The bland phrase conjures up little emotion for people with no reason to believe that they, or loved ones, risk deportation due to immigration status. To countless families in the United States, however, the two words, “immigration detainers,” (also known as “ICE Holds”), plug in to a nightmare of vulnerability that tears at families and communities. We speak with Brooke Mead of the Berkshire Immigrant Center and Laura Rótolo of the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts about Governor Baker’sproposed legislation that would ratchet the mechanisms of deportation up a gear or two.
Berkshire Immigrant Center
(from BIC website)
Director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center, Brooke Mead, was formerly a high school Spanish teacher and holds her Masters degree in Spanish from Middlebury College. She has lived in Venezuela and Mexico and, having been an immigrant herself, brings with her the cultural understanding and sensitivity necessary to work with the immigrant and refugee population.
The mission of the Berkshire Immigrant Center is to assist individuals and families in making the economic, psychological and cultural adjustment to a new land, not only by meeting basic needs, but also by helping them to become active participants in our community. The Center also aims to build bridges of understanding and cooperation across cultures, to fight racism and discrimination in all forms, and to advocate for the rights of immigrants from all backgrounds.
The Center offers comprehensive services for individuals from more than 80 countries to promote civic engagement, facilitate cultural integration, and assist in navigating the complex U.S. immigration system.
Slate’s very good article on the subject.
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
ACLU of Massachusetts
(from ACLUM website)
Laura Rótolo is staff counsel and community advocate at the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts where she focuses on issues relating to immigrants.
She joined the ACLU of Massachusetts in 2007, first as a human rights fellow studying immigration detention conditions. Currently, Laura works to create policies that safeguard fundamental rights, as well as challenge policies that do not. As a Latina and an immigrant from Argentina, she advocates within Latino immigrant communities in Massachusetts.
Laura is a graduate of Tufts University, the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, and American University’s Washington College of Law.
The ACLU of Massachusetts, this week, released the following statement concerning Governor Charlie Baker’s proposed legislation to “empower” local law enforcement to cooperate with federal immigration authorities via immigration detainers:
Governor Baker’s proposed legislation in response to last week’s groundbreaking ruling by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial court on ICE detainers is constitutionally suspect because it attempts to authorize state and local law enforcement to detain people without due process. Last week’s Lunn decision by the Court was a major victory for the residents of Massachusetts against the Trump deportation machine. Why Governor Baker would attempt to aid President Trump is unsettling – as both a legal and political matter.
For nearly 100 years, the American Civil Liberties Union has worked daily in the courts, in the legislature, and in communities to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the Constitution, Bill Rights and laws of the United States.
The ACLU of Massachusetts—a private, nonpartisan organization with more than 72,000 supporters across the Commonwealth and over 100,000 online activists—is a state affiliate of the national ACLU. We defend the principles enshrined in the Massachusetts Declaration of Rights as well as the U.S. Constitution and Bill of Rights.
Laura tweets at @LauraRotolo.
Inside the Lyme Epidemic
The Top Left Corner welcomes Kenneth Mercure back on the program, this time to discuss Lyme disease and his upcoming public education event:
(from Lyme Alliance of the Berkshires website)Lyme disease is at epidemic levels in Berkshire County! What should be an easily treated and manageable infection is being left to become a serious and evening life-threatening public health crisis. Lyme disease is under-reported, often misdiagnosed as something else and frequently suggested to be “all in your head”. There is a great disparity between the reality and seriousness of tick-borne infections and what is being touted as the ultimate truth about Lyme and its related diseases.However, there is work being done to help bridge this gap. The Lyme Alliance of the Berkshires, a Pittsfield based organization started in 2011, tirelessly works to help educate the public and to help provide support for individuals who are currently suffering with tick-borne disease. As part of this work we routinely invite speakers and host educational events to help make the public more aware of this issue.
Inside the Lyme Epidemic: Past, Present and Future with Pamela Weintraub
Saturday, August 12th, 2017; 1:30 p.m. – 4:30 p.m.
Berkshire Athenaeum, Auditorium, 1 Wendell Avenue, Pittsfield, Mass.
Nearly a decade after her beloved book was originally published, author Pamela Weintraub will tell her story and discuss what has changed in the world of Lyme since 2008 and what still needs to be done to help end the Lyme epidemic. Pamela will speak and then will interact with attendees and answer questions. We will have a door prize raffle as part of this event and refreshments will be available. As always our event will be taking placing in the ground floor auditorium of the Berkshire Athenaeum on 1 Wendell Avenue in Pittsfield, Mass.