The Maine People's Alliance will continue to work on comprehensive immigration reform in 2013 and is supporting the “Keeping Families Together” campaign to call for comprehensive immigration reform at the national level. The campaign was kicked off with renewed hope after Obama won a second term by the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), a coalition of the largest and most powerful grassroots immigrant rights organizations in the country. FIRM represents hundreds of thousands of immigrant families in more than 30 states.
This campaign will give a voice to the 11 million undocumented people living in this country and together supporters will fight for comprehensive immigration reform. The men, women and children who have had their families torn apart by the nation’s broken immigration system will have an opportunity to speak out about the need for reform that includes a path to citizenship. MPA plans to work with FIRM during 2013 to advocate for immigration policies that reflect the fundamental American values of fairness, justice and equality.
On a state level, MPA has helped lead nearly a dozen of the Maine Immigrant Rights Coalition (MIRC) Community Meetings. MPA members and organizers have met with immigrant communities in their native languages all over the state, from the Iraqi community in Portland, to the Latino Community in Washington County. Out of this will come an analysis of issues that communities are experiencing, as well as some recommendations on the most strategic solutions to tackle first.
In order to keep all this work moving forward, MPA is happy to announce its intention to hire a full-time immigrant rights organizer. Half that person’s time will be spent staffing MIRC; the other half will be spent advancing MPA’s immigrant rights work, especially through the campaign for comprehensive immigration reform. Additionally, MPA has also helped to raise funds within MIRC to grant to emerging immigrant-led organizations. These groups are the most critical next wave of progressive organizations that will emerge in Maine. By supporting them with real resources now as they begin to formalize their structure and hire their own staff, MPA hopes to develop permanent ties of friendship between our organizations that will define the progressive movement in Maine for years to come.