Immigration Task Force Meeting
July 17, 2017
Haverhill Public Library
Protect rights but don’t incite
Proteger los derechos pero no incitar
Nine people arrived last night at the Library to lend their support to undocumented residents of Haverhill. We began by reflecting on the slogan above: How can we take decisive action to protect individuals and families who are trying to live a good life in our community but who may be deported only for lack of official papers? At the same time how can we act in such a way that does not incite others to target and malign immigrants? A tricky balance, but one we hope we can maintain.
We tackled a full agenda and ended with everyone taking on one or more actions. It was a very successful evening!
1. Meeting with Mayor Fiorentini and Captain Doherty ( Hav. Police Dept.), July 5th. Report by David Garcia and Maria DeAza. David & Maria reported that the meeting went very well with both the Mayor and Captain Doherty assuring those present that they were not out looking for undocumented people but rather were focused on combating drugs and gangs. To that end they asked for the cooperation of the Hispanic Community in reporting crimes in their neighborhoods. Only by working together can we clear the streets of drugs and gangs and keep neighborhoods safe.Also present were Trevor LaFauci of the Merrimack Valley Project and Kathy Rurak of HDCC.
Both the mayor and captain welcome and look forward to meeting again this Fall.
Action: Set a date for a follow-up meeting in September – Kathy Rurak
2. Rapid Response Team : The MVP will offer training to individuals who would like to be a part of a Rapid Response Team. This
team will seek to witness arrests by ICE and provide support to those arrested and their families.
Action: Ron Peacetree, Judy Matthews, Nancy Rusk and Kathy Rurak will sign up for the training with MVP.
3. Francisco Rodriquez – Even though he sought to follow required procedure to remain in this country, Mr. Rodriquez is
currently being detained by ICE.
Action: Everyone was asked to call our Senators, Reps, ICE personnel and Gov. Baker
to stop Mr. Rodriquez’ deportation. ICE Field Office Director, Chris Cronen:
4.. Know Your Rights:- The ACLU has made pocket cards for undocumented immigrants to carry that outline their rights if arrested by
Action: Get these cards in both English and Spanish to churches, stores, homes etc.Maria DeAza
Action: Get these cards translated into K’iche’/Mayan for the Guatemalan Community: David Garcia
5. App for iphone/android that alerts individual when ICE is coming to our area.
Action: Research Notifica and app( if there is one): Rowan DeAza
6. SIM– Student Immigrant Movement, simforus.org
Action: Research this Massachusetts group: Rowan DeAza
7. Register Voters: We need to get as many Hispanics and young people to be prepared to vote in upcoming local elections.
Action: Set up Voter Registration Events – Maria DeAza and Roz McKeon (League of Women Voters)
8. Primary/Election this Fall to replace Brian Dempsey:
Action: Set up a Hispanic Community Forum for Candidates for both local and state elections: Kathy Rurak
9. Immigration Bills at state and federal level. We need to keep up with what is happening with various bills before the state
legislature and Congress.
Action: Ongoing research on immigration bills with alerts to the Task Force when action is needed: Rosalie Ryan
*We hope to achieve most of these actions by our next meeting*
Next Immigration Task Force Meeting:
August 21, 5:30-6:30: Haverhill Public Library
Interested in joining the Immigration Task Force?
Contact Kathy Rurak
Meeting with Mayor Fiorentini and Captain Doherty
Wednesday, July 5, 2017
On Wednesday July 5th, Mayor James J. Fiorentini and Captain Steven Doherty met with a select number of community leaders to discuss the status of undocumented residents in Haverhill. These leaders included David Garcia and Maria DeAza of the Hispanic community, Trevor LaFauci ,organizer of the Merrimac Valley Project and Kathy Rurak of the Haverhill Democratic City Committee.
The focus of the meeting was whether Haverhill Police would stop people solely to inquire about their legal status. Both the mayor and the captain stated clearly that they do not single out people to determine their immigration status. Instead the police rely on all residents ( documented or not) to use the Haverhill Police Anonymous Hot Line (978-373-1212) to report criminal activity that they witness. Only when all residents work together with police can they clear the streets of drug dealers and gangs and keep neighborhoods safe.
The mayor and captain welcome continuing input from this group and look forward to meeting with them again this Fall.
Did you Know?
According to the Migration Policy Institute the total amount of spending for Immigration Enforcement has risen to more than $19 billion a year. This exceeds the sum of all spending for all other federal law enforcement agencies put together. The recent omnibus bill, H.R. 244 puts another 1.2 billion towards border security and interior enforcement. Certainly the basic concern over individual rights is the foundation for questioning Pres. Trump’s war on illegal immigrants, but even a purely economic view should leave us all wondering why so much money is going towards sending people back to their country of origin.
What is happening in Haverhill?
Several churches in our community along with the Merrimack Valley Project are working together to protect the rights of illegal immigrants. I will be meeting with Fr. Robert Murray next week to get a fuller picture of what has been done and how the local Democratic committee can add or assist with the work that these groups are already doing.
More to follow. Kathy Rurak
“We are a nation of immigrants. We are the children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the ones who wanted a better life, the driven ones, the ones who woke up at night hearing that voice telling them that life in that place called America could be better.”
Some useful links: