Immigration Forum: Notes and Action Steps

RISE Immigration Forum
February 16 2017
Action Ideas and Notes

Listen to the Audio Recording:
Introduction begin around 2:30, Panelists Around 5:30


Marisol Negron – Moderator, U Mass Boston
Patricia Montes- Centro Presente
Sarang Sekhavat – MIRA
Mohamad Al Bardan- Syrian Community Member
Lisa Garrone -ABCD Roslindale ESOL program
Alejandro Rodriguez- Community member and Entrepreneur

Take Action

RISE will be putting together an immigration working group so that we can continue the work we started at the Forum and engaging people who attended. Contact Jeff Juris for info.  

  • The Safe Communities Act has been introduced at the statehouse. We need to call the governor and ask him to support this. Also call Tom Delio, speaker of the house. Call our own reps and thank them for their support. Call all these people A LOT and show up at the statehouse for rallies.  Read more here:
  • There is an initiative to provide funding so people can have attorneys in their immigration court cases. The chance of success goes up 1000% if you have an attorney!
  • There are several Know Your Rights trainings coming up (links below)
  • We need to fund our local groups (MIRA, Centro Presente, ABCD, Cochesa), in addition to the big ones like the ACLU
  • All the “old” issues are still here – environmental racism, economic inequality, failing schools, etc. We each need to show up where we can make an impact, and work in coalition. It’s all interconnected.
  • Shop locally! Many local stores are owned by immigrants
  • April 4 or 6 will be Immigrant Day at the statehouse
  • MAY DAY is coming up, this is the traditional international labor and immigrant rights day
  • Audience suggestions (RISE is volunteer driven—jump in to make these happen! contact Sarah
    • social media campaign
    • letter writing party
    • civil disobedience training
  • Call the Chancellor of U Mass Boston (Keith Motley) and tell him that you support U Mass Boston becoming a Sanctuary Campus. This is our city’s school, we all have a voice there. General number is 617.287.5000.
  • There is a new scholarship at U Mass Boston for immigrants, especially those who are undocumented. Spread the word.
  • And… Be sure to rest and rejuvenate ourselves, so we can sustain our work!

From the MIRA Website: Take action to protect immigrant rights!

A Few Notes from the Forum

  • Sarang mentioned three approaches at the outset. We need to
    • Educate
    • Prepare
    • Organize
  • And SUSTAIN all of this.
  • Most people want comprehensive immigration reform that would benefit immigrants. But this is a low priority for most people.
  • By contrast, for people who are opposed to immigration, immigration is a high priority.
  • We need to RAISE the priority of this issue for those of us who support immigrants and their families and communities
  • Long term movements know how to do “intersectionality” well
  • Coalition building is uncomfortable! Go home to feel comfortable. If our organizing is comfortable, we’re not doing it right.
  • Immigrants speak for themselves; others should speak with and not for them
  • There is a lot of uncertainty around people with Temporary Protected Status. Patricia’s advice was to find local groups and be prepared
  • How to prepare for raids? How to deal with false rumors? We are still working these things out together
  • Sarang reminded us that it is illegal to cut off federal funding to cities or states based on sanctuary status. This is a bully tactic that has worked in some cases like Miami. Chelsea and Lawrence have already sued about this. Boston may join if the federal government actually attempts to cut funding. We must stand up to bullies!
  • Patricia: Understand the polices the US and US corporations have imposed on places like Central America. Read, learn, and visit these places. This is what drives immigration.
  • Mohammed: There is a great opportunity to see more collaboration among Muslum and Latino/a communities. This is very promising.

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