Overcoming the wall of bureaucracy

As we closely monitor Hurricane Florence, we hope all stay safe and out of harms way. Locally, we send our good wishes to our neighbors in Merrimack Valley who are displaced by last night’s multiple gas explosions. We need to lean on each other and help out as we can – especially in times of trouble.

This week at our Center, we are dealing with the consequences of a new immigration policy which has a very serious impact on those applying for  permanent and temporary status, as well as those applying for US citizenship. Immigration officers can now deny applications if they feel there is insufficient evidence and immediately move the applicants into removal proceedings. This will certainly instill fear and doubt for those seeking green cards and citizenship.

In my speech last week during the Faneuil Hall citizenship ceremony, I congratulated the 353 new citizens for overcoming the wall of bureaucracy that the current administration has built, which discourages and stops people who are immigrating legally. These short-sighted, anti-immigrant policies are hurting the US economy, especially as 40% of new business are immigrant founded or led. These destructive changes are being silently introduced, and they are not hitting the headlines, despite the fact that they will have severe consequences for so many.

Our expert advocacy, solidarity and support is needed now more than ever, especially as clients walk into their immigration interviews. We will continue to support immigrant families so that they too can overcome this bureaucracy and build stable and successful lives in their new homes.

In our efforts to promote citizenship and unity, this Wednesday evening we hosted a wonderful community conversation with Celina Barrios-Millner and Marcony Almeida-Barros. Celina works at the Mayor’s Office of Immigrant Advancement and Marcony for the Attorney General. Both shared their stories of immigrating to the United States, building a bright future, and becoming citizens. We are extremely fortunate to have Celina and Marcony as advocates here in the Commonwealth, as they are constantly striving towards a society where all are welcomed and valued. We are grateful to them for taking the time to contribute to this event and hope to host them again soon.

Thank you for all of your interest and support for our Welcome Center,
and I wish you a wonderful weekend.
Ronnie
PS – Check out this great article by NPR about the “second wall” that immigrants are presently facing when applying for citizenship.