Berkshire Immigrant Center | WAMC

Berkshire Immigrant Center

A sign hangs from a brick arch against a grey sky
Josh Landes / WAMC

By a 5-4 margin, the Supreme Court has blocked an effort from the Trump administration to end the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. The program was created by the Obama administration in 2012, and allows some immigrants who entered the country as children – regardless of the legality of their immigration – to remain in the country without threat of deportation for a renewable two-year period. It also makes them eligible for work permits in the United States. WAMC spoke with Berkshire Immigrant Center Executive Director Michelle Lopez about the program and today’s ruling.

A sign hangs from a brick arch against a grey sky
Josh Landes / WAMC

June is national Immigrant Heritage Month. WAMC spoke with Michelle Lopez, the executive director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center, about the most pressing issues facing immigrants this spring – from their disproportionate representation among essential workers to the impact of President Trump freezing naturalization processes.

A sign hangs from a brick arch against a grey sky
Josh Landes / WAMC

June is Immigrant Heritage Month, and a Berkshire County nonprofit has identified key issues the community faces in 2020.

A sign hangs from a brick arch against a grey sky
Josh Landes / WAMC

This week, President Trump signed an executive order to temporarily suspend green cards from being issued to migrants attempting to enter the country. WAMC spoke with Berkshire Immigrant Center Executive Director Michelle Lopez, who says the move is an attempt to exploit the pandemic to promote an anti-immigrant agenda.

A sign hangs from a brick arch against a grey sky
Josh Landes / WAMC

The COVID-19 crisis is affecting services across Berkshire County. For Michelle Lopez, executive director of the Berkshire Immigrant Center, the pandemic and the resulting shutdown are making it even harder to provide aid to one of the county’s most vulnerable populations. Lopez spoke with WAMC about supporting the immigrant community during the pandemic.

The Trump Administration is planning a nationwide immigration enforcement action this weekend. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement raids will target migrant families in 10 major cities, raising concerns among immigrant-rights advocates across our region.

In the shadow of a threatened ICE crackdown on undocumented immigrants, Berkshire County nonprofits are working to serve rattled residents.

Berkshire Immigrant Center logo
Berkshire Immigrant Center

A nonprofit that serves Berkshire County’s immigrant population is undergoing a leadership change. 

A benefit concert for the Berkshire Immigrant Center is scheduled in Lenox, Massachusetts Sunday.

Vessels for Change is a collaborative art project to support Berkshire Immigrant Center. In October, over 60 Berkshire area artists joined their creative forces to make 100 hand-painted ceramic mugs in support of the Berkshire Immigrant Center.

The project culminates in a celebration at Bright Ideas Brewing on the MASS MoCA campus in North Adams, Massachusetts on Wednesday, November 14 at 6 p.m. 

We are joined by Director Berkshire Immigrant Center Brooke Mead, ceramic artist/potter and Vessels for Change organizer Stephanie Boyd, and artist, and Vessels for Change volunteer Laura Christensen.

**Please note: in the audio the date is misidentified as 11/15.

For many immigrants, the path to U.S. citizenship is fraught with fears of deportation, separation from family, and confusion about legal requirements. Wednesday night, the Berkshire Immigrant Center is holding a Citizenship Workshop at its headquarters in St. Stephen’s Church in downtown Pittsfield. WAMC spoke with Brooke Mead, the center’s executive director, about what immigrants and the community around them can learn from the session.

Today's Panel presents a conversaton about immigration.

Immigration has been a touchstone of the U.S. political debate for decades, as policymakers weigh competing economic, security, and humanitarian concerns. Congress has been unable to reach an agreement on comprehensive immigration reform for years.

Shortly after taking office, President Donald Trump signed executive orders on border security, interior enforcement, and refugees. In mid-2017, Trump rescinded two programs created by President Obama to shield undocumented children and their parents from deportation. Most recently, a “Zero-Tolerance” policy was implemented causing children to be separated from their parents at the border.

Josh Landes

A Berkshire County organization that offers legal aid to immigrants is in the midst of a fundraising campaign. It comes at a time when immigration is once again the subject of national debate.

Berkshire Immigrant Center logo
Berkshire Immigrant Center

A Berkshire County organization that offers resources to immigrants has won a statewide prize for excellence in nonprofit work.

http://massnonprofitnet.org

Two Berkshire County nonprofits have been nominated for statewide awards.

Josh Landes

The Williamstown Community Chest celebrated 91 years of giving earlier this month.

DACA Uncertainty Felt In Berkshires

Mar 2, 2018
Wikimedia

Fierce national debate about immigration is weighing heavily on some Massachusetts residents as the fate of DACA consumes the lives of those it protects. 

JD Allen / WAMC

The number of immigrants seeking help in Berkshire County has grown tenfold in 20 years – and there’s only one center dedicated to assisting them. The center is now expanding.  

Facebook: Norman Rockwell Museum

The Berkshire Immigrant Center and the Norman Rockwell Museum are partnering on an annual U.S. citizenship naturalization ceremony Saturday in Stockbridge.

A weekend event in Pittsfield, Massachusetts will bring attention to the area’s immigrants, an issue that went quiet on the national stage amid the government shutdown.

    The Berkshire Immigrant Center will host the 9th “Immigrants' Day in the Berkshires” on October 19th at Morningside Community School in Pittsfield, MA.

Immigrants’ Day is a free event with entertainment for children, music and dancing, food from immigrant-owned businesses and the opportunity to receive a free consultation from an immigration attorney. The annual event celebrates the achievements of Berkshire County’s newest U.S. citizens.

Here to tell us more are Brooke Mead, Program Coordinator; Eleanore Velez- originally from Mexico and a bilingual admissions counselor/coordinator of the Multicultural Center at Berkshire Community College; and Elisa Fuller, originally from Ecuador, an Immigrant Community member and Berkshire Immigrant Center/Immigrants' Day Volunteer.

WIkimedia Commons/Tomas Castelazo

Last month the U.S. Senate’s so-called “gang of eight” unveiled a bi-partisan federal immigration reform bill, intensifying the debate on what has seemingly always been a controversial national issue. 

Here today to talk about federal immigration reform and S.744 is Brooke Mead, program coordinator at the Berkshire Immigrant Center in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.