~ submitted by the UCUCC Immigrant Justice Action Team
As news reports tell us on a daily basis, issues related to immigration rights continue to focus concerns on those seeking to cross our border, those who have already crossed the border but are now detained or are facing legal action, and those who are receiving respite in a variety of ways. Locally, we are challenged to lend our support, become informed, share information, and stand-up and be counted. Here is a summary of some upcoming opportunities you might want take part in:
Webinar re the REAL ID ACT in Washington
Thursday, March 28, 6:00-7:30PM
The REAL ID Act goes into effect in Washington state on 10/1/2020. The Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network and Washington Department of Licensing staff are hosting a webinar as part of an educational campaign to help Washington residents prepare for REAL ID and learn about all of the options. After a short presentation, there will be Q&A with Department of Licensing staff. Details and RSVP here.
Individuals released from the Tacoma Detention Center are often in need of underwear and socks. The Welcome Center, located adjacent to the Detention Center, provides these items and supplies are very low. Most of those being released are relatively small in stature so small and medium sizes for both men and women are most in need.
NOTE: In April there will be opportunities to donate underwear and socks in the Narthex.
Dates will be provided in upcoming Sunday Announcements and in Thursday emails.
Other Local Way to Take Action:
There is an ongoing need to provide very temporary shelter for people being released from the Tacoma Detention Center late in the afternoon. These folks may need a place to stay until they catch a Greyhound bus the next day, attend a hearing, or meet with attorneys or other advocates.
If you can occasionally provide this kind of help,please contact Stephanie Murray at gro.rw@yarrums for more information.
Detention Lottery Play
Wednesday, May 8, 6:30-9:00 PM
You are invited to a special event, co-sponsored by the Temple Beth Am Immigrant Justice Action Team together with congregational partners in the U-District Sanctuary Hub.
Please join us for “The Detention Lottery” at Temple Beth Am, 2632 NE 80th St, Seattle 98115. Light refreshments will be available at 6:30, and the program will begin at 7:00. There is no charge, but donations will be collected to benefit the? Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) Fair Fight Bond Fund. RSVPs are required. ?Register at http://tinyurl.com/y4t4buob Those who attended this production a few weeks back rave about the entire evening.
For better or worse, the issue of immigration has been making headlines most days lately. Lost sometimes in the conversations about border security are the individuals who are currently detained in a system that is desperately in need of reform. For many of us, it’s hard to comprehend what detainees face in our immigration enforcement system. So to educate ourselves, our U-District Sanctuary Hub is sponsoring “The Detention Lottery,” a dynamic, immersive courtroom drama created by local immigration attorney Margaret O’Donnell. Seattle area immigration attorneys will play the roles of attorneys, judges, ICE officers and guards, with audience members selected at random to be ?detainees. After the court proceedings, there will be a talk-back to answer questions about how the detention process works.
Keep Washington Working
Thanks to everyone who visited Olympia on WAISN Lobby Day in spite of the snow, and those who made phone calls and sent letters to their legislators! There was good news this week on the Keep Washington Working Act (KWWA):
Washington Senate Bill 5497 passed out of the Senate Law & Justice Committee, with the vote split along party lines, and has now moved on to the Senate Ways & Means Committee.
Its companion, House Bill 1815, has passed the House Committee on Civil Rights & Judiciary, and been referred to Appropriations.
Did you know that nearly a million Washingtonians – one in every seven people in our state – are immigrants? Expanded federal immigration enforcement activity has created significant uncertainty and fear for immigrants, their families, and their employers. KWW protects our communities and our economy by getting local governments out of the business of federal immigration enforcement. The Keep Washington Working Act would limit state information exchange and immigration enforcement activities with federal agencies, and would require state agencies to keep information secure when individuals use state services and facilities, regardless of citizenship status.
Help Save Historic Texas Church
President Trump’s border wall now threatens the first Spanish-speaking Protestant church in America: Jackson Chapel United Methodist Church in San Juan, Texas. The origins of the historic church and cemetery go back to the 1850s. The property was a stop on the Underground Railroad, and the chapel was built by an interracial family whose descendants continue to live nearby.
Construction is scheduled to begin next month, and so far Customs and Border Patrol have ignored neighbors’ attempts to ensure that the wall and accompanying 150-foot enforcement zone don’t cut right through the middle of the church and adjoining cemetery grounds, forever separating the family’s gravesites from the rest of the U.S. >>Sign on and tell Customs and Border Patrol: Save historic church and cemetery from Trump’s wall.
End the the “Remain in Mexico” Policy
Call or email our members of Congress to express your concern about Homeland Security’s new “Remain in Mexico” policy, which would return vulnerable asylum seekers (including families) to Mexico to wait while their cases are pending in US immigration courts. The policy would expose them to risk of great harm (including homelessness, malnourishment, disease, assault, kidnapping and death), and would limit their access to counsel. The policy does not provide a viable solution to the root causes of Central American migration.
- Senator Maria Cantwell: 202-224-3441 / 206-220-6400
- Senator Patty Murray: 202-224-2621 / 206-553-5545
- Rep. Pramila Jayapal: 202-225-3106 / 206-674-0040
“I’m calling today because I’m alarmed by the recent Homeland Security policy to return migrants and asylum seekers to Mexico, where they’re supposed to wait for months or years while their immigration cases are pending. These are vulnerable people seeking safety who are being pushed into dangerous living conditions. It will also be very difficult to pursue an asylum claim from Mexico, and harder to get the help of an immigration lawyer. Asylum seekers attend 96% of their court hearings, so there’s no reason for this policy. Trump is only implementing it to discourage asylum seekers.”