November 25th, 2014
Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates stands in solidarity with the family of Mike Brown, and all people throughout our region who call for justice and an end to violence against communities of color. We heed the call of Michael Brown, Sr., that his son’s death not be in vain. MIRA holds to the central value that communities are stronger when everyone is respected, safe, and welcome. This is clearly not the case for too many in the St Louis region and across the country. We are dedicated to the long-haul struggle of fighting structural racism, racial profiling, and discrimination. We ask local, state, and federal leaders to join us in this struggle.
In the words of Dr. Martin Luther King, “True peace is not merely the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.” Just as demonstrators are urged to practice non-violence, we call on responding law enforcement to protect protester’s First Amendment rights, and not repeat the dangerous aggression against civilians that was experienced this summer. Only when our entire community comes together with respect for the dignity for all our neighbors, will our community find peace.
November 21st, 2014
MIRA welcomes President Obama’s action today to extend administrative immigration relief to millions of immigrants and their families. Our coalition has been working for years for changes to immigration laws that would protect immigrants and their families. Today’s action comes as a long-awaited relief for many families who will now be able to live and work without being haunted by the specter of deportation. This is a life-changing event for families who are impacted, and makes our community stronger.
This announcement is a major milestone, but it is only a temporary solution to a long-term problem. Our current immigration laws tear apart families, exploit workers, and ignore the reality of our nation’s immigration needs. The American people have consistently demanded Congress take action on comprehensive immigration reform, and been met with recalcitrance. President Obama has followed in a long tradition of American presidents taking executive action to protect immigrants, but this action will not solve the long term problem that can only be solved by comprehensive congressional action.
“Our coalition has been working toward this since Congress failed to pass immigration reform earlier this year,” said Vanessa Crawford Aragón, MIRA’s Executive Director. “This is a welcome relief for thousands of Missourians, be will not rest until all 11 million undocumented Americans have an opportunity for citizenship.”
October 13th, 2014
We are deeply saddened by the passing of Lynda Callon, MIRA Board Secretary and Director of Kansas City’s Westside CAN Center. Lynda passed away this weekend after a short battle with cancer, and was surrounded by many who loved her.
photo credit: Kansas City Star
Lynda, a community leader for decades, was fighting for drivers licenses for the undocumented before MIRA existed. An immigrant herself, Lynda always said it was her duty to make her community one where immigrants were welcome and safe. Her catchphrase was “The Westside, the Best Side,” and through the CAN Center Lynda was a tireless fighter for her neighbors, not only by running the day labor center for which she was famous, but through their neighborhood preservation program and the youth programming that was so dear to her heart. Her work with the Kansas City Police Department is a model for community-police partnership. She was an indefatigable warrior in Jefferson City; never afraid, as she said, to name names or speak truth to the powerful. Lynda was a forceful, no-nonsense advocate, and a kind, caring friend. All of us at MIRA, as well as Lynda’s whole community, have suffered an irreplaceable loss.
A memorial service will be held this Friday at the CAN Center, 2130 Jefferson St in Kansas City. Friends will gather at 10am, with the service beginning at 11am.
August 15th, 2014
Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates stands in solidarity with community members and social justice organizations who are saddened and outraged by the killing of unarmed teenager Michael Brown in Ferguson, and the subsequent aggression against the Ferguson community.
MIRA’s continuous work with North County residents of color around community-police relations has shown that targeting of residents based on race or perceived country of origin is very real. The fear and mistrust of public institutions that results from decades of institutionalized exclusion is not merely a problem for the people of Ferguson. It is one that impacts all of us, and must be addressed by the entire community.
MIRA pledges to stand with the community organizations and leaders on the ground in Ferguson in the continuing struggle for justice. We remain committed to seeking an end to discrimination in our communities, and will work together for long-term solutions.
July 30th, 2014
When President Obama issues executive orders on immigration in coming weeks, pro-reform activists are expecting something dramatic: temporary relief from deportation and work authorization for perhaps several million undocumented immigrants. If the activists are right, the sweeping move would upend a contentious policy fight and carry broad political consequences… Read more here
June 30th, 2014
Fully one year has passed since the U.S. Senate passed the most comprehensive overhaul to the federal immigration system in recent memory, while House leadership continues to refuse to act. The abject failure to pass immigration reform, one of the most pressing civil rights issues of our time, only underscores the incredible disconnect between Congress and the needs of the communities it represents.
Executive Director, Vanessa Crawford Aragón, said Monday:
“The MIRA coalition was founded to organize for federal immigration reform, and we will continue to work tirelessly until the relief our families seek is granted. We welcome President Obama’s pledge to use his administrative authority act when Congress will not. It is imperative, however, that any administrative action protect immigrant families and respect the dignity of immigrant workers. MIRA and our partners will continue to pressure the president to enact relief that halts deportations and gives currently undocumented immigrants the opportunity to live and work openly in the U.S.
“MIRA will not abide immigrant groups being pitted against one another by those who seek to undermine the work of our movement. Anti-immigrant voices in Washington and elsewhere seek further their own ends by politicizing the humanitarian crisis of immigrant children coming from Central America, vilifying immigrant workers, and tearing apart immigrant families. MIRA, our in-state members, and partners around the country, will continue to fight for safety, dignity, and equitable treatments of all immigrants and refugees, whether relief arises from legislative or administrative action.”
June 26th, 2014
On Tuesday, June 24th MIRA and other coalition members held a public rally to call on the Obama administration to Stop Deportations. Check out more coverage of the rally here as well as pictures on our Facebook page.
March 31st, 2014
In a lead up to Immigration Advocacy Day in Jefferson City on April 15th, MIRA is hosting a Friend-2-Friend Campaign featuring supporters who are asking their social media friends and followers to support MIRA and its work. The Campaign officially kicks off today and runs until April 14th. Check out more information about participants and the campaign here