U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren visited the Lowell Community Health Center (Lowell CHC) today. She met with the Lowell CHC leadership, toured the Mill City Grows mobile market, and visited IINE’s new offices on the second floor of the Health Center.
Senator Warren participated in a roundtable discussion with Lowell CHC staff and community partners, including IINE-Lowell, where she learned about the community’s response to the pandemic.
“It was a thrill for our staff to meet the Senator,” said IINE President and CEO, Jeff Thielman. “She was warm and gracious, and she is a known advocate for refugees and immigrants. Our Lowell staff comes from all over the world, and she was enthusiastic about meeting everyone and learning about what our team does.”
IINE Managing Attorney, Chiara St. Pierre, spoke to Senator Warren about IINE’s immigration legal services work. She told the Senator about the importance of making the immigration court an independent body and about returning USCIS (the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services) to a service organization rather than an enforcement agency.
“She said an independent judiciary for immigration matters is a pillar of her immigration plan,” Chiara explained. “She took a great deal of interest in our citizenship and other work, and she congratulated us on our success in helping people become citizens.”
Since October 1, 2020, IINE has submitted 87 applications for citizenship and is on track to file 120 applications by September 30.
Safeena Niazi, IINE’s Human Resources Coordinator who works from the Lowell office, came to the U.S as a refugee from Afghanistan in 2017. “It was good to meet her. She was completely different than what you see on television. She was very friendly and easy to talk to. I felt like I could be very comfortable talking with her for a long time.”
“Senator Warren’s visit was the perfect way to launch IINE’s work in our beautiful new space, and to highlight our very strong partnership with the Health Center,” said Caroline Hanson Rowe, the Managing Director of IINE-Lowell.