The Massachusetts Student Immigrant Movement (SIM) have launched MassHope 2011, a round-the-clock vigil on the steps of the Massachusetts State House to prevent the passage of anti-immigrant amendments in the state's budget.
Last year, SIM staged a 19-day vigil to prevent similar measures from passing, and they succeeded. They recognized that the victory was only made possible by a highly engaged community of human rights supporters, which included documented and undocumented immigrants, citizens and a coalition of organizations working to build a better world.
Despite popular support in the Bay State for SIM's cause, a relentlessly dismissive Republican contingent is hell-bent on advancing this inherently hateful legislation.
The national immigrant justice movement suffered a disappointing setback at the close of 2010 with the failure of the U.S. Congress to pass the DREAM Act. That served as a reminder to SIM and other statewide coalition members of the hard work that lies ahead.
This movement will move forward with ever-growing tenacity, refusing to rest on past successes. But they'll need more and more individuals and organizations in Massachusetts to stand with them. Sign SIM's petition here, and visit their website to learn how to join the movement.
A few photos from the MassHope 2011 press conference: