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PAIR is working hard to protect immigrant rights here in MA, by conducting community “Know Your Rights,” volunteering at Logan to assist new arrivals, helping with federal litigation, doing legal orientation for immigrants in detention, and taking on even more asylum cases. There is so much to celebrate right now. The refugee ban has been paused, families are reuniting at airports across the country, & students are returning to school! Please consider donating to #PAIRProject to protect immigrant rights. Donate HERE so we can:

Protect clients like “Zaroon,” an internet activist who fled Syria after being targeted by secret police for his postings on Facebook protesting the Syrian government and their treatment of civilians caught in the civil war. With the help of PAIR and his volunteer team from Ropes & Gray LLP, he won asylum in the U.S. and continues to advocate for democracy and freedom.

Give legal resources to clients like “Irtaza,” a young Iranian man who was targeted by the government because of his religious conversion. In his home country, he could not even openly pray without the fear of death. Thanks to PAIR and his volunteer team at Mintz, Levin, Cohn, Ferris, Glovsky and Popeo, PC, was granted asylum and now enjoys the freedom to practice the faith of his choosing here in the United States.

Stand by clients like “Zara,” a young woman who fled Ecuador after being repeatedly harassed, beaten, and raped due to her sexual orientation. Though she tried to build a life in her home country, she and her partner continued to face severe discrimination and violence. With the help of PAIR, she won asylum in the U.S. and continues to advocate for LGBTQ rights.

Every donation you make goes to PAIR programs. Thank you.

Executive Order Updates – as of 2/4/17

PAIR has been collaborating with the MA Immigration Coalition to keep you updated on the impact of the Executive Orders. For further information, please visit masslegalhelp.org

1.      Synopsis of the current situation:

On 2/3/17, the U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington entered the attached TRO enjoining the enforcement of sections 3(c), 5(a), 5(b), 5(c), and 5(e) of the 1/27/17 Executive order nationwide as follows:

a.      Entry into the U.S. cannot be prohibited by the Executive Order where a person has a current, validly-issued visa.

b.      Admission of refugees cannot be prohibited by the Executive Order.

c.      Processing of refugee claims and admission of refugees cannot be prioritized based on religion.

d.      Syrian refugees cannot be prohibited from being admitted to the U.S.

A hearing on the preliminary injunction will likely be set after receipt of the parties’ briefing schedule, which is due 2/6/15 at 5:00 pm.  We are waiting to see if administration seeks emergency stay from the Ninth Circuit.The TRO in the District of MA  is in place until 2/5/17 at 1:00 am for those flying to Boston Logan Airport, stating that the Executive Order may not cause anyone to be detained or removed from the U.S.  However, the Washington order should continue to allow boarding and entries until further notice.

2.      Documenting individuals affected by travel ban:

For those with clients, family members, or constituents, or those providing assistance on the phone or at the airport, we would like to document those affected here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1nGjoOPbrNLP76AaK4qSqiAki4CzqvNVKLIV17Fepk60/edit?ts=5891e921We are currently discussing whether it makes sense to auto-generate declarations from this survey.  It is presently not set up to do that.  If you want to provide a declaration for a client, you may follow the format attached to this email.

 3.      Airport assistance

Logan seems to be well-staffed at the moment.  To view staffing, sign up, or  provide affected families with the contact of an attorney who will be at the airport upon arrival, go here: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1wG3V2TirLAF0hhOBMG5fv-R_oB22X-YIvUWHFb0UEj4/edit#gid=0. The airport staffing is now a coordination of AILA, PAIR, and IRAP.  The goal is to have one immigration attorney coordinator there with non-immigration IRAP volunteers.  Note that those staffing the airport will be asked to survey travelers of their experience and any questions asked by CBP.

 4.      For disseminating information and directing people to advice, there are 3 principle sources:

The AG has set up an automated recording at 855-338-2847 in collaboration with CodeForBoston.org. It is a short recording in English, Arabic, Farsi, Somali, and Kurdish that in part directs people to the masslegalhelp.org website. Because of the difficulty obtaining and coordinating up-to-the-minute translations, we have opted to have a more general advisory directing people to a website where more up to date info will be provided.  As the situation begins to feel more static, we will update the recording. More up-to-date information about the impact of current litigation and information from airlines is provided at www.masslegalhelp.org along with the relevant court orders to download. 

Individuals and families from the 7 countries flying into Logan Airport who do not have an attorney may contact Fragomen’s 24/7 hotline at 617-903-8943 or email executiveorder@fragomen.com to communicate with an attorney.

5.      Assistance is needed by PAIR:

The number of detainees in Massachusetts has continued to rise in the last few months, and we understand that bed space will be increased within existing facilities.  PAIR NEEDS VOLUNTEERS TO STAFF KNOW YOUR RIGHTS PRESENTATIONS.  Please sign up here:https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScR4tjUZfODS1oDba61W-WGPsY4oXwb1sZsH2FtiPW9ArnAlA/viewformPlease also mark your calendars for an online webinar that PAIR will host on Friday, 2/10/17 at 12:30 pmMore info will be forthcoming for the webinar registration.

PAIR continues to need immigration attorney volunteers for community Know Your Rights presentations.  Please sign up here:https://goo.gl/forms/dVSST8fJt8Tu6a4y2 . For organizations, community groups, etc. requesting presentations, please fill out this form: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/1Tc9aJf1xDXCN1xT_3nsKkBhDUxc58FydREwmwUioGYM/viewform?edit_requested=true

 6.      Request for legal research assistance:

Law firm interest in research assistance related to Executive Order provisions other than the travel bans should be directed to Marisa Howe (mhowe@supportkind.org) and Iris Gomez (igomez@mlri.org).

 

You Can Make a Difference!

PAIR relies on volunteers with diverse skills, including attorneys to represent PAIR clients and to advise immigration detainees. We also need volunteer interpreters, student interns, legal fellows, those willing to conduct asylum intake, medical professionals, academics with country conditions expertise, grant-writers, funding and branding experts, and IT specialists.  If you are interested in volunteering for PAIR, please contact us.

Upcoming Know Your Rights

If you are interested in assisting PAIR with community outreach, click here and email Amanda Ekey at aekey@pairproject.org.

2016 Post-Election Message from the PAIR Staff

Dear Friends,

We are writing to assure you that no matter what happens, PAIR is committed to its mission to serve asylum-seekers and immigrants unjustly detained by immigration. We will continue to provide legal orientation presentations in and out of detention; will serve as many asylum-seekers as we can; and will gear up to recruit, train, and mentor as many volunteers as our organization can handle.

It is a time of great uncertainty, but PAIR will do the important work that is needed to achieve justice, transparency and fairness in the immigration laws for our clients and immigrants in the greater community. If you have questions about your immigration status or are concerned about unlawful practice of law, call and speak with any staff member at PAIR. If you would like to collaborate or support our work, please feel free to contact us as well.

In solidarity,
Amanda, Amy, Anita, Elena, Jennifer, and Seth