In 2017, we’ve faced a relentless onslaught: the Muslim ban, stepped-up arrests and detentions, attacks on “sanctuary” cities, demonization of refugees, the termination of DACA and TPS… yet still we persist, our movement larger and stronger than ever.
We’re driven by young people like Paola, proud recipient of an Unafraid Scholarship. At age 9, she made a harrowing 22-day journey from El Salvador to reunite with her mom in Boston. As a high school senior, she learned that even with DACA, it would be hard to pay for college. But she’s pursuing her goal, studying international relations at UMass Boston, aiming for a career in global development.
Paola’s DACA expires in June, and her sister’s in May. Their mom has TPS, which could end shortly, and their father has an asylum case pending. So at 19, with her whole family’s future in peril, Paola has become an advocate, overcoming her shyness to speak to members of Congress and on Radio Boston.
“I’m an American,” she says. “This is the only home I know. Going back to El Salvador would be very scary, and I have a lot to give to this country. I’m not taking anything away from anyone; I’ve worked for every opportunity I’ve had. Dreamers don’t only dream – we achieve, and that’s what I want to do.”
This is our fight. For Paola. For her family. For all 1.1 million immigrants in Massachusetts. And we need your support.
In 2017, it was you who funded Karina’s scholarship. You paid for our organizers to train and mobilize hundreds of activists. You helped us dramatically boost our online advocacy and media outreach. And you paid for the long, hard-to-fund work of advocating with federal, state and local officials, day after day.
Because of you, we passed the LOOK bill, to ensure that English learners in our schools don’t fall through the cracks, and more students can become fully bilingual. We helped several communities adopt “welcoming” policies, and defeated an anti-immigrant ballot measure in Salem. And we built a strong coalition for the Safe Communities Act, to make Massachusetts safe and welcoming for all.
Be proud. We’ve accomplished a lot in a tremendously difficult year.
But the fight is far from over. Indeed, our work is more urgent than ever; we can barely keep up with demand. Please donate generously to MIRA today to help us start 2018 on a strong financial footing. Or become a MIRA Sustainer, with a monthly recurring gift of $25 or more. We’re counting on you!
With warm wishes for the holidays,
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Eva A. Millona