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Immigrant Justice Work

Solidarity with Immigrants

CDT and our members are supporting Immigrant Justice in many ways.

Two years ago, we were a founding member of the Newton Sanctuary and Solidarity Collaborative (NSSC). For a year and a half, we supported a family being hosted by the NSSC in a Newton Church - primarily by joining in as volunteer companions, being present in the space to be a support to the family as needed, and if ICE showed up. In June, the family left sanctuary, and we are determining next steps in action together.

CDT members are also active in the Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network (BIJAN) offering support to undocumented people in a variety of ways: working a hotline where immigrants in detention can call for help; accompanying undocumented people to court appointments; raising money to bond people out of detention; providing transportation; showing up at vigils and rallies; and providing housing.

BIJAN works closely with immigrant communitities and immigrant-led organizations. CDT also supports policy efforts that seek to improve things for all immigrants.

Past Action

CDT, with participation by Reservoir Church in Cambridge, led a prayer vigil at the Suffolk County House of Corrections on Sunday, October 27, 2019 from 2-3pm. We gathered to sing, chant, testify, pray and raise our voices in support of ICE detainees. This monthly gathering, sponsored by Massachusetts Communities Action Network (MCAN), drew together different faith traditions to stand up for immigrants' rights. Our presence reminded ICE detainees that they are not alone or forgotten. For more information, please contact Bonnie Tenneriello.

For more information about CDT's Immigrant Justice efforts, contact Janet Penn.

Meanwhile, there are many opportunities to support immigrants that do not necessarily require a sustained or time-intensive commitment. These include:

Please reach out to any of us if you have questions or concerns.

Wishing justice for immigrants in 5780 (2019-2020),

Stacey Chacker,
Sandy Goodman,
Danielle Klainberg,
Bonnie Tenneriello,



Major immigrants’ rights groups, communities of faith (including the Newton sanctuary cluster), and others have joined in the Boston Cluster Network to offer support to undocumented people, from accompanying them to court appointments to helping with transportation to showing up at vigils and rallies.  You can sign up to be part of this effort, indicating what type of support you are available to provide, at this link.  (Please indicate that you are a CDT and/or Newton cluster member).  Contact Bonnie if you have trouble signing up: you happen to be an attorney with an interest in taking on an immigration case, but without expertise in immigration law, CDT member Bob Warren, an immigration attorney, has offered to provide mentorship on immigration cases.  You can indicate your interest when you sign up for the Boston Cluster (see above) and contact Bob,  Bob is also looking for therapists to do evaluations of immigration clients. 

Policy Work

We can support policy changes that will improve things for all immigrants. Currently, our focus is helping to get the Safe Communities’ Act passed in the Massachusetts legislature.   The Safe Communities Act would protect the civil rights, safety and well-being of all residents by drawing a clear line between immigration enforcement and public safety. Sponsored by State Sen. Jamie Eldridge (S.1305) and State Rep. Juana Matías (H.3269), it ensures that our tax dollars are not used to help the Trump administration deport immigrant families or create a Muslim registry.

Immediate ways to help:

Future steps will include (when notified by MIRA re: timing)

  • A push to get CDT members to call their MA legislators.
  • Op-Eds or Letters to the Editor.
  • If you are interested in helping to make calls to CDT members and/or writing a Letter to the Editor, please email Stacey Chacker at

Finally, save April 4, 2018 for MIRA’s Lobby Day at the State House.

Refugee Support

Although we discussed the possibility of working on refugee issues at our October meeting, we have decided to focus our group’s efforts on undocumented immigrants, given the urgency of the crisis.  However, folks who wish to support refugee efforts can get involved with the International Institute of New England by signing up for a volunteer orientation on the IINE website ; by emailing the IINE’s Director of Partner engagement, Cheryl Hamilton,; or joining the Needham Immigration Task Force in its refugee resettlement efforts, by contacting Jessica Day,

Sat, January 28 2023 6 Shevat 5783