On Tuesday May 4th, immigrants, refugees, and their supporters virtually descended on the Massachusetts State House for “Immigrants’ Day.” The event was hosted by the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy (MIRA) Coalition. The event began with a speaking portion, featuring Boston Mayor Kim Janey, Senator William Brownsberger, and Representative Ruth Balser, as well as Gabriel Camacho of the United Food and Commercial Workers Union Local 1445 and Dalida Rocha, Political Director, Service Employees International Union Local 615.
After the speaking portion of the program, participants were sent to regional breakout rooms to talk with their legislators about why supporting immigrants through legislation matters to them. Gladys Ortiz, Bilingual Court Advocacy Manager and Outreach Specialist for REACH co-facilitated the Central and Metrowest regional group.
Immigrants’ Day was attended by 350 people. Two participants from Latinas Know Your Rights spoke powerfully about their experiences.
REACH is focused on supporting the following two bills that would vastly impact immigrant survivors:
The Safe Communities Act, sponsored by Reps. Ruth Balser and Liz Miranda (HD.1165) and Sen. Jamie Eldridge (SD.532). The COVID-19 crisis has underscored the impact of decades of state and local involvement in deportations—undermining testing, treatment and contract tracing efforts in immigrant communities and impeding access to court and police protection. The Safe Communities Act would restore confidence in local institutions by ending the use of our public safety resources for federal immigration enforcement.
The Work and Family Mobility Act, sponsored by Reps. Tricia Farley-Bouvier and Christine Barber (HD.448) and Sens. Brendan Crighton and Adam Gomez (SD.273), would extend eligibility for Massachusetts standard driver’s licenses to all qualified state residents, regardless of immigration status. This bill ensures that all drivers are trained, licensed and insured, and removes unlicensed driving as a key entry point to the deportation pipeline. Sixteen other REAL ID-compliant states, plus Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, already issue licenses to all qualified residents.
What you can do to help:
While REACH staff continue to advocate for these important issues, your voice truly matters. Please visit the links below to learn about what you can do to help pass this legislation.
Pass the Safe Communities Act Letter : https://actionnetwork.org/letters/pass-the-safe-communities-act
Join the Fight for Safe Communities Act: https://miracoalition.org/get-involved/join-the-fight-for-safe-communities/
Email Governor Charlie Baker, your State Representative, and Senator now and ask them to support Driver’s License Bill: Work and Family Mobility Act: https://actionnetwork.org/letters/dff-letter?clear_id=true