May 20, 2020
Update on Jose Robles
José Robles, in sanctuary at Gethsemane Lutheran Church for a year and now detained at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma since July 17, 2019, is still waiting an expedited decision on his U-Visa. He had been the primary income earner prior to July, 2018 for his family but now needs help with legal bills and expenses at the NDC. Everything costs money at the commissary – text messages, phone calls, toothpaste, soap, and snacks like ramen cups and sodas. Those “luxuries” are a bare minimum for connection to family and friends and a meager existence in a punitive circumstance.
You can support Jose and his family in several ways:
- Donate online via Gethsemane Lutheran Church. Link here, specify an amount, then choose “Sanctuary.” Your gift will go directly to help with José’s ongoing costs and supplement his commissary fund. Any amount welcome and appreciated.
- Send cards with notes of solidarity to José Alberto Robles-Martinez (6160); NW Detention Center; 1623 E J Street, Tacoma, WA 98421-1615. Include your name and return address on the envelope. Do not enclose money, but photos and drawings and newspaper articles are okay. Writing in English is fine – just use your best handwriting so José can read it.
- Prayer, prayer, prayer – for Jose and his family and all the folks desperately and anxiously hoping for a chance at citizenship.
A special note of thanks – one of our members now tutors Jose’s youngest daughter online!
Ways to help during COVID-19
- Volunteer with the COVID-19 Hotline of the WA Immigrant Solidarity Network: The Hotline’s role has expanded in recent weeks and now gets hundreds of calls each day from immigrants around the state, with questions about basic resources such as groceries, rent assistance, employment rights, and how to find out if health concerns might be related to Coronavirus. If you are bilingual, apply here to learn more about being a Hotline Responder or a Case Manager. Research volunteers are needed to investigate resources in particular counties or service categories, do data entry, and provide on-call research to support Hotline responders. The first step is filling out this application form. Another special note of thanks – one of our members now volunteers on the hotline researching Grays Harbor County for the database and reports it a rewarding experience. Email moc.liamg@21leunameeissac for more info or to connect with this volunteer.
- Donate to the COVID-19 Relief Fund for Undocumented Individuals in Washington State: The federal government’s relief checks did not go to any undocumented people or even to mixed-status families, despite them working and paying taxes. Thanks to volunteers and in-kind donations from partner organizations like the Washington Dream Coalition and NW Immigrant Rights Project, 100% of donations will go directly to immigrant families in need. To donate, click here.
- Donate airline miles to help coordinate travel for immigrants and refugees, and for volunteer lawyers to get to the border to do frontline immigration work by clicking here or here.
- Accompaniment: If you would like to learn how you can be a friendly and supportive ally as an accompaniment volunteer when offices and courts reopen, email moc.liamg@21leunameeissac for more information. Webinar training has been recorded and is available. Volunteers will be needed to accompany immigrants and their family members to fingerprinting appointments at the immigration office in Tukwila, bond hearings in Tacoma, and state court hearings where there is a fear of ICE presence in both Western and Eastern Washington.
For more information about local immigration justice issues, join the email list by notifying moc.liamg@21lunameeissac.