On the passing of our friend, Board Secretary, and co-founder, Lynda Callon

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

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.

MIRA Calls for Justice for Michael Brown and the People of Ferguson

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.

Obama is planning big action on immigration. Let’s remind him to end deportations now.

July 30th, 2014

Barack Obama, Joe Biden

 

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

Save The Date

July 29th, 2014

Thursday, December 11, 2014

MIRA presents:

Texlranian Collusion

Farshid Etniko with Hudson and the HOODOO CATS

Texlranian Collusion

Missouri History Museum

Tickets $30

More updates soon.

Statement on House Failure to Pass Immigration Reform and Presidential Pledge for Administrative Relief

June 30th, 2014

photo2

 

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.”

Rally to Stop Deportations

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.

Rally

Announcing 2014 Friend-2-Friend Campaign

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

 

The Missouri Immigrant Experience 2014: Faces & Places in Springfield and Columbia

March 4th, 2014

 

MIRA’s photographic exhibition exploring the lives and history of Missouri’s immigrants and refugees, is coming to Springfield and Columbia!

The show features the works of four Missouri-based artists, focusing on their own immigrant communities, as well as historical images.  The Springfield showing will feature newly uncovered images from Springfield’s past.  From immigrant workers newly arrived in Missouri at the turn of the last century, to new refugee families celebrating old and new traditions in their adopted home, The Missouri Immigrant Experience reveals the depth of our communities’ immigrant roots.

Join us in Springfield at:

Park Central Branch Library, 128 Park Central Square, Springfield, MO

Opening Reception: March 7th, 7-9pm

Closing Reception: March 29th, time TBA

To RSVP, and for a full listing of gallery talks, film screenings, and cultural events, Click Here!

 

The Columbia art exhibit will also feature four Missouri photographers, Oscar Pedroza, Juan Montana, Amela Sinanagic, and Rita Chu, each of whom bring us images of their communities.  Their work will be coupled with historic images of immigrant communities in Columbia.

Join us in Columbia at:

The Columbia Public Library, 100 W Broadway, Columbia, Missouri

Opening Reception: April 5th at 10:00 am

Closing Reception: April 26th, Time TBA

To RSVP, and for a full listing of gallery talks, film screenings, and cultural events, Click Here!

 

Lobby Day at the Capital, April 15th, 2014

February 28th, 2014

Missouri legislatures need to hear from you! Join MIRA for Immigration Advocacy Day on April 15th from 9:00 am-3:00 pm in Jefferson City to stand up for Missouri’s immigrants and refugees. Lunch and a lobbying training will be provided.  Car pools will be coordinated from some areas of the state. Register for more details.

Event Location:

Truman State Office Building
301 W High Street
Jefferson City, MO 65101
 

To register, please go here 

 

MIRA’s reaction to the GOP immigration principles

January 30th, 2014

Today the House GOP released their principles for immigration reform. Below is MIRA’s response and ongoing vow:

Nearly 7 months after the U.S. Senate passed a bipartisan, comprehensive immigration package, today House leadership released a set of principles for reform.  While we are encouraged that Speaker Boehner is moving forward, we know this action comes only after more than a year of organized pressure by a grassroots movement  to address the critical needs of our nation’s immigrant families.

While these principles provide a starting point, we await a concrete legislative proposal to reform our nation’s broken and capricious immigration system.  There is overwhelming bipartisan support, not only in the House, but among the American public for fair and comprehensive reform.  We call on Missouri’s House delegation to work together with their colleagues in the Senate to solve the injustice of our current system.

MIRA will continue to fight for reform that provides an achievable path to citizenship for all 11 million undocumented Americans, keeps families together, and protects the rights of all immigrant workers.