In December 2000, the U.N. General Assembly, taking into account the large and increasing number of migrants in the world, proclaimed the 18th of December as International Migrants Day. The Massachusetts Immigrant Collaborative celebrates the immigrant community and the contributions that immigrants provide our societies with a virtual event featuring keynote speaker Neesa Medina, an international women’s rights activist from Honduras, as well as local policy makers, immigrant rights activists, and testimonies from immigrants and refugees.
Migrants contribute their knowledge, networks, and skills to build stronger, more resilient communities. During the past year, migrants have been at the forefront of the fight against COVID-19. Their work in health, transportation and food services made our lives under lockdown possible.
However, like many who find themselves living on the margins of society, migrants are
disproportionately affected by COVID-19 through job losses, evictions and discrimination. The
pandemic cannot be used as an excuse to rollback commitments to promote and protect the rights of migrants regardless of their legal status. It cannot become an excuse for increased detentions, often in overcrowded conditions, and the forced return of migrants to their countries of origin without due process, in many cases in violation of international law.
Since its foundation in April 2020, the Massachusetts Immigrant Collaborative has supported over 70,000 immigrants with addressing their most critical needs such as rent, food, emergency cash assistance, and equitable access to vaccines. The 15 member organizations of the Massachusetts Immigrant Collaborative work together across the state to address immigrants’ immediate- and long-term needs.