Local Refugee Agencies Scramble To Welcome A Surge Of Newcomers This Fall (WGBH) – With years of decreased numbers of refugees from more than 2,400 five years ago to less than 700 in 2019, services committed to helping resettle in Massachusetts after persecution and escaping war are now anticipating a tide of newcomers this year. After President Joe Biden raised the limit of refugees that could come into the United States to 62,500 from a previous 15,000 a year, local organizations say they need to expand their functioning to meet the high numbers of people expected this summer and fall.
Due to the cost of living and housing increasing, institutions are facing pressure to build back their resources and connections to make sure refugees can fully resettle as well as raise money to get back on their feet even with the given federal funds.
Budget Provision Sets Standard On Visa Document (CommonWealth Magazine) – Governor Charlie Baker has signed a budget creating standards for immigrant survivors of domestic violence and human trafficking who are seeking paperwork for visas. This requires local law offices to help immigrants with documentation, creating a way for immigrants to legally work in the US, achieve citizenship, and avoid deportation.
As a part of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act, the U and T visas were created to help victims come forward to report the crimes. This new change could provide more clarity, creating space for them to realize and acknowledge their rights.
High Court Ruling Gives Immigrants Facing Deportation Hope (U.S. News) – In accordance with the recent Supreme Court ruling, Niz-Chavez vs. Garland, immigrants have been given hope in having their deportation cancelled due to the deprivation of court proceeding notices. Many can now have their immigration cases reconsidered.
Immigration supporters have protested the workings of the deportation notification process. According to Jeremy McKinney, a president-elect of the American Immigration Lawyers’ Association, the court has had to be reminded several times over the years to notify a person and tell them where to appear. Although it could be months before we can see the impact of this decision, it gives light to the tons of cases that were undeservingly disregarded.
Lawmakers have long considered driver’s licenses for undocumented immigrants. Will this be the year the bill passes? (Boston Globe) – Approximately 100 lawmakers have signed bills in support of giving undocumented immigrants the ability to acquire a driver’s license. As a result, Massachusetts would be the 17th state to grant driving privileges, not only improving road safety, but also providing an official form of identification along with being able to drive legally.
The bills would prevent the Registry of Motor Vehicles from asking a license applicant about their immigration status. Around 43,000 to 78,000 undocumented people would get licensed within the three years since the law’s passing. According to Representative Christine P. Barber, a Somerville Democrat who introduced it in the House, 2021 would be the most momentous year yet, having more support from the Legislature than they have ever had.