Stories

Picketers call on Hannaford Supermarkets to support migrant dairy workers

May 2, 2022

The group Migrant Justice picketed at Hannaford Supermarkets Sunday to call for human rights for dairy farm workers. Migrant Justice created the Milk with Dignity Program to address low pay, poor conditions, and human rights violations in the dairy industry. The group, for years, has been asking Hannaford to join Milk with Dignity, and the…

Read More
Mashan Manahe, left, transfers a meat dish from the stove while his wife, Zainab, makes a salad and their two sons, Omar and Nasir, get plates out of the cabinet. The Manahe family enjoys a variety of specialty food during Ramadan, including dates, sambousas, and sweets.

Muslim Mainers welcome Ramadan, a month of prayer, daily fasting, and community

April 1, 2022

On a recent evening, Zainab Manahe was frying sambousas over a grill set up in the garage at her home in Gorham, Maine. The small, meat-filled pastries sizzling in the pan are a staple at her family’s dinner table during the month of Ramadan. Speaking in Arabic while her son Nasir interpreted, Zainab explained that…

Read More

Massachusetts to welcome first Ukrainian refugees next week

March 30, 2022

Massachusetts is preparing to welcome its first Ukrainian family of refugees next week. Governor Charlie Baker says the state should be ready to resettle evacuees fleeing what the United Nations calls Europe’s largest refugee crisis of the century. The state Senate earmarked $10 million to support international evacuees, including Ukrainians, earlier this month. Baker said…

Read More

Evictions could top pre-COVID numbers, hit vulnerable communities hardest

March 24, 2022

Victor and Amilbia came to this country, like many other migrants, to find better opportunities for themselves and their future family. So never in their wildest dreams did they think their American dream would include facing eviction. The family of seven, who asked that only their first names be used because the parents are undocumented,…

Read More
Raj Paik lifts his nine-month-old son Siraj after getting home from work.

Visa renewal backlogs leave some Mass. workers torn between work and family

March 15, 2022

Dr. Rajandeep Singh Paik wants to celebrate his son’s first birthday in his hometown in India. COVID-19 cases are dropping. Cities are loosening mask mandates. People are planning vacations and traveling internationally again. However, Paik, who lives in South Boston, cannot leave the United States because he wouldn’t be allowed to come back on his…

Read More
Gissela Yanez in her first day of English classes at Saint Augustine Parish Hall in Manchester, N.H.

N.H. immigrants prosper inside English classes in wake of labor shortage

February 9, 2022

Gissela Yanez arrived pregnant from Peru in New Hampshire in 2020. She has a college degree and was a physical therapist back in Peru. But here she cleans houses. She found the job quickly, and she said it makes her feel disappointed in her abilities. She knows she can do more. Like many new immigrants,…

Read More
Sensei Papy Bongibo, center, and sensei Francis Bola, in blue, observe as students practice judo drills. Many students said Bongibo's standing in the community encouraged them to join the class.

Congolese community leader draws African immigrants to Maine judo program

January 21, 2022

Papy Bangibo is the president of the Congolese Community of Maine. But when he steps onto the mat at Fournier’s Leadership Karate Center in Westbrook, he goes by a different title — sensei. Bongibo is a third-degree black belt in judo, the Japanese martial art with a name that means “the gentle way.” Rather than…

Read More
An Afghan family recently resettled in Massachusetts with help of the International Institute of New England.

Citing housing shortage, New Hampshire’s Afghan resettlement groups say they’ve hit capacity

January 11, 2022

New Hampshire’s housing shortage has slowed the process of resettling Afghan evacuees, according to two local organizations. Of the 150 Afghan evacuees who have arrived to New Hampshire since November, about half of them remain in hotels. “The housing market in New Hampshire has made it very difficult to find affordable and safe housing,” said Donna…

Read More
Farkhanda Ehssan gathers her three children around the dinner table at their new home in New Bedford, Mass.

A long journey from Kabul brings one family to New Bedford, Mass.

December 23, 2021

Last summer, the U.S. ended its 20-year war in Afghanistan. As the Taliban captured the capital Kabul, tens of thousands of Afghans fled the country, fearing repression and economic collapse. One family’s journey out of Kabul led them to New Bedford, Massachusetts. The hiss of a pressure cooker cuts through the kitchen chatter. Farkhanda Ehssan…

Read More
Claudia Rosales pointing to the field in western Massachusetts she worked on as an agricultural farmer.

In western Massachusetts, farmworkers face barriers to COVID-19 vaccination

December 16, 2021

Undocumented farmworkers face many barriers when seeking health care. The pandemic has widened this disparity and now many workers are hesitant to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, including in western Massachusetts. The air is cold and farmworkers in the region have to work through it. One undocumented worker, known as Flori, has dried leaves crunched beneath…

Read More