With Deepest Sympathy
The staff of the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) shared with all Bostonians a deep sadness last week upon learning of the passing of the longest serving Mayor of Boston, Thomas M. Menino. Mayor Menino was a true friend of the immigrant community and the Office of New Bostonians was created under his administration to serve all of Boston’s immigrant residents. Mayor Menino was the recipient of the IIIC Solas Award in 2002. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, Angela, and the Menino family.
Suicide Prevention Workshop a Success!
The Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) hosted another great QPR Suicide Prevention workshop this past week, with both new and alumni Home Health Aides participating. The trainees came to learn about the tools they will need, as Community Gatekeepers, to respond effectively to the mental health and suicide crises that their older adult clients might experience. We thank them for their positive energy, their great questions and, of course, their ever- present humor. Thanks to them, the ripples of hope will continue to spread throughout our community, saving lives. The IIIC is planning more workshops so please contact Iarla if you would like to learn more: 617-542-7654 ext.32
Classes Begin This Week
Computer Skills Classes at the IIIC
Are you an immigrant looking to gain fundamental computer skills necessary for your job and your daily life? The Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) is offering a series of three computer workshops this fall. This (beginner level) course will cover basic computer skills, an introduction to the internet and useful websites, keyboarding skills, and some basic word-processing. Learn how to write high quality resumes and cover letters.
Workshops are offered at the IIIC on Thursdays (November 6th, 13th and 20th ) from 6-8pm. Tuition is free. Pre-registration preferred. For more information, please call Sarah at 617-542-7654 ext. 36 or visit the Center between 9:00 — 5:00 weekdays.
U.S. Citizenship Classes at the IIIC
Citizenship classes at the Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) will prepare you for the naturalization exam and interview. Study the questions that will be asked, learn what to expect during your interview, and gain confidence that you will pass the exam and be on your way to U.S. citizenship. Classes are offered twice on Thursdays (1-3pm and 5-7pm) and begin on November 6th and run through December 18th. For more information, call Sarah at (617) 542-7654 ext. 36 or visit the Center between 9:00 — 5:00 weekdays.
Up on the Hill and Around City Hall
Massachusetts voters will be presented with a series of four ballot questions when they go to the polls on November 4th covering a variety of issues including the Beverage Container Law, Gas Tax Indexing and the Casino Bill.
The fourth question, the Earned Sick Time for Employees bill, will have an impact upon the working immigrant community if passed. The Irish International Immigrant Center (IIIC) supports this measure and asks voters to give it their careful consideration.
This proposed law would entitle employees in Massachusetts to earn and use sick time according to certain conditions. An employee could use earned sick time if required to miss work in order (1) to care for a physical or mental illness, injury or medical condition affecting the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse; (2) to attend routine medical appointments of the employee or the employee’s child, spouse, parent, or parent of a spouse; or (3) to address the effects of domestic violence on the employee or the employee’s dependent child.
A “Yes” vote will allow workers in Massachusetts to earn up to 40 hours of sick time a year to take care of their own health or a family member’s health. Workers will earn one hour of sick time for every 30 hours worked, and can use their sick time only after working for 90 days.
Proponents of the bill state that businesses providing sick time find that it reduces employee turnover, increases productivity, and helps their bottom line.
Mayor Walsh Issues Wage Theft Executive Order
On October 24th, Boston Mayor Martin J. Walsh signed an Executive Order establishing payment certification requirements for vendors with city contracts. The measure seeks to prevent wage theft, which is the improper withholding of payment from employees and the failure to pay employees according to required schedules. Wage theft harms the well-being of workers and their families. Low income, immigrant, hospitality, service industry, and limited English proficiency workers are most vulnerable to this practice.
"It’s illegal to deny fairly earned wages," said Mayor Walsh. "This executive order empowers workers to demand what they have worked for. I’m committed to stopping violations and holding employers to the letter of the law."
Under the executive order, vendors who have a contract with the City of Boston will be required to certify their compliance with federal and state wage law with the City, or if the vendors have previous violations, disclose them, and provide a wage bond for the duration of the contract. These measures strengthen the City’s ability to hire vendors that treat their employees fairly.
“There are too many stories of workers being exploited, especially in our immigrant communities. Mayor Walsh’s executive order adds important protections for working families in Boston,” said Michelle Wu, Boston City Councilor At-Large.
GREEN CARDS AND PASSPORTS: WHAT’S IN A NAME?
Q: I recently got married and will be applying for legal permanent residence based on my husband’s US citizenship. I have taken my husband’s name, but my birth certificate, Irish passport, and other identification show my maiden name. What do I do?
A: This actually is a simple issue, but it can be confusing. First of all, some people believe that US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) requires a wife to take her husband’s name when applying for permanent residence. That is not correct. A wife is free to keep her maiden name, take her husband’s name, or use a hyphenated combination of both names. The choice has no significance for immigration purposes.
Also, there is no problem with the inconsistency between identity documents such as birth certificates and the US permanent resident card. When you apply for permanent residence, there are places on the USCIS forms to indicate both your current name (in your case, your married name) plus any names previously used (for you, your maiden name). Then the immigration authorities will process your case and issue the green card in your married name.
With your marriage certificate you will be able to change other forms of identification to your married name as well: your home country passport, driver’s license, etc. If the process can be completed in time, it is a good idea to change your home country passport before you receive your US green card, so the names will match. Contact your country’s consulate or embassy in the US for further information.
Those who obtained a green card through means other than marriage (other family relationship, lottery, etc.) but subsequently married are able to apply to USCIS to have their green card reissued in the married name. The marriage certificate would provide proof of the name change. In addition, legal name changes for reasons other than marriage can be evidenced by a copy of the relevant court decree when applying for an updated green card.
As far as US passports are concerned, if the holder changes his/her name a new or modified passport can be obtained by filing an application with the US State Department, accompanied by evidence to substantiate the change. This goes for all US passport holders, whether naturalized or entitled to US citizenship by birth. Go to www.travel.state.gov and click Passports for further details.
Disclaimer: These articles are published to inform generally, not to advise in individual cases. US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the US Department of State frequently amend regulations and alter processing and filing procedures. For legal advice seek the assistance of IIIC immigration legal staff.
Quote of the Week
“Politics – I don’t know why, but they seem to have a tendency to separate us, to keep us from one another, while nature is always and ever making efforts to bring us together.” - Sean O’Casey