Logistics for 2015 Immigration Advocacy Day!

March 5th, 2015

We are looking forward to seeing everyone attending Immigration Advocacy Day on Tuesday at 9AM in Room 490 of the Truman State Office Building, across the street from the Capitol.

If you are planning on attending this Tuesday, March 10, please note these important details.


Some organizations are coordinating transportation for their own members.  If you are traveling as part of a larger group, please defer to those organizers for travel details.  You must reserve your place to be guaranteed a seat in the carpool. If you did not indicate that you would like to carpool on when you registered, please see the contact info below.

From St Louis: The St Louis carpool will be meeting at the SEIU Local 1 Building at 6:30 am, planning to depart by 7 am. The office is located at 2725 Clifton Ave, St Louis 63139.  Parking is behind the building.

For questions about the St Louis carpool, please contact David at 314-669-1288 or david@mira-mo.org.

Kansas City:  The Kansas City carpool will be meeting at Sacred Heart of Guadalupe at 6:00am, planning to depart by 6:30am. The church is located at 2544 Madison Ave, Kansas City, 64108.

For questions about the Kansas City carpool, please contact Vanessa at 314-669-1288 or vanessa@mira-mo.org.

Parking in Jefferson City:

The Capitol Building is located at 201 W Capitol Avenue in Jefferson City.  There is free public parking in the lots to the west of the Capitol Building.   There is a paid parking garage at the corner of Capitol Ave and Madison east of the building.

Meeting Up:

Our group will be meeting in the Truman State Office Building across the street from the State Capitol.  301 W High Street, Room 490.  There, we will do check-in, distribute materials, and conduct a training.  From there, we will walk across the street to the Capitol.


A sack lunch will be provided at 1:00pm at the Truman State Office Building Room 490.  Vegetarian options will be available.


The group is scheduled to depart at 3pm.  If you or your group plan on leaving at a different time, please let us know.


Materials and training will be available in English and Spanish.  If you or someone in your group need accomodations in a different language, please call 314-669-1288.


We have always worked hard to make Advocacy Day free to participants.  While there is no charge, we will be accepting donations to help offset the cost of materials and food.  There will be opportunities to make a contribution in Jefferson City on Tuesday.

Any questions?

Call Audrey at 314-669-1288 or email audrey@mira-mo.org with any questions!

Stand Up for Immigrant Students!

February 6th, 2015

The Missouri House is at it again!  This time, the House Higher Education Committee is considering HB 187, a bill designed to make it harder for DREAMers and other immigrant students to go to college.  CLICK HERE to tell the committee to STOP discriminating against immigrant students.

HB 187 is one of several bills introduced this session aimed at making college less accessible for DACA recipients and other immigrant students.  Missouri should be in the business of encouraging as many students as possible get a college education.  Not discriminating against some students because of the country where they were born.  Tell the House Higher Education Committee to VOTE NO on HB 187.

Join Us for Immigration Advocacy Day

January 23rd, 2015

This is your chance to meet face-to-face with lawmakers to discuss what’s important for immigrants and refugees in your community. Click here to register!

Annual Immigration Advocacy Day

When: Tuesday March 10, 2015 from 9:00 AM-3:00PM

Where: Missouri State Capitol, 201 West Capitol Avenue, Jefferson City

We will provide all the materials you need, teach you how to get a meeting with legislators, how to talk about legislation, and provide a brief orientation to the Capitol. Carpools will be organized from different parts of the state and you can indicate your interest in carpooling on your registration. A bag lunch will also be provided.

Our elected officials hear all kinds of stories about immigrants and refugees. They hear from national anti-immigration organizations, they hear from reporters on cable news, they hear from politicians in other states, but now, more than ever, your senators and representatives need to hear from YOU!

Register today!

Call 314-669-1288 or email info@mira-mo.org with any questions.

Housing Discrimination Complaint Against the City of Berkeley, Mo.

December 19th, 2014

This week, MIRA member organization the Metropolitan Saint Louis Equal Housing and Opportunity Council, working with MIRA filed a fair housing complaint with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, because the City of Berkeley, Mo is discriminating against immigrant residents.  Additionally, MIRA demand that the City of Berkeley amend the city’s ordinances to expand acceptable proof of identification and eliminate residential occupancy permit fees. Everyone should be welcome in our communities, and we will work to make sure that local governments do not use their power to discriminate.

Below is a copy of the letter delivered to City of Berkeley’s Mayor Theodore Hoskins.

Administrative Relief Information Sessions with the Service Provider Collaborative

December 9th, 2014

Los Centros de Servicios Sociales que educan y trabajan con las comunidades de inmigrantes en la región de St. Louis ofrecerán charlas informativas para explicar los programas de la orden ejecutiva de inmigración del presidente Obama. Todas las charlas son gratuitas y abiertas al público. Se anunciará más información sobre fechas y lugares adicionales en el futuro.

Febrero 4 7:00 PM Crestwood Elementary School (1020 S. Sappington Rd, Crestwood MO 63126)

Febrero 8 12:30 PM Curby Memorial Presbyterian Church (2621 Utah Street, St. Louis 63118)

Para más información, llame a MIRA al 314.669.1288 o info@mira-mo.org.


The service provider collaborative educates and works for immigrant communities in the St. Louis region. The collaborative is hosting bilingual public information sessions to explain President Obama’s immigration executive action programs. All sessions are free and open to the public. More dates and locations to come.

Feb. 4 7:00 PM Crestwood Elementary School (1020 S. Sappington Rd, Crestwood MO 63126)

Feb. 8 12:30 PM Curby Memorial Presbyterian Church (2621 Utah Street, St. Louis 63118)

For more information contact MIRA at 314.669.1288 or info@mira-mo.org

MIRA Statement on Non-Indictment of Darren Wilson

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.

MIRA’s Statement on Presidential Action for Immigration Relief

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.”

November 17th, 2014

The Missouri Immigrant Experience Music Celebration

Join us on December 11th 7-10 pm at the Missouri History Museum, St. Louis

Tickets and more information found here.

mo immigrant experience mus cel_0-page-0

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.