First meeting of the UUFE Immigration Task Force

immigrants– by Jim Richardson

The first meeting of the Immigration Task Force was held on April 19th at UUFE. We had a good turnout of about twelve people and began by going around the table and sharing  each person’s reasons for wanting to be part of a group focused on immigration problems in the United States. Many expressed the view that the issue was very complex and were looking forward to becoming more knowledgeable.

Sue then led the group in exploring the meaning of different words we commonly use in conversation such as “refugee”, “immigrant”, “migrant” and “undocumented person”. We also talked about identifying specific needs of immigrants on the Eastern shore that included finding jobs, learning English, and trying to cope with recent pressures from the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency.

We later discussed ways we might help with local immigrant family’s needs.  One idea was to have a UUFE table at the Multicultural Festival in May. Another was to invite representatives of the local immigrant population to come and tell their personal stories at future meetings.

The remainder of our meeting was devoted to listening to a presentation from Sriram Shyam about an organization he represents called Immigration Voice. This national organization based in Washington, DC  works toward reducing the huge application backlogs in the employment-based green card system as well as improving the efficiency and flexibility of the high-skilled legal immigration system. It strongly supports the House of Representative’s bill H.R.213, the “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act”.

The Immigration Task Force plans to meet every other week and our next meeting at UUFE is scheduled for May 3 at 6:30 PM.  All are welcome!

2 responses to “First meeting of the UUFE Immigration Task Force

  1. Jim. Great idea. Is it possible to meet at 11:30 AM after Sunday service? SJC meets once a month. So the meeting would have to be scheduled on a different Sunday. There are most likely other conflicts, however if they are small group the probably could meet in the room across from the galley.

  2. Although I find it difficult to attend meetings I am most interested and concerned about problems regarding immigrants and immigration. I look forward to hearing more and hopefully I will find a niche where I can participate in future actions and research. Nicola Wolcott.

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