SUPPORT IMMIGRANTS

How You Can Help During February 2021

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.

I Have Ten Minutes

  1. NEWSign the Minnesota Immigrant Health Alliance petitiondemanding urgent action to protect ICE detainees from COVID-19. Outbreaks have been rampant in ICE detention centers, and COVID cases have been detected in four of the five county jails in Minnesota with ICE contracts. Call on elected leaders to protect these vulnerable Minnesotans by providing adequate hygiene, equitable vaccine access and independent medical oversight. SPONSORS: Minnesota Immigrant Health Alliance and organizations including ISAIAH, ACLU-MN, Minnesota Immigration Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) and Interfaith Coalition on Migration (ICOM).
  1. NEWEmail your Minnesota state legislator to support the MinnesotaCare Expansion bill (HF11) Coronavirus Immigrant Family Protection Act.The bill passed committee, which means we’re one step closer to making sure all Minnesotans—even undocumented residents—can enroll in an affordable public health-care plan. SPONSOR: TakeAction Minnesota.
  1. NEWEmail your member of Congress to support the Coronavirus Immigrant Family Protection Act.Immigrant families are in danger of being left out of pandemic aid. The Act would, among other provisions, help ensure that all communities can access COVID-19 testing and treatment, and other relief services provided in coronavirus relief legislation. SPONSOR: The Refugee and Immigrant Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES).
  1. NEWSign the Jesuits’ petition to #SaveAsylum. Thousands of asylees are being held in detention camps or in limbo at the border. Ask the Biden Administration to make restoring their rights a priority in its first 100 days. SPONSOR: Jesuits Action Center.
  1. NEWSign the ACLU petition demanding Congress divest from ICE and CBP. Under the Trump Administration, we were shown that U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have become rogue agencies that separate families and terrorize immigrant communities with impunity. Our tax dollars fund detainee torture and unwanted surgeries. This must stop immediately. SPONSOR:
  1. NEWTell Congress to abolish ICE and prioritize our communities. Everyone should be treated with dignity and respect. That’s why Congress must abolish Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and instead prioritize the well-being of all people and a humane approach to migration. SPONSOR: American Friends Service Committee (AFSC)

 

  1. Request Release for Incarcerated People to protect them from COVID-19 and demand a halt to any Minnesota collaboration with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) during the pandemic. HOW: Call Governor Tim Walz, 651-201-3400, or state Commissioner of Corrections Paul Schnell, 651-361-7226. Use the script outlined on ISAIAH’s website. SPONSORS: ISAIAH, a multi-racial, statewide, non-partisan coalition of faith communities fighting for racial and economic justice. Also supported by Minnesota Immigration Rights Action Committee (MIRAC) and the Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM), under the action name Free Them All.

I Have One Hour

  1. NEW – Attend Plymouth’s February Film Club meeting, focusing on the 2019 documentary The River and the Wall, a beautiful and thought-provoking film, at 12:30pm Feb. 7. The film follows five friends who journey by bike, foot, boat and horse from El Paso to the Gulf of Mexico along the Rio Grande. On their journey, they explore immigration and environmental issues raised by the construction of the border wall. Beth Hoffman Faeth and Joan Thompson, who both visited the Arizona border in 2020, will lead the discussion. HOW: Watch the film before attending the Zoom discussion. The River and the Wall is available to rent/buy on Vimeo, YouTube and Amazon Prime. For those with subscriptions to Kanopy or Starz, the film is also available there, and the Hennepin County Library has six copies of the DVD. SPONSORS: Plymouth’s Immigrant Welcoming Working Group and the Racial Justice Initiative.
  1. NEW – Join the Basilica of St. Mary in a three-part discussion with Sam Graber, the host of the “American Refugee” podcast. This powerful, locally produced podcast tells the human stories behind the most pressing human rights challenges of our time. Join the discussion of three episodes of “American Refugee” about people trapped in our immigration system. HOW: Discussions take place 9-10am on Saturdays, Feb. 13, Feb. 27 and March 20. Register for the series to receive meeting credentials. SPONSOR: The Basilica of St. Mary and American Refugee.

I Have One Day

  1. NEW – Join a discussion of the vision for immigration policy under the Biden Administration. St. Joan of Arc’s Welcome the Stranger ministry will focus on federal issues (part I, in January) and then state issues (part II, in February), including what does “sanctuary state” mean and why is it important; how do we best support it; and what is the impact, importance and likelihood of passage of driver’s licenses for all. HOW: Part II will be held 1-2:30pm Feb. 6 via Zoom. Register for the discussion. SPONSOR: Joan of Arc.
  1. NEWReview your investments to ensure they align with your values. Are you supporting corporations that profit from private prisons and detention centers, or violate worker rights in other countries? Learn to discern. SPONSOR: American Friends Service Committee (AFSC).

I Can Contribute Financially

  1. Help the Green Valley – Sahuarita Samaritans put water in the desert, among other kind services for migrants. They are a worthy organization doing valuable work.
  1. Buy a handmade bordado from an Etsy shop and support women refugees.
  1. Support the Casa Alitas program, which serves migrant families who have left their home countries to escape violence and poverty by providing short-term shelter and help to reunite with family members in the United States.
  1. Support the Kino Border Initiative, a multi-faith center for immigrants in Nogales, Sonora, Mexico. The center offers 380 beds for immigrant women and children. The estimated immigrant population on the streets in Nogales is 3,500.
  1. Support the Interfaith Coalition on Immigration (ICOM). The coalition is handling a record number of cases, with new needs created by the pandemic. ICOM assisted someone transitioning from detention to quarantine housing and supported a detainee who brought a lawsuit against ICE demanding release due to vulnerability to COVID-19. New requests for help are pouring in. Visit ICOM’s website and click the blue “Donate!” button in the upper right-hand corner or send a check to 2730 E. 31st St., Minneapolis, MN 55422.
  1. Support the National Immigration Law Center (NILC), the only national advocacy organization exclusively dedicated to defending the rights of low-income immigrants and their families. Over the past 34 years, NILC has won legal decisions protecting fundamental rights, thwarted policies that would have devastated the well-being of low-income immigrants and their family members, and advanced policies that reinforce and promote equality, opportunity and justice for all.