Public Forum in Needham: Immigration: How Do We Fix A Broken System?
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
For information: Clark Taylor, 781-366-5891 (Task Force); Karen Price, 781-771-9059 (League of Women Voters)
January 31, 2013
Immigration: How Do We Fix a Broken System?
A free discussion for Needham area residents, Thursday, February 28, 2012
7:30-9:30 pm at the Needham Free Public Library, 1139 Highland Ave, Needham
**Sponsored by the Needham Area Immigration Justice Task Force
and the League of Women Voters of Needham**
Needham, Mass. – A public forum entitled, “Immigration: How do We Fix a Broken System?” will be held on February 28, 2013 at the Needham Free Public Library, 7:30 pm. With a talk to be given by Dr. Alexandra Piñeros-Shields from Brandeis University, those who attend will increase their understanding of the stakes in reforming the immigration system, and identify what community members can do to help government decision-makers reach solutions. The current conditions facing immigrants are in some instances dire:
- While we live in a nation of immigrants, undocumented people, who have raised families in the US for decades, enter an unregulated labor market where their abilities and work are exploited, unable to speak out for fear of being swept up in a vast deportation program.
- Young people who come to the US on student visas, gain skills badly needed in our economy. Yet they cannot get a green card after graduation, unless sponsored by a hiring company, that would allow them to invest their talents here.
- The US government spent $18 billion in the past fiscal year (more than all other US enforcement efforts combined) to ensure the harsh exclusion of people who seek the same opportunities we desire for ourselves and our children.
“The main question we are asking is: What should a humane fixed system look like and how do we get there? A pathway to citizenship, ways to keep families together, and a more humane strategy for enforcement would be important pillars,” says Clark Taylor, one of the organizers of the event. Gaining consensus on such goals and resolving political differences at all levels of government will not be easy. Citizens can help. The League of Women Voters of Needham and the Needham Area Immigration Justice Task Force are co-sponsors of the forum. A question-and-answer following Dr. Piñeros-Shields’ talk will give participants the opportunity to ask questions and explore issues in greater depth.
Speaker: Alexandra Piñeros-Shields, PhD, is Senior Research Associate in the Center for Youth and Communities in The Heller School for Policy and Management, Brandeis University. She has worked in the field of immigration services and advocacy for over 20 years including the Irish Immigration Center of Boston, Centro Presente of Somerville, Catholic Charities Immigration and Refugee Services, Boston, and the Central American Refugee Center, Washington, DC. Her research and advocacy centers around building cross-racial, cross-national immigrant solidarity and political power, and the understanding the challenges to democracy and human rights created by economic globalization. Dr. Piñeros-Shields advised the Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick's New American Agenda. She has taught in the US, Soviet Union and China, and lectures widely to universities and nonprofit organizations on immigration policy.
Supporting organizations of the Public Forum include the Congregational Church of Needham, First Parish in Needham Unitarian Universalist and the Needham Human Rights Committee.
League of Women Voters
The League of Women Voters (LWV) is a citizens’ organization, founded in 1920, to improve government and engage all citizens in the decisions that impact their lives. The LWV, while nonpartisan, takes positions on important issues facing the nation and US communities. These positions are formed through a formalized process of research, studies and consensus meetings. In April 2008, the LWV released its position on Immigration. The full statement can be found at: http://www.lwv.org/content/immigration .
Needham Area Immigration Justice Task Force
The Needham Area Immigration Justice Task Force seeks to encourage dialogue and raise awareness within Needham and surrounding towns regarding immigration as a necessary bedrock of a prosperous and growing USA. The Task Force is committed to promoting just and equitable systems for immigrations, giving voice and advocacy to policies that ensure safe and inclusive communities…and seeks to ensure that immigrants experience fairness and opportunity in the US.