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Fighting back

Posted by Ralph Ranalli September 20, 2007 11:10 AM

Nilton Lisboa is helping to form an advocacy group for immigrants in Marlborough
(Globe staff photo by Bill Polo)


A doctor, a real estate broker, a sales manager for an oil company, and three local business owners gathered in Marlborough last week to fight anti-immigrant sentiment. Two members of the group are in their late 20s, grew up in Marlborough, and are bilingual. All are immigrants, from either Brazil or Portugal.

The hostility they feel takes a number of forms in several communities: a revised town health code; a city's effort to get its own federal immigration office; anonymous hate fliers left in an apartment house lobby.

These sort of events and more have prompted defensive measures. Immigrants and their advocates are fighting back by getting organized, staff writer Lisa Kocian and correspondent Tanya Perez-Brennan report in today's Globe West.

In Marlborough, the City Council's attempt to open a local office for federal immigration authorities inspired the group of immigrant professionals to form an advocacy group over the summer. In Framingham, a community meeting was organized last week in response to a batch of fliers carrying the threat of deportation, which were distributed around an apartment complex. In Milford, some residents are trying to repeal a measure on overcrowded apartments that is widely seen as targeting immigrants.

"We are here permanently and we have as much love for this city as others," said Nilton Lisboa, who spearheaded the formation of the new Marlborough group.

Read more about organized efforts to fight discrimination against immigrants in the online edition of today's Globe West.

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