Welcome to the Immigration 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 6:00-7:30 pm.
  • 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.

SUPPORT IMMIGRANTS

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 – Tell Congress it’s time to expand permanent protections to DACA recipients.

https://savethechildrenactionnetwork.salsalabs.org/dacaanniversary2022/index.html?eType=EmailBlastContent&eId=6be031b3-b046-42a4-b717-a177908570a7     SPONSOR:  Save the Children

 

  1. NEWAsk your state and local elected officials to sign a  nonpartisan, unbrandedletter emphasizing how vital refugees are to our communities, and why we need a robust, well-funded system to welcome them.  SPONSOR:  Welcoming Refugees

 

  1. NEWTake 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. NEWRead 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.  SPONSOR:  Decriminalizing Communities    https://decriminalize.squarespace.com/ice-out-henn-co

 

  1. Sign up to get news and take action to make Minnesota a sanctuary state.

https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScFb70QWgLp0W0QexKgKUDRmZxU-FuY70ouv0n1eSrhFkYzcA/viewform     SPONSOR:  Minnesota Sanctuary State Coalition

 

  1. Email President Biden to demand the administration uphold the right to seek asylum at the U.S. border. Join the #WelcomeWithDignity campaignto urge the President to uphold our laws and his promise to restore access to a fair asylum system to people seeking safety in the United States. Sign the petition or customize your own message. SPONSOR: The Action Network.

 

  1. Write President Biden to End MPP. The Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico,” forces asylum seekers to return to Mexico after they’ve petitioned the US for safety and remain there while they await a court hearing. In the past, migrants have been forced to wait for up to two years. The implementation of this policy endangers the lives of many migrants.  As you may have seen in the news, Title 42 will no longer be in effect starting on May 23!  Write to President Biden and Vice Ptresident Harris today to thank them for ending Title 42, and urge them to terminate MPP and instead create policies that welcome migrants with compassion and dignity.  https://columbanjpe.org/action    SPONSOR: Columban Mission for Justice, Peace and Ecology.
  1. Write to big banks and tell them not fund detention center construction in Alabama. Thanks to your leadership and our continued organizing with our amazing partners in Alabama and across the country, the Biden Administration declared Alabama’s proposed use of COVID relief funds for prison construction INELIGIBLE. Despite this ruling, the State of Alabama continues its efforts to raise funds for new prison construction. We must ensure that Alabama cannot secure the $785 million dollars they plan on raising from Big Banks and demand #FreedomForAll.  SPONSOR:   org.   https://act.presente.org/go/49137?t=15&akid=13618%2E551117%2ER2XM2u
  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 petition to 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 comment telling the Biden administration to make reunification an urgent priority. SPONSOR:

 

  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 Congress to 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 petition in 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. NEWJoin a monthly vigil to 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, July 12, 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 – Attend the sanctuary state 2023 planning meeting on July 16, focused time to look at the status of the campaign to make Minnesota a sanctuary state, strategize, and create an action plan for the next year. You do not have to have attended any previous meetings. Attend Saturday, July 16, from 9 am to noon, either in-person at Edina Community Lutheran Church or on Zoom.  Join Zoom Meeting    https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81157382186     SPONSOR:  Minnesota State Sanctuary Coalition

 

  1. View inspiring immigration talks from 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. NEWSomali Independence Day Celebration – Join other Plymouth members to celebrate with our Somali neighbors, Saturday July 2nd, 1-4pm https://facebook.com/events/s/somali-week-festival-2022/646214206376752/
    SPONSOR:  Plymouth Steps Out
  1. Support No More Deaths remotely by getting involved in their fundraising work with tasks such as: grant research and writing, data entry, and phone calling. See the fundraisingpage for information and contacts about these volunteer opportunities.

https://nomoredeaths.org/remote-opportunities/
SPONSOR:  No More Deaths

  1. ICOM needs help on their financial team. Contact Tom Haigh if you have time and interest in this area.  SPONSOR:  ICOM
  1. ICOM’s AID program needs volunteers to help undocumented immigrants in a variety of ways, such as accompanying detainees or asylum seekers to court, helping intake clients or researching available community resources, such as food shelves and clothing, for clients. Spanish-speaking volunteers are especially needed. Contact Sara Adams for more details. SPONSOR: Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM).
  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 Samaritans put water in the desert, among other kinds of services for migrants. They are a worthy organization doing valuable work. SPONSOR:  Green Valley – Sahuarita Samaritans

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. Read a short but well-thought-out and thoughtful articulation of faith-based principles for immigration reform:
    1. 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 podcast explaining who they are and why we should do the work necessary to allow them to stay. SPONSOR:  “American Refugee” Podcast Series
    1. https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/american-refugee/id1494027429
  1. Watch “Democracy in the Eyes of an Undocumented Citizen,” featuring Antonio Jose Vargas, speaker at Westminster Town Hall Forum, September 21, 2021.  The recording lasts approximately one hour. Westminster Town Hall Forum is a program of the Westminster Presbyterian Church in Minneapolis. SPONSOR:  Westminster Town Hall Forum
  1. Read free reports at the intersection of blackness and immigrants. Titles include:  Our Stories and Visions, There is a Target on Us (African immigrants at the Mexican border), Black Immigrant Women and Girls in the US, and more.  https://baji.org/resources/   SPONSOR:  BAJI (Black Alliance for Just Immigration)
  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.