Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship

Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship


Hi, I’m Nancy Schachter. I’m the executive director of
the Commission on Immigrant Rights and Citizenship,
which is a mouthful, so I’ll refer to it at CIRC. [MUSIC PLAYING] CIRC came into being to address
the sort of deteriorating conversation around
immigrant services and immigrant rights in
this country in the run up to the 2016 election. When CIRC was formed,
we immediately looked at doing a
needs assessment– what were immigrants in
Cambridge looking for? Some of what evolved out
of that process was a range of immigrant needs– language
courses, citizenship courses, immigrant legal resources,
social service needs, housing– you know, a broad array of needs
that any resident might have but for immigrants might
be harder to access– more challenging to
find those resources and figure out how
to meet their needs. [MUSIC PLAYING] We serve every single immigrant
in the city of Cambridge to make sure that
every single immigrant in the city of Cambridge and
every culture is celebrated. We have many different
resources in our office to address any needs
that any immigrants have. We have an outreach
staff that can assist any immigrants
if they call CIRC and refer them to
any organization, especially local organizations,
that have different resources that they can benefit from. [MUSIC PLAYING] I reach immigrants in
Cambridge person-to-person at different community events. I meet people who
really need help. Immigrant people
who don’t speak– mostly, who don’t speak
English, who don’t know where we what is. I feel like whenever I meet
someone person-to-person and to give actual
information the person needs, I feel like I did
something important. I helped that person. So I feel very good. [MUSIC PLAYING] We are connected to a
wide array of programs. The Human Services Department,
the Cambridge Police Department, Cambridge
Health Alliance, Cambridge Public Schools,
and the list goes on and on. We are also connected to some
non-profit organizations, such as the Margaret Fuller
House, COC, the Transition House, and so on. [MUSIC PLAYING] Folks that attend the
clinic seek legal advice from experienced
immigration attorneys, ranging from temporary
protected status, citizenship, legal residence questions,
pretty much anything in between. The clinic refers them
to no-cost, low-cost, or private immigration
attorneys in the community. It’s something that
honestly, in all sincerity, wants to help out the
immigrant community and make sure that they
get the resources that they need in order to feel safe in
the state of Massachusetts. [MUSIC PLAYING] What can you do to help
immigrants in the city? You can share the information
that the city of Cambridge has the Commission on Immigrant
and Citizenship Rights and you can refer to us,
and our outreach staff can assist anyone
that calls our office. [MUSIC PLAYING]

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