Welcome to the Immigrant Welcoming Working Group (IWWG).

We’ll update materials on this page periodically.

Some background about the IWWG:

  • Began in approximately 2017.
  • Meets the 3rd Tuesday of the month from 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Our purpose is to live out our faith by caring for immigrants through education, advocacy, and service.
  • Anyone can join the group who’s interested in learning more about service to immigrants. Members do not have to members of Plymouth, and there is no term limit.
  • Please refer to our annual plan for more specifics.


How You Can Help

Witnessing God’s love for all people, we stand with and advocate for immigrants through partnership, direct action, education, and support for local immigrants, as well as related organizations.

As part of our advocacy program, the Immigrant Welcoming Work Group compiles actions and local events held in support of immigrants and immigration issues. We urge you to perform some of these actions and/or attend some of the events! Content is updated monthly.

If you take any action listed in this summary, please notify Tom Haigh, jthaigh45 (at) gmail.com, for tracking purposes. If you have content for future updates, please submit to Janine Sieja, janinesieja (at) gmail.com.

  1. NEW – Sign this petition and tell the Biden administration that you oppose armed intervention in Haiti. SPONSOR:  Win Without War
  2. NEW – Incarcerated people, including detainees, and their loved ones deserve to stay connected. Period. The problem is for-profit telecommunication companies owned by private equity firms American Securities and Platinum Equity dominate the prison telecom market and currently get away with charging pretty much anything they want. We know from Conversations With Friends that this is a problem for detainees in MN detention centers.  SPONSOR:  Americans for Financial Reform

Congress can fix it. The Martha Wright Prison Phone Justice Act would require the Federal Communications Commission to regulate how much prisons and jails can charge incarcerated people and their families for phone calls and put an end to private equity price gouging nationwide. Please contact your representatives and ask them to co-sponsor now.

  1. NEW – Sign a petition to support federally funded legal representation for everyone facing deportation.

Add your name to show support for advancing universal representation >>

Here are two ways you can help us build even more momentum:

Share on Twitter or Facebook to amplify with your social networks.

Forward the petition to your friends and family with an email.

  1. NEW – Unlike in our criminal legal system, there is no public defender system for people currently facing the threat of deportation. The Fairness to Freedom campaignis a national movement dedicated to changing this cruel system.  SPONSOR:  Vera Institute of Justice
  1. NEW – Ask your state and local elected officials to sign a  nonpartisan, unbranded letter emphasizing how vital refugees are to our communities, and why we need a robust, well-funded system to welcome them.

SPONSOR:  Welcoming Refugees.

  1. NEW – Take action to help end Title 42. Some Democrats have been joining with Republicans to pass a separate bill that would probably keep the effects of Title 42 in place for years. Please take action against Title 42 by using our sample messages to contact your representatives – no matter their party affiliation – to vote against any measure which would keep Title 42 in place.  SPONSOR:  Immigration Justice Campaign.
  1. NEW – Read a short list of demands, then call or email your Hennepin County Board representative and share them. When deciding for whom to vote for Hennepin County sheriff this fall, make sure the person you vote for clearly and strongly supports these demands. https://decriminalize.squarespace.com/ice-out-henn-co SPONSOR:  Decriminalizing Communities
  1. Sign up to get news and take action to make Minnesota a sanctuary state.


SPONSOR:  Minnesota Sanctuary State Coalition.

  1. Take action to #FreeJacob, an asylum seeker, husband and father being held in an ICE detention center. When Jacob, who worked as a police officer, spoke out in his home country about brutal corruption that plagued his department and community, government officials threatened his life. He fled to the United States with his family to escape persecution and retaliation. Now, he is behind bars. Add your name to the petitionto free him from ICE detention in Dallas while he awaits his asylum hearing.

SPONSOR: The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES).

  1. Tell the Department of Homeland Security to reunite immigrant families. During the Trump administration, the government systematically separated 5,500 families arriving in the United States. Not all have been reunited—the parents of hundreds of children have still not been found—and the trauma inflicted on these families is everlasting. Submit your commenttelling the Biden administration to make reunification an urgent priority. SPONSOR: ACLU (American Civil Liberties Union)
  1. Ask Congress to support Afghan refugees’ path to permanent residency. Tens of thousands of Afghans have been welcomed into the United States via “humanitarian parole.” Congress is negotiating legislation to fund an Afghan Adjustment Act within the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program to ensure these refugees have a path to becoming lawful permanent residents beyond their temporary immigration status. Contact members of Congressto ensure safety for Afghan refugees. SPONSOR: Church World Service.
  1. Share what good we could be doing with the billions of dollars currently spent on detention centers. Read this Defund Hate blog post, then share it on social media or send it to your legislators. The National Priorities Project at the Institute for Policy Studies, which researches federal budget spending, uses federal budget data from recent fiscal years to highlight 13 different resources the U.S. government could fund instead of wasting billions on increased enforcement and militarization. SPONSOR: Detention Watch Network.
  1. Urge the Biden administration to reverse harmful U.S. policies in Latin America, rebuild relationships, and transform conditions so people can live with dignity in their chosen country. Sign a petitionin favor of reversing these harmful policies, and to do it while upholding the rights of all who seek international protection. SPONSOR: American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).
  1. NEW – Join a monthly vigilto stand in support of immigrants and detainees, and in opposition to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) practices that dehumanize and terrorize. The next vigil will be held at 7:30am Tuesday, November 9, hosted by Plymouth, at the Whipple Federal Building at Fort Snelling, the regional ICE headquarters for the five-state area and the site of both immigrant detention facilities and an immigration court. People of any faith and no particular faith are invited to join in an hour of prayer and song, hosted by a rotating cast of faith communities and social justice groups.  Guest speakers provide attendees with concrete opportunities to show solidarity with detainees and to oppose inhumane detention practices.

Every Second Tuesday of the Month

7:30 to 8:30 am

Bishop Henry Whipple Building, 1 Federal Drive, Saint Paul, MN 55111

The event will also be livestreamed on Facebook. Contact Jerry Davis ( fandjontheroad@gmail.com ) if you wish to attend with someone or to arrange transportation.

SPONSOR: Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM).

  1. NEW Plan ahead! Attend!  Buy stuff for a good cause!  Holiday Craft & Bake Sale for Social Justice at MIRAC 4200 Cedar Ave, Minneapolis, Sunday 12/4, 1-3pm – fundraiser for MIRAC
  1. NEW – ICOM needs a volunteer to coordinate vigilson an alternating basis (i.e.
    every other month) with Joy Nelson.  ICOM provides a vigil template (when needed), the network of faith communities and organizational partners who can host, and the resources to publicize, broadcast, and record the event.  The commitment is three to five hours every other month (depending on the intricacy of the vigil and resources of the host organization).  Contact Joy Nelson at joynelson92@yahoo.com if you’re able to volunteer and / or want to know more.  SPONSOR: Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM).
  1. ICOM AID is looking for volunteers to help in many different ways: driving, shopping, accompaniment to medical or legal proceedings, etc.  People can contact Sara Adams, adamssara430@gmail.com, for more information.
  1. NEW – People could become active supporting MIRAC, https://www.miracmn.com/, particularly their Immigrant Power Now Campaign in Minneapolis, https://www.miracmn.com/current-campaigns.
  1. NEW – The Decriminalizing Communities Campaign is led by Jewish Community Action, https://www.jewishcommunityaction.org/decriminalizing-communities. They are pushing for separation ordinances in both Hennepin and Ramsey Counties.
  1. The Asylum Coalition for Transition – Twin Cities (ACT-TC) needs help furnishing a home for an asylum-seeking family who will be living at Shepherd of the Hills Lutheran Church in Hopkins. ACT-TC is an informal group of interfaith congregations who are compelled by faith to actively befriend the stranger. You can donate needed items (new or gently used) or gift cards (Target or Cub) via SignUpGenius. Gift cards can be mailed to the church at 500 Blake Road South, Hopkins, MN 55343 (note the campaign). You can drop off donated items at the church Monday-Thursday during normal working hours, but please call 952-935-3457 to confirm someone is available to receive your donation. For questions, contact Paul Bohnsack. SPONSOR:  ACT-TC.
  1. Help the Green Valley – Sahuarita Samaritansput water in the desert, among other kind services for migrants. They are a worthy organization doing valuable work. SPONSOR:  Green Valley – Sahuarita Samaritans.
To Donate Online:

Click the Donate button and choose your preferred method of payment: debit, credit or PayPal. Anything you give will be very much appreciated.

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​          You can add Special Instructions, such as:

  • Samaritans for general expenses like water, food, blankets, clothing, first aid or whatever is most needed.
  • Vehicles for replacing or maintaining vehicles for our search and water drop trips.
  • Sonora Migrant Project for providing emergency support to migrants and asylum seekers in Sonora, Mexico and Southern Arizona.
  • Shelters for providing support for asylum seekers and migrants​ in shelters.
  • Bonds for bonding out of detention medically-compromised, non-violent immigrants.
  • LifeStraws for person water filters migrants use to purify surface water.

2023 Immigration Trip to Mexico/Arizona Border

There will be an information session Sunday, May 1, 12:30-1:30 in Jackman to discuss a February 2023 immersion/volunteer opportunity. We’ll share highlights from our 2020 trip and tentative plans for our next trip. Contact Nancy Siska at npsiska@gmail.com or Maureen Tanis at Tanis.maureen@gmail.com with questions.

Learning and Teaching

  1. NEW – Listen to a podcast from Dora Rodriguez who was once an asylum seeker.She escaped the death squads in El Salvador in the 1980s during the U.S.-backed civil war. On her journey to the United States, her group was abandoned in the Sonoran Desert south of Tucson, Arizona. Thirteen people traveling with her died, and Rodriguez barely survived.

Since then, she’s devoted her life to social work and to helping migrants in the Sonoran Desert where she nearly perished. In this podcast, Rodriguez talks about the migrant resource center called Casa de la Esperanza which she helped open last year in the Mexican border community of Sásabe, Sonora. She talks about her own history, her nonprofit Salvavision, and the current situation at the border with Title 42 and other policies endangering asylum seekers’ lives. And she talks about how humanitarian work, which can take a physical and emotional toll, sustains her year after year. “There are some days that are painful,” she said. “There are tears. What keeps me going is to see the people behind me doing this work, and I know I’m not alone.”   SPONSOR:  The Border Chronicles


  1. NEW – Watch a video. This is a presentation by Prof Geoff Boyce of U of Arizona. It deals with the history and impact of Prevention thru Deterrence. As much as I (reviewer is a member of the Green Valley Sahuarita Samaritans) thought I understood it, living here on the border, I learned a lot and understand better where we are now. I hope you will watch, wherever you are.  SPONSOR: Border Community Alliance


  1. NEW – Watch any or all of four videos from the Legal Studies trip from the University of Central Florida in Orlando. The Arizona border trip was in June of 2021. They are all good and professionally done including drone shots. They include trips with Humane Borders and Alvaro Enciso and a visit to the Casa de Esperanza in Sasabe. We have been asked NOT to post these or use them publicly. We are welcome to view them and share them privately since they are making the film festival circuit and in various competitions.  SPONSOR: Green Valley Sahuarita Samaritans.





  1. Read a short but well-thought-out and thoughtful articulationof faith-based principles for immigration reform: https://nomoredeaths.org/about-no-more-deaths/faith-based-principles-for-immigration-reform/  SPONSOR:  No More Deaths
  1. If you’re not familiar with the plight of the Dreamers (DACA participants), listen to a short (35 minute) excellent podcastexplaining who they are and why we should do the work necessary to allow them to stay. SPONSOR:  “American Refugee” Podcast Series https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/american-refugee/id1494027429
  1. View inspiring immigration talksfrom the March vigil at Sherburne County from Curtis DeYoung and Bishop Craig Loya https://mnicom.org/2022/03/08/march-2022-vigil/ SPONSOR: ICOM
  1. Immigration is a complicated issue. It’s helpful to have some background, and a great start is to watch the video “U.S. Immigration – The Basics”by Alyson Ball. She is a Samaritan, working with asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants in Arizona and Virginia. Ball keeps up-to-date on immigration issues and gives presentations throughout the United States. This 53-minute video will get you acquainted with basic immigration history, law and practice. SPONSOR:  Green Valley – Sahuarita Samaritans.

If you take any action listed in this summary, please notify Tom Haigh for tracking purposes. If you have content for future updates, please submit to Janine Sieja.