IMMIGRATION COMMITTEE

Information and updates from our Berkshire Women's Group - Immigration Committee meetings. All are welcome to join us!

The Immigration Committee has been busy these past several months.

1. We hosted a very successful second picnic on October 1st. Our committee and people from the immigrant community came together to meet and have a good time, to share food and get to know one another in a warm and inviting atmosphere.

2.Our committee is partnering with VIM in order to provide rides for people who need to get to appointments. So far we have three volunteers. Please call VIM if you are interested in volunteering. They are in need of drivers.The telephone number is (413)5284014.

3. The Immigration Committee has joined a consortium of eighteen other organizations in the Berkshires in order to assess gaps in services to the immigrant community and find ways to close these gaps.


On July 15 there was a potluck party on a lawn by Prospect Lake. Lots of food, children playing and laughing, adults speaking in two languages, everyone enjoying a summer afternoon.  This happy scene, however had an objective.  A group of serious, purposeful women from the Berkshire Women’s Action Group and several families and individuals from various Central and South American countries deliberately came together to enjoy the dinner and get to know each other. It is truly amazing that a simple activity can unite a group of people who do not share a language or culture but can honestly enjoy each other’s company in a spirit of genuine joy and mutual respect.

This is a description of the first potluck dinner that the Immigration Committee organized for a select group of immigrants recently arrived from neighboring countries.  And what a potluck party it was! 


Local Funding Campaign We are honoring the work of local nonprofits by encouraging our members to contribute as a group. In August, we are celebrating the hard work of the Berkshire Immigrant Center, serving over 900 immigrants and their families each year by direct services, referrals, legal and procedural counseling, and general support free of charge or at below-market cost. If you wish to contribute, please LINK HERE


MASSACHUSETTS SAFE COMMUNITIES ACT

Want to help keep Massachusetts safe for ALL community members? We need your help! Here’s how:

Support safe communities by promoting the Massachusetts Safe Communities Act - click here for more information: FACTSHEET

The Massachusetts’ Safe Communities Act protects the civil rights of everyone living in Massachusetts by making sure our tax dollars are not used to help deport immigrant families or create a Muslim registry.

Please help by signing this petition to The Massachusetts State House, Senate and Governor Charlie Baker:

¡Necesitamos su ayuda!

¿Quiere mantener a Massachusetts seguro para TODOS los miembros de la comunidad? Puede hacerlo así:

Apoye comunidades seguras promoviendo el Massachusetts Safe Communities Act (haga clic aquí para más información: Hoja de Datos).

El Massachusetts Safe Communities Act protege los derechos civiles de todos los que viven en Massachusetts asegurándose que el dinero de nuestros impuestos no se use para ayudar a deportar familias inmigrantes o para crear un registro de personas Musulmanes.

Por favor ayude firmando esta petición a la Cámara de Representantes del estado de Massachusetts, el Senado y el Gobernador Charlie Baker:

  ¡Por favor firme hoy! ¡Sólo toma un Segundo


TRUST POLICY & ORDER

Please find attached a PDF document containing information about content submitted to be added to the agenda for the Annual Town Meeting in May 2017. This document is for Great Barrington, but could be tailored to other towns.

Excerpt from the introductory letter states:
"The undersigned residents and organizations request via this warrant that the subject be added to the agenda at the Annual Town Meeting in May 2017. It is our intention to work together with the Town Manager, Great Barrington Police Department, and Selectboard to finalize a version of this policy that is acceptable to all parties involved regarding cultivating Great Barrington as a safe and inclusive community. We have modified our submission from ACLU, MIRA Coalition and Migente models to customize our request to our community’s strengths and opportunities for clarity, consistent implementation and collaboration."

PDF TRUST POLICY & ORDER


FAMILY PREPAREDNESS PLAN
Plan De Preparacion Familiar

PLEASE NOTE:
These documents (above) should not be considered legal advice and for no reason substitute the assistance of an attorney. The documents were written for California but have some directives that are applicable here in MA. There are concerns among immigration attorneys related to the pros and cons of having signed caregiver's affidavits in deportation cases.

The Berkshire Immigrant Center is advising people to have a contractual relationship with an immigration attorney to get the best advice they can for the very specific concerns and circumstances of each and every family.


Read the MIRA Coalition's PRESS STATEMENT on the Administration's new Executive Order (3/6/17)

 
 

Support Safe Communities! Register HERE for Immigrants' Day at the State House!



MULTICULTURAL BRIDGE | Lee, MA
Mission: We promote mutual understanding and acceptance among diverse groups serving as a resource to both local institutions and the community at large. We serve as catalysts for change through collaboration, education, training, dialogue, fellowship and advocacy." Services include: Cultural Literacy and Cultural Competence Training, consulting & facilitation. Youth Leadership and Multicultural Education. Parent Education. Civil Rights & Social Justice Forums & Conferences. Advocacy of diverse groups.


In Trump's America, Local Immigrants Need Safety Plans and Attorneys
(Berkshire Eagle) - Know your rights. Have a safety plan in place. Consult with an immigration attorney. The Berkshire Immigrant Center is advising clients to take these steps in the wake of the Trump administration's recently issued policies and executive orders regarding immigration. And the Massachusetts Immigration and Refugee Advocacy Coalition is also advising immigrants to consult with an immigration attorney. The arrest of a Mexican-born Great Barrington resident by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and ICE activity in Hudson, N.Y. earlier in February has fueled worry in the immigrant community, said Brooke Mead, program coordinator of the Berkshire Immigrant Center. "People [were] wondering, basically, if ICE was driving around and picking people up," she said. "People are terrified. They're preparing for the worst."