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October 28, 2022
In this issue:
  • Vote Yes on Question 4
  • Miles for Migrants Final Results
  • Advocacy Update: National JFON Statement on Recent Migrant Transports
  • Did You Know?

Vote Yes on Question 4

Readers may remember that Massachusetts lawmakers overwhelmingly passed into law the Work and Family Mobility Act a few months ago, over-riding the veto of Governor Baker. This law allows undocumented immigrants to obtain a driver's license and establishes regulations to ensure that they are not mistakenly registered to vote upon receiving a license. Opponents of the law have succeeded in bringing the issue to the citizens of Massachusetts in the form of Question 4, currently on the ballot for the November 8 election.  A no vote will overturn the law while a yes vote will allow it to remain in place.

As a reminder, 17 other states already have similar laws.  Many proponents tout the lower number of hit-and-runs or the increased licensing fee and inspection revenues that the law has brought in these other locations. The law will also result in larger numbers of drivers being insured, which benefits everyone.

While these advantages are real and help to explain both law enforcement's and the legislature's support of the law, we would like to remind our friends of the effect that this law will have on our clients and other undocumented immigrants like them.  Even after they successfully reach the U.S. after a harrowing journey (see Did You Know? below), those without legal status face many challenges.  They are underserved in many ways, with limited access to healthcare and social services and no access to government benefits.  They struggle financially because they may not work legally and because of language and other barriers.

Although they may not legally drive, undocumented immigrants must drive, like all of us, to get to work, bring their children to school, visit the doctor, and buy food and other necessities.  The lack of a license introduces additional stress and risk into already-fraught circumstances.  Even if there were no economic or other benefits, this law is important for this reason alone.  Please Vote Yes on Question 4.

Miles for Migrants Final Results

As reported last week, Gary Richards successfully completed his 100-mile ultra-race in just under 30 hours!  We're still in awe of this amazing achievement.

Gary dedicated this extraordinary effort to New England Justice for Our Neighbors and our clients in honor of his recently-completed term as Board Chair.  The Miles for Migrants campaign raised just under $6000, which represents over two weeks of legal services for migrants seeking humanitarian visa relief.  Thank you for this parting gift, Gary! 

If you would like to review Gary's experience by reading his blog, click here!

Advocacy Update: National JFON Statement on Recent Migrant Transports

As reported in a newsletter a few weeks ago, migrants have been transported by "red" state governors to "blue" states, including the recent flight of Venezuelan migrants who were flown under false pretenses by Florida Governor Ron DeSantis to Martha's Vineyard with no prior notice.  These migrants have now received legal representation, and various agencies and organizations have found them places to live throughout Massachusetts and the country.  Many of them have also found jobs.  In an ironic (but positive) twist, the circumstances of that flight have given the immigrants stronger legal standing to eventually obtain U.S. citizenship.

JFON sites in states receiving these immigrants worked with National Justice for Our Neighbors and MARCHA to compose a formal statement condemning these acts, which takes advantage of migrants simply as a political stunt.

"Rather than meeting international obligations to welcome and protect asylum seekers, these governors are using asylum seekers as political pawns to fabricate a crisis leading up to the midterm elections. They have intentionally misled asylum seekers with false promises, sabotaging their cases by leaving them stranded far from their scheduled court hearings, and then purposefully overwhelming community shelters and local resources.  As a network of legal service providers and people of faith, we know that this political stunt is cruel and immoral."

You may read the entire statement here.

Did You Know?

Día de los Muertos will occur next week, on November 2.  This holiday, celebrated historically in Mexico and other parts of Central and South America - and recently expanding to other parts of the Latino world -, is an opportunity to honor and remember family members who have passed away.  National Justice for Our Neighbors will be holding a virtual vigil on Wednesday at 3 P.M. ET to recognize the many migrants who have perished during the incredibly perilous journey from their countries of origin to the United States.  Please consider joining us by registering at this link.

In case you missed it, check out our 2021 Impact Report.  Read all about last year's successes and our future plans here.  

Still live! Our "10 for 10" campaign for monthly donors - with a one-for-one match!  Click here to participate.


For more information about New England JFON, please visit our website.

We welcome volunteers of all skill levels to join our team.  Click here to view volunteer opportunities and indicate your interest.

We appreciate and welcome your support of our mission and our clients. To make a financial contribution, please donate here. You may also send contributions to the address below. Thank you for your support! 
New England Justice for Our Neighbors
421 Common Street
Belmont, Massachusetts 02478
Copyright © 2022, NEJFON. All rights reserved.

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