Sina-cism: Some lamentable signs of our times

As if the presidential campaign season were not already long enough, and political lawn signs not divisive enough, some Americans in the wake of the 2016 contest have chosen to hang out ideological shingles detailing their core beliefs.

Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

One of the more prominent proclaims that “Black Lives Matter, Women’s Rights Are Human Rights, No Human Is Illegal, Science Is Real, Love Is Love, and Kindness Is Everything.” A variation adds that “Water Is Life” and “Injustice Anywhere Is a Threat to Justice Everywhere.”

The signs are the work of Kristin Joiner, a Wisconsin native and graphic designer now living in Bermuda. According to her website, the signs originated in the wake of the 2016 presidential election. And if there were any doubt that the folks behind them were upset by the outcome, this link (also on Joiner’s website) should settle that.

Perhaps you’re looking for a simpler, multilingual message. If so, there’s the “Welcome Your Neighbors” sign, which originated at Immanuel Mennonite Church in Harrisonburg, Virginia.

It declares: “No matter where you are from, we’re glad you’re our neighbor” — with the same message repeated in Spanish and Arabic.

My fellow Americans, where to begin?

Sina-cism: DACA’s demise clears way for real reform

The world in 2017 is too populous, complex and dangerous a place to simply admit anyone who claims to share our ideals. There are rules to be followed.
Chris Sinacola

Chris Sinacola

President Trump’s decision to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) immigration program is not about cruelty. It’s not about sending the “best and brightest” back to countries where they have no ties of family, culture, or language. It’s not about damaging the economy.

The end of DACA — which will be done as an orderly, six-month phase-out — is about respecting the rule of law and forcing Congress to do its job.

In 2012, President Obama, frustrated by Congress’ failure to adequately address the fate of millions of illegal aliens, issued an executive order creating DACA. The program encouraged those with no legal claim to be in the United States to come out of the shadows and apply for a work permit and a two-year (renewable) period during which they could not be deported.

Many, including myself, warned then that DACA was a bad idea. By circumventing Congress, Obama was giving hope to millions, but without conferring any of the rights citizens enjoy. By encouraging illegals to come forward, the government was gaining key information that could come back to haunt those very people should there be a change in policy.

Related Sina-cism: The real line on immigration, and how Obama crossed it

Some say that haunting has now begun.

QCC’s Pedraja among college leaders defending DACA

Public community college officials in Massachusetts are taking a stand in support of a five-year-old immigration program put in place by President Barack Obama put on the chopping block Tuesday by President Donald Trump.

Obama signed an executive order in June 2012 and the Department of Homeland Security subsequently began accepting applications for “deferred action” from immigrants who met certain criteria, such as being brought to the country before they turned 16. Under the program, known as DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals], qualifying immigrants — often described as “dreamers” — are protected from deportation for at least two years, and become eligible to apply for a work permit.

In a joint statement with the Boston Public Schools issued on Sunday, the 15 public community college presidents in Massachusetts said they are committed to educating all who pass through their doors.

Editorial: On immigration, Republicans become party of big government

The Supreme Judicial Court ruled Monday that police officers do not have the authority to detain immigrants solely at the request of federal immigration officials.

“In the case of Commonwealth v. Sreynuon Lunn, the court concluded that ‘nothing in the statutes or common law of Massachusetts authorizes court officers to make a civil arrest in these circumstances,’ ” State House News Service reported.

The facts are straightforward: “After the sole pending criminal charge against him was dismissed, the petitioner, Sreynuon Lunn, was held by Massachusetts court officers in a holding cell at the Boston Municipal Court at the request of a Federal immigration officer, pursuant to a Federal civil immigration detainer,” the SJC decision states.

“Immigration detainers like the one used in this case, for the purpose of that process, are therefore strictly civil in nature,” the opinion continues. “The removal process is not a criminal prosecution. The detainers are not criminal detainers or criminal arrest warrants. They do not charge anyone with a crime, indicate that anyone has been charged with a crime, or ask that anyone be detained in order that he or she can be prosecuted for a crime.”

Last week’s most popular, April 2-8

Here are the most popular Worcester Sun articles April 2-8

Area artist molds a new career, city narrative with Mugged in Worcester [April 2]
Mariano: The man nobody wants but every neighborhood needs [April 2]
Worcester teachers union wins PCB battle, will begin testing at Burncoat and Doherty [March 31]
Sina-cism: ‘Coming Apart,’ at Middlebury and elsewhere [April 2]
State’s highest court hears arguments for and against ICE immigration detainers [April 5]

Immigrants thrive as Worcester bucks nationwide labor crisis

Author BJ Hill takes us on a fantastic, fictional voyage into the possibilities of a not-too-distant tomorrow in the latest installment of What if … Worcester, the Sun’s serial glimpse into the future.

Worcester’s Long View Pays Off

Thanks to progressive immigration policies, Worcester is dodging a national labor shortage that is crippling similar cities.
WORCESTER, Feb. 19, 2034 — Friday, Feb. 24, will be Ron Gopinski’s 70th birthday. It will also be his last day of work at the Abbott-UMass Memorial Medical Center. After 32 years as an accounts representative in the purchasing department, Gopinski is enjoying the transition to retired life. For Abbott-UMass, his retirement marks a transition of a historical sort, as Gopinski is the hospital’s last full-time employee from the Baby Boomer generation.

Baby Boomers are defined as those born in the post-World War II years between 1946 and 1964. The generation comprised the largest percentage of the population, and the workforce, between approximately 1970 to 2025. But beginning in 2011, when the first of the Boomers turned 65 and began to retire, human resource departments around the country noticed a worrying trend: There were fewer qualified applicants applying for their jobs.

It wasn’t a matter of wages or education, they found, but rather the simple fact that there were less people from the succeeding generations, the Gen Xers and the Millennials, in the labor pool.

The effect has throttled companies of all sizes as they compete to find candidates to take their openings. But Worcester employers — notably the AbbVie-LakePharma companies and Coghlin GreenPower — enjoy a competitive advantage created by the city’s progressive views toward immigration earlier this century.

Inbox [March 5]: Becker panel to talk refugees and immigration, Assumption adds addiction counseling certificate, MassDiGI Game Challenge a hit, Bravehearts sign six

Interesting and worthwhile things happen every day in our community. Alas, we can’t cover them all. That’s where Inbox comes in, to offer readers an easily digestible compilation of interesting and noteworthy items you and your neighbors keep telling us about.

Panel discussion on refugees and immigration Monday at Becker

What are the practical implications of the Trump administration’s immigration measures? What impact do foreign-born workers have on the economy at the local, regional and national levels?

Deborah Becker

Courtesy WBUR

WBUR-FM (90.9) senior correspondent Deborah Becker

WBUR-FM (90.9) senior correspondent Deborah Becker will moderate a panel of community leaders who span higher education, international relations, health care and refugee assistance. The event is 6:30-8 p.m. Monday, March 6, in room 210 of the Weller Academic Center, 61 Sever St. on the Worcester campus of Becker College.

The panelists are scheduled to be Becker College President Robert E. Johnson; David Jordan, president and CEO of Seven Hills Foundation and professor of practice in social innovation at the Yunus Social Business Centre at Becker College; Dr. Olga Valdman, family medicine physician at Family Health Center and assistant professor at UMass Medical School; and Meredith Walsh, executive director and co-founder of the Worcester Refugee Assistance Project.

This event is presented by the Becker College Center for Global Citizenship.

Read the entire story on the Becker College website

Assumption announces grad certificate in addiction counseling

Assumption College has announced that beginning in fall 2017 it will offer a new Certificate in Graduate Studies in Addiction Counseling, which aims to raise the standard for the educational preparation of addiction counselors. The new certificate program is a one-year, six-course curriculum that consists of four content courses and two addiction counseling internships.