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Immigration Expert Discusses Policy Issues as Distinguished Donahue Scholar

October 12, 2010

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Eva Millona, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA), gave the annual Distinguished Donahue Scholar lecture to the Lasell community today describing the landscape for immigration reform.

Millona told the group gathered in deWitt Hall about the effort to examine the issues and challenges immigrants face in Massachusetts as well as potential solutions for those barriers. Millona's talk was sponsored by Lasell's Donahue Institute for Values and Public Life.

"The truth is the system is dysfunctional. There are 12 million immigrants in the U.S. without proper authorization," said Millona, who added that the federal enforcement approach has not helped the situation.

Millona stated that immigrants pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits because the system makes them fearful of deportation. She also said that many immigrants are desperate to join their families and are not willing to wait the 15-20 years that it would take to become legalized under the current system.

"Nothing has been done [on the federal level] to address future flow," she added.

According to Tessa le Roux, Director of the Donahue Institute for Values and Public Life and Professor of Sociology at Lasell, the topic of immigration is important for the Lasell community to discuss since many states are proposing legislation in this area that is controversial. Millona will spend two days talking with students in several classes on campus.

"Ms. Millona will be talking about the position of immigrants in Massachusetts, but she will also be addressing policy issues that are currently being discussed and debated on a national level," said le Roux.

Before becoming Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Millona worked for the organization for 10 years as the Director of Policy and Advocacy. In that role she focused on providing analyses of federal and state legislation on immigration/naturalization issues, and also on reviewing and analyzing policy changes that affect immigrant communities eligible for immigration benefits.

A graduate of Clark University and Tirana University School of Law, Millona is currently co-chair of the Governor's Advisory Council on Refugees and Immigrants, and serves on the U.S. Commission for Civil Rights.

Eva Millona, Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) , will give the annual Distinguished Donahue Scholar lecture to the Lasell community on Tuesday, October 12 in de Witt Hall.

Millona will speak about the challenges and barriers current immigrants in Massachusetts face as well as immigration issues and policy that have become a part of a national debate. The talk takes place from 12:30 to 1:30 p.m.

According to Tessa le Roux, Director of the Donahue Institute for Values and Public Life and Professor of Sociology at Lasell, the topic of immigration is importance since many states are proposing legislation in this area that is controversial.

"Ms. Millona will be talking about the position of immigrants in Massachusetts, but she will also be addressing policy issues that are currently being discussed and debated on a national level," said le Roux.

Before becoming Executive Director of the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition, Millona worked for the organization for 10 years as the Director of Policy and Advocacy. In that role she focused on providing analyses of federal and state legislation on immigration/naturalization issues, and also on reviewing and analyzing policy changes that affect immigrant communities eligible for immigration benefits.

A graduate of Clark University and Tirana University School of Law, Millona is currently co-chair of the Governor's Advisory Council on Refugees and Immigrants, and serves on the U.S. Commission for Civil Rights.

 

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