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immigration

TLC #45: Baker wants to “empower” the heat to play nice with ICE

Immigration Detainers

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’s proposed legislation that would ratchet the mechanisms of deportation up a gear or two.

Nationwide, local law enforcement is pushing back against pressure to perform the work of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, often disregarding immigration detainers; photo by Department of Homeland Security; public domain; via Wikimedia Commons</span></a>
Nationwide, local law enforcement is pushing back against pressure to perform the work of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, often disregarding immigration detainers; photo by Department of Homeland Security; public domain; via Wikimedia Commons

Berkshire Immigrant Center

Brooke Meade, director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center; photo courtesy Avi Dresner/WellTalk Radio.
Brooke Meade, director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center; photo courtesy Avi Dresner/WellTalk Radio.

(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.

 

Additional resources:

Slate’s very good article on the subject.
Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition
UNIDOS

ACLU of Massachusetts

Laura Rotolo, Staff Council ACLU; photo courtesy ACLUM
Laura Rótolo, Staff Council ACLU; photo courtesy ACLUM

(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:

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.
Free

Adult deer tick,; photo by Photo by Scott Bauer. (Public domain), via Wikimedia CommonsAdult deer tick,; photo by Scott Bauer. [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons
(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.

Map of the range of the Deer Tick (Ixodes scapularis); image public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Map of the range of the Deer Tick (Ixodes scapularis); image public domain via Wikimedia Commons.

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.

“Wherefore, Egypt?” — Microfiction

by Jason Velázquez

“¿Mamá?” Esperanza’s question reverberates musically in the back of the Econoline, “¿Will I get to meet my papá?”

Dolores strokes the 11-year-old’s hair with one hand as the other glides reflexively to where, under her oil-stained work shirt, a circular pattern of raised, and occasionally sensitive, skin is a lighter color than the surrounding flesh.

Esperanza’s features are so fine, her frame so delicate and unlike her own, Dolores considers, that she might actually be able to identify the father. He will certainly introduce himself to Esperanza. The barest hint of curve, disguising the bony angles of fifth grade, will not escape their notice. ¿How long—weeks? Maybe just days after the pair is deposited in a town she hasn’t seen since she was still Lolita.

“Yes, bebé,” Dolores quietly decides as the van sails through the darkness. “You are going to meet your papá,” she reassures the figure cradled in her lap that is so graceful, even now, in its stillness.

Will Call #17 — Sonia Nazario On “Enrique’s Journey”

Sonia Nazario, author of "Enrique's Journey," will speak at William's College November 30.
Sonia Nazario, author of "Enrique's Journey," will speak at William's College November 30.

Pulitzer Prize-winning author continues to shine a bright light on an expanding crisis.

Sonia Nazario, author of "Enrique's Journey," will speak at William's College November 30.
Sonia Nazario, author of “Enrique’s Journey,” will speak at William’s College November 30.

Enrique’s Journey recounts the unforgettable quest of a Honduran boy looking for his mother, eleven years after she is forced to leave her starving family to find work in the United States. Braving unimaginable peril, often clinging to the sides and tops of freight trains, Enrique travels through hostile worlds full of thugs, bandits, and corrupt cops.

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