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



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.


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.

10 Fights in 2014

December 11th, 2013

2013 is coming to a close, and MIRA is looking forward to the challenges and opportunities a New Year will bring.  As you consider your end-of-the-year tax-deductible gifts, a donation to MIRA can go a long way.

MIRA is taking on 10 fights in 2014, and we need your help. Your contribution will help MIRA stay a strong unified voice for Missouri immigrants and refugees. By donating $10 x 10, or becoming a sustaining member at the $10, $15 or $20 level, you can support MIRA as we continue to fight in the New Year.  

Our 10 Fights

1. Immigration Reform – The Time Is Now!  In 2013, MIRA joined partners around Missouri and around the country to fight for comprehensive immigration reform. We’re working for a law that defends immigrant families, strengthens the rights of immigrant and refugee workers, and provides a roadmap to citizenship for our 11 million undocumented friends, neighbors, and family members. Even as a small group of powerful congressmen drag their feet in an attempt to defeat us, the struggle continues!  MIRA will not rest until there is a path to citizenship for everyone who seeks it!

2. Fighting for Families in Jefferson City – For too long, our state’s capitol has had a reputation for cruel and unnecessary attacks on immigrant and refugee Missourians.  Enough is enough.  In 2014 MIRA and our members will work, not just to stop anti-immigrant proposals, but to advance pro-active legislation that will protect our communities and improve the lives of our families.

3. Access To Housing – Did you know that in some places in Missouri, immigrant families can’t get a municipal permit to live in their own home?  We believe everyone deserves a safe place to call home, regardless of where they come from.  Support MIRA in our campaign to end discriminatory housing policies and practices.

4. Creating Safer Communities – We know all too well that when local police departments are expected to enforce federal immigration laws, the whole community suffers.  If police are more interested in immigration status than the problem at hand, immigrants and refugees may not seek the help they need.  Our communities need respect and cooperation, not fear and mistrust.  MIRA and our volunteers will continue to work with police around the state to assure that local police are not used as immigration agents.

5. Raising Up Immigrant Voices – From the President to the local state representative, our elected officials need to be accountable!  MIRA works to lift up the voices of immigrant and refugees to be heard by decision-makers at all levels.  Through office visits, community meetings, and direct actions, we hold politicians accountable.

6. Access to Higher Education – Everyone deserves an education, no matter their immigration status.  But for many undocumented Missouri students, the door to college has been closed.  Join MIRA in 2014 as we work to ensure that DACA-eligible and undocumented Missourians have the opportunity to attend the college or university of their choice.

7. Empowering Immigrant and Refugee Communities – All of us, regardless of our citizenship, religion, or race, have rights protected by the Constitution of the United States.  Support MIRA’s “Know Your Rights” efforts, as we educate and empower community members to exercise their rights.

8. Building a Welcoming Missouri – We know that our state is strongest when everyone feels welcome.  That’s why, through our Welcoming Missouri initiative, MIRA works with schools, places of worship, libraries, and community members around the state to bring Missourians together.  From our traveling photography show, The Missouri Immigrant Experience, to community meetings and film screenings, strive to foster respect, understanding, and a spirit of welcoming for everyone.

9. Defending Immigrant Workers – All workers should be safe and protected in the workplace, be paid a living wage, and be free from discrimination and exploitation.  Unfortunately, for many immigrant and refugee workers, this is not always the case.  Together, we can ensure that ALL workers are free to work and be paid fairly.

10. Investing in Immigrant and Refugee Leaders – No one knows what immigrant families need better than immigrants themselves!  That’s why MIRA is dedicated to identifying, training, and empowering local leaders to advocate and organize on behalf of and within their own communities.

Donate now and join the fight!