Recently in Massachusetts Category

ACTION: Donate to the Student Immigrant Movement

I just received an email from the Student Immigrant Movement (SIM) and I wanted to share it with people and encourage them to donate. Before I share the email, though, I just wanted to provide some context.

If you're reading this and you haven't heard my story, yet, I recently updated it, here. The short of it is that I got connected to the pro-migrant movement by blogging but it was actually the Student Immigrant Movement that taught me how to make real change. Carlos Saavedra, who is now with the National Coordinator of the United We Dream Network, was the one who taught me how to organize.
In his weekly "E-Update" my congressman, Michael Capuano (D-MA-8), voiced his opposition to the Secure Communities program, or S-Comm, after having met with the Massachusetts ACLU:

I met this week with a number of constituents who are affiliated with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU)


We also discussed "Secure Communities." This program, initiated by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), requires fingerprints of every person arrested to be sent by local police departments to the FBI and also shared with ICE. I believe that states and cities should not be compelled to do this if local elected officials and law enforcement authorities object. Federal immigration resources should be devoted to the apprehension and detention of dangerous criminals, terrorists, and human traffickers.
Michael Capuano - E-Update (12 August 2011)
My Congressman is among the most progressive politicians in Congress, and I have yet to see him take an anti-migrant position on a specific issue. It's hard to ask for much more, but I'm going to complain anyway.

Capuano certainly isn't a leader on immigration issues and he frequently uses language to refer to migrants which makes me cringe.
After signing the petition, I got this email from pro-migrant Mass. State Rep. Tim Toomey (D-Cambridge):

Dear Kyle,

Thank you for contacting me in support of the in-state tuition bill. I have been a long-time supporter of this bill and I am proud to be a committed supporter of equal access to higher education for all.

If you're coming to this post through listening to Nightside, tonight, and you want Secure Communities out of Boston, make sure you sign these petitions:

Sign the petition against S-Comm at
Sign the petition against S-Comm at
Jackie Mahendra at is the person who got us the press hit, and I'll be going on with Gloribell Mota the lead organizer of Neighbors United for a Better East Boston, so I'll definitely be reppin' both of them.
There's a lot happening, today, and there's a lot happening.  So much so that I don't feel like I can write about it.

First, with the help of and we will be delivering over 2000 petition signatures, the majority of which are from the Boston area, to Mayor Menino asking him to take the final steps to end S-Comm, now. Please sign both petitions, linked to above, if you haven't done so already. This comes off the heels of Springfield, Massachusetts, the home of the infamous Joe Arpaio, passing a city council resolution against S-Comm. Believe it or not, has been doing some of the best and most consistent reporting on all of this.

Also today will be a hearing on in-state tuition for undocumented youth in Massachusetts. The Student Immigrant Movement has been working hard on this for some time, and they're more organized than I've ever seen them. I hope we can get S-Comm out of Boston so we can start focusing on offense instead of defense. That's all I have time to write, right now, but if you want to follow me throughout the day @kyledeb on twitter is probably the best place to look.
The Boston Globe is really bringing the fire against the federal [In]Secure Communities program (S-Comm). Following Maria Sacchetti's article highlighting the abuses of S-Comm, Adrian Walker came out with a column condemning the program, the editorial board wrote against the program, and now Lawrence Harmon has a piece against the program.

Most surprising to me was the harsh public comments Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis had for John Morton. Davis is really changing his tune on S-Comm and deserves credit for doing so. Harmon quotes Davis saying Morton was "cavalier," and "dismissive." From what I've heard from folks who've interacted with Morton, that seems pretty accurate.
Almost 500 people have signed my petition at asking Mayor Menino to end S-Comm, now, but those signatures are from all over the place. now has over 1,000 local Boston signatures asking Menino to end S-Comm, now.  He's taken some positive steps against it, and hopefully this sort of outcry will push him over the edge.  Let's help get that to 1,250 by next week.

Please sign the petition, now!
Centro Presente has been circulating an open letter to Mayor Menino thanking him for his recent steps criticizing S-Comm but asking him to take the further step of ending the program:
Centro Presente through the National Association of Latin American and Caribbean Communities (NALACC) Somos/We Are Initiative is asking Boston's local NPR Affiliate, WBUR to Drop The I-Word. Here's an email I just received:

Send an email to Dave Shaw WBUR News Editor
or call the newsroom: (617) 353-0770

Dear Mr. Shaw,

My name is __________ I listen to WBUR radio and I support the SOMOS/WE ARE initiative promoted by NALACC and recognize that immigrants of today represent an invaluable asset for the wellbeing and progress of the United States of America.

PLEASE desist in the use of the word "illegal" in your reporting to describe undocumented immigrants, because only things and actions are illegal. Human beings are not. Thank you so much for your attention!

The nativists that make up the editorial board of the Boston Herald have spoken. Predictably, the shock jocks at FM 96.9 Boston Talks and AM 680 WRKO will follow. Surprisingly FOX 25 in Boston was relatively balanced, though I won't be surprised if the quote they got out of Mayor Menino gets blown out of proportion. Of course, Jessica Vaughan and Mark Krikorian of the Center for Immigration Studies have also been out in full force against Menino, but I will not link to them because of their association with and refusal to stand against their founder, white supremacist John Tanton.

I'm sure this pattern gets repeated all across the U.S. on a variety of local issues. Unfortunately for those of us trying to build the pro-migrant movement at the local level these nativists echo chambers have been built up over decades, and it will take some time for us to counter them listener for listener, eyeball for eyeball. In the meantime we just have to be targetted, intentional, and efficient at what we do.

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