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Tania Martinez

Biden administration employs Trump-style immigration tactics

By Members in the News

The Boston Globe published an op-ed by our Asylum Committee liaisons Audrey Robert-Ramirez, Jill Seeber, and Anita P. Sharma, noting that “President Biden has “distorted” the meaning of “safe third country” to broadly bar asylum eligibility, reviving one of his predecessor’s most harmful and illegal policies.”

Read it here:

Attorney Rachel Self Receives Bostonian of the Year: Honorable Mention

By Members in the News

Attorney Self shares the following sentiments about her Honorable Mention for Bostonian of the Year:

I am deeply honored and grateful to have been selected as an Honorable Mention Bostonian of the Year by Boston Globe Magazine, along with the amazing Vineyarders who rose to the occasion when 49 migrants landed on our island in September. To give it a bit of perspective, there are only 17,000 people living year-round on Martha’s Vineyard. Dropping 49 people off here was the equivalent of dropping 1,887 people in downtown Boston or 24,407 people in New York City.  

Our community provided a sterling example of how problems are solved the real American way, with teamwork, empathy, compassion, kindness, and a willingness to do the hard work to help our fellow man. When you love people, and treat them like people, and act on reason instead of fear, and sacrifice just a little of your time and energy, you can make an amazing difference.  Justice would never have been possible without the countless incredible organizations and individuals who stepped up when they were needed – it is a village effort, and it remains a work in progress. It is my privilege to continue fighting for our new neighbors, and to work alongside so many remarkable and devoted people.  We are a community.  We stand up for each other. 

A huge shout out to the superb and brilliant Sarah Alexander.  You are always there fighting for justice alongside me no matter the hour or the ask.  I simply could not do what I do without you.  I am also very grateful to my most favorite bodyguard, Billy Gazaille. Thank you for being my rock and protector, taking care of me through every storm, and being the coolest guy I know.

I stand with immigrants. 

Read it here: Boston Globe Magazine’s Honorable Mention Bostonian of the Year


By Members in the News

AILA NE Chair, Adrienne Vaughan shares with the Telegram and Gazette that the RMV is overburdened and underfunded. Its mission is to “deliver excellent customer service and safety to people traveling in the Commonwealth” and “provide our nation’s safest and most reliable transportation system to strengthen our economy and quality of life.” Voting yes on Question 4 will, among many other benefits, allow it to fulfill this mission more effectively.

Read it here:

‘We’re all dispersed’: Migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard have now settled throughout Eastern Mass.

By Members in the News

AILA NE Rachel Self provided information to the Boston Globe as follows: now that she has the certifications from the Texas sheriff in hand, the migrants can individually apply for U visas with the help of their pro bono immigration attorneys. The process promises to be long, she cautioned.

“It’s not a quick fix,” she said, “and [the outcome] is not guaranteed.”

But the U visa process does provide a plausible path for the migrants to obtain work authorization and, eventually, green cards, Espinoza-Madrigal said.

Read it here: ‘We’re all dispersed’: Migrants sent to Martha’s Vineyard have now settled throughout Eastern Mass. – The Boston Globe

Immigration, driver’s licenses entwined in tangled Question 4

By Members in the News

AILA NE Chapter Chair, Adrienne Vaughan, can be found in the Boston Globe as saying “it is time the Commonwealth join 16 other states that have enacted similar provisions. Separating the issuance of driver’s licenses from the issue of lawful status can be justified from several perspectives. The real issue is over safety on the road.”

Read it here: Immigration, driver’s licenses entwined in tangled Question 4 – The Boston Globe

Warren Statement on Ongoing Developments on Martha’s Vineyard

By Immigration in the News

Read text of Press Release here: Warren Statement on Ongoing Developments on Martha’s Vineyard | U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (

Boston, MA — United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) released the following statement with an update on her work today regarding the developments on Martha’s Vineyard:

“Exploiting vulnerable people for political stunts is repulsive and cruel. Massachusetts is fully capable of handling asylum seekers, and today I discussed potential options for federal resources with Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas. I am in regular communication with State Senator Julian Cyr, State Representative Dylan Fernandes, and leaders on the ground, and I will keep working with local, state, Congressional, and other federal partners to ensure that we have the necessary resources to care for people with dignity.

“In the spirit of selflessness and humanity that has long defined who we are as a Commonwealth, Islanders and people across Massachusetts have joined together to assist migrants that have arrived. I am grateful to these community leaders. This is something we can do – work together, remember our values, put aside the politics and support the people who need our help.”



AILA New England’s Statement on Developments on Martha’s Vineyard

By Press Release


SEPTEMBER 16, 2022

Contact: Adrienne J. Vaughan, Chair, American Immigration Lawyer’s Association’s New England Chapter at

AILA New England’s Statement on Developments on Martha’s Vineyard

The transport of migrants to Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts by Florida’s Governor Ron DeSantis is a cruel and despicable act that disregards the value of both human life and of the immigration laws. DeSantis’ treatment of migrants through deceit is not only reprehensible – it is unlawful. The American Immigration Lawyers Association’s New England Chapter denounces the exploitation of vulnerable people as political pawns.

Media reports’ portrayal of these migrants as “illegals” is completely incorrect. U.S. immigration laws protect the rights of individuals to seek asylum through proper channels. Under the law, after initial processing and initial review of an asylum claim, the Department of Homeland Security may release migrants from federal custody so that they may pursue asylum claims.

We applaud the efforts of the people of Martha’s Vineyard, and New England generally, in rushing to the aid of these vulnerable individuals. AILA New England supports the migrants who are victims of this political stunt. AILA New England supports its volunteer member attorneys who have traveled to Martha’s Vineyard to triage this situation as well as those who will, in the coming months, be continuing to provide legal counsel to these migrants. Local organizations have also been indispensable in these efforts, and we would like to express our profound gratitude for their continued support and humanity.

Let’s use this event as an opportunity to discuss where our immigration system needs improvement. We can do better, and we must do better. The federal government must allocate resources to build and reinforce the infrastructure to better serve people seeking asylum.