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Members in the News

Biden administration speeds up work permits that could help thousands of Mass. migrants

By Members in the News

Attorney Rachel Self, who works with many of the 49 migrants, said she’s recommending they apply to this new status.

“One of the beautiful things about this is: the delays and backlogs in both our asylum system and our U-Visa adjudications will no longer be as large a concern,” she said. “This TPS designation will provide a bridge until those other applications can be adjudicated.”

“I’m cautiously optimistic,” said Robin Nice, New England Chapter chair for the American Immigration Lawyers Association. “Really, it’s oftentimes an instance of stealing from Peter to pay Paul where … I get some work permit applications or renewals approved within seven days, and then I have other ones waiting eight months.”

Read the whole article here.

Biden officials promised Boston’s special immigration program would be fast, but fair. Advocates say it fails at both.

By Members in the News

“‘Legal aid nonprofits that provide no-fee representation are extremely overwhelmed,’ Annelise Araujo, a Boston immigration attorney, said this week. ‘They are inundated with requests and they don’t have the funding or manpower to take them all on.'”

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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