A few months ago the Boston Workers Circle Immigrant Justice Committee decided that the time was right to up its commitment to immigrants in response to the US border policies, the increasing number of people suffering the effects of economic and climate chaos globally, and the staggering suffering of so many while so many of us here in the BWC community are so comfortable.
The Immigrant Justice Committee decided to sponsor an immigrant under the US government’s new Humanitarian Parole program (Info on Humanitarian Parole), in which 30,000 people each month from Cuba, Venezuela, Haiti, and Nicaragua can be sponsored by US citizens or organizations to legally enter the US, access benefits, obtain work permits, and remain here for two years.
Working rapidly to learn more about the program, the committee found support and training from Catholic Charities of Boston, who will continue to mentor us through the process. We also began reaching out for volunteers and donations (Help BWC Sponsor a Refugee).
We decided to focus on sponsoring an immigrant from Cuba, based on the number of BWC Spanish speakers and community members with contacts and familiarity with Cuba. We asked our network of volunteers to reach out to contacts in Cuba for potential people to sponsor.
Almost immediately, we were introduced to Mirian Esther Dominguez Rivero, a 32-year-old, born in Santiago de Cuba. Mirian has lived in Havana for 20 years, and she studied to be a preschool teacher. She has worked as a nursing assistant in homes for disabled adults. She currently lives with her mother, brother and nephews. Mirian likes to cook, read, dance and watch horror movies.
Mirian’s situation, and the situation facing the overwhelming majority of Cubans today, is dire. People are scrambling to find ways to earn money for food, but then often are unable to find food to buy. There is also a shortage of medicines. Cubans are leaving in record numbers (Why Record Numbers of People Are Leaving). According to the New York Times, “Over the last year, nearly 250,000 Cubans, more than 2 percent of the island’s 11 million population, have migrated to the United States, most of them arriving at the southern border by land, according to U.S. government data”.
Mirian wants to leave Cuba to find steady employment in order to help support her family.
The Immigrant Justice Committee is working on completing the required paperwork and next steps. We have an affordable, safe, and cozy apartment available in Jamaica Plain. Many volunteers have already come forward to support Mirian’s arrival, adjustment, and path towards independence by donating to our Go Fund Me account and offering to provide translation support, expertise accessing benefits, and lessons and comfort while she is learning her way around Boston.
The Immigrant Justice Committee will need more help as we begin this long journey with Mirian. We hope to have her here in Boston soon but realize it may take three to six months before she arrives.
Join us in welcoming and supporting Mirian.