>> As many of you are aware, MIRA provides a wealth of information about the latest news effecting the immigrant community.  If you are interested, contact MIRACoalition.org and ask to be placed on their free newsletter.
>> I have received a request to increase the font in the newsletter.  Please let me know what you think of the font in this issue.

>>. The American Immigration Council published an informative short article on June 23, 2023, entitled,  “The Economic Impact of Refugees in America.  Be sure to note the subcategories at the top of the page for a more detailed exposition of facts in detail.  “GO TO: https://www.americanimmigrationcouncil.org/research/economic-impact-refugees-america?emci=2296eeeb-c116-ee11-a9bb-00224832eb73&emdi=85608192-e018-ee11-a9bb-00224832eb73&ceid=990074

 >> The Hill reports that a coalition of business leaders is stepping up pressure on the Biden Administration to use all means at its disposal to issue more work visas as labor shortages threaten to cripple a variety of industries. In a letter to President Biden, 126 business leaders and employers called for him to “expand a special category of immigration permits for individuals who can fill positions where labor shortages exist.”  SEE:  https://thehill.com/latino/4071814-business-leaders-plea-with-biden-for-work-visas-to-help-with-unfilled-jobs/?utm_

>>  This Week, a Florida publication, published an article entitled,  ‘”Florida construction and agricultural workforces diminished after new immigration law takes effect.”  Go to the article:https://theweek.com/florida/1024771/florida-construction-and-agricultural-workforces-diminished-after-new-immigration. In a follow up the AIC reports that Florida’s agriculture and construction industries have already begun to suffer the consequences of Governor Ron DeSantis’ new immigration law that went into effect July 1. Among other provisions, the law imposes harsher penalties for undocumented workers and employers who hire them.  According to local employers, the effect of the law was immediate. Some construction companies report that their staff shrunk as much as 50% in the days since Florida implemented the law.  Florida’s economy—and the U.S. economy at large—depends on immigrants. {This reminds me of about 2011, when Gov. Brewer of Arizona decided to “crack down” on undocumented foreign nationals.  The farm workers left Arizona in droves, leaving the farmers with few to pick the crops.  Crops rotted.The farmers begged the governor to rescind her policy, which she eventually did, quietly and without the hoopla when she enacted the program. I Do you wonder if Gov DeSantis ever reads history}

>> Marketplace reports the Bureau of Labor Statistics released data stating that the share of foreign-born employees in the U.S. workforce grew from 17.4% in 2021 to about 18% last year. The immigrant workforce is getting back to pre-pandemic levels, helping to make up for a shortage of native-born workers

>> REASON, a libertarian publication,  published an article about another issue with DACA:  recipients aging-out once they turn 21,They’re Here Legally, but Face Self-Deportation When They Turn 21. When Will Congress Act?”  For the full story go to: https://reason.com/2023/07/12/theyre-here-legally-but-face-self-deportation-when-they-turn-21-when-will-congress-act/[Maybe it is time we all wrote postcards and letters, as well as calling the offices of the Chairs of the House and Senate Judiciary Committees noting our feelings.]

>> FROM MIRA:  July 4th isn’t only a day for fireworks, parades, and barbeques – it is also one of the biggest days of the year for naturalization ceremonies, where new US citizens get sworn in. Between June 30 and July 7th, the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services estimates that 5,000 new citizens will be naturalized. In Boston alone, 263 new citizens took the Oath of Allegiance on July 3rd. Becoming a US Citizen has several benefits, including the ability to vote and participate more fully in civic life, reuniting with more family members, the freedom to travel more easily, and true protection from deportation. However, the process isn’t easy. The application costs $725, although there is a waiver for some and a reduced fee for others. Applicants have to pass an English test, which includes both speaking and writing. And the application itself is a long, complicated, 20 page form. There may be incredible benefits to citizenship, but it is not an easy path.

MIRA is proud to run a free citizenship program, through which we submit over 300 applications per year. We run this program in partnership with member organizations and community based organizations in order to offer citizenship application services throughout greater Boston and beyond. The majority of the clients MIRA’s program serves are low-income, and we are able to assist them in securing a fee waiver. We also provide applicants with resources and guidance throughout the complicated application process. 

>>. On June 27th, WBUR aired a program entitled, “New report finds Boston immigration court makes seeking asylum harder”. GO TO: file:///Users/gerryapple/Desktop/New%20report%20finds%20Boston%20immigration%20court%20makes%20seeking%20asylum%20harder%20%7C%20WBUR%20News.html

>> Our friends at CASA have sent the following:  

1.  Engagement Opportunities for Faith-Based Organizations and Community-Based Organizations

  • Massachusetts, along with many states across the nation, has seen an increase in migrant families arriving in need of supports, particularly those fleeing violence and instability in their home countries.
  • Migrant families arrive in the Commonwealth with a range of needs, including access to food, basic necessities, and immediate shelter.
  • Some families without safe, alternative housing present to local hospitals in search of a place to sleep until they can apply for family shelter through the Executive Office of Housing and Livable Communities (EOHLC).
  • There is an immediate need to support newly-arrived families particularly over weekends in order to reduce hospital boarding, especially at Boston Medical and other Boston-area hospitals.
  • Faith-based organizations and community-based organizations can play a role in supporting
    families in immediate need while the administration continues to build additional solutions.
    These include providing:
    o Temporary, safe shelter particularly over weekends for newly-arrived families with
    children experiencing homelessness.
    o Meals
    o Basic necessities (diapers, wipes, hygiene products, etc)
    o Transportation, including to EOHLC offices to apply for shelter
  • Please email MargeRoberson@gmail.com if you are interested/able to help with this pressing need.

2.  Are you able to provide needed transportation for families and individuals? A renewed request — Many families are arriving in the metrowest area and they need transportation to a variety of appointments, court dates, biometric appointments, etc. Many of you were able to provide this before the COVID epidemic closed so much down. If you are able to provide transportation again, please contact casa@mwc-casa.org  Thank you to those of you who have continued to provide transportation. We are trying to compile a complete list of willing drivers. NOTE: Saying you are willing means you will receive an email when a need arises. You are not under any obligation to provide transportation. But, you will receive asks when they arise.

In this heat, please stay safe
Gerry Rovner