmates, to classify their drivers as “independent contractors,” instead of “employees,” and, thereby, exempts these “gig economy” companies from providing their drivers employee benefits—and its implications for the battle over the classification of “gig” workers that is already underway in Massachusetts. Bill Okerman is a member of the Needham Area Immigration Justice Task Force—and the point person for the Task Force’s wage theft initiative—and a community ally of and advisor to the Boston Independent Drivers Guild.Join Zoom Meeting  https://us02web.zoom.us/j/88114398027Meeting ID: 881 1439 8027

Stay safe
Gerry Rovner