Dear Casa San José Amigos,

Welcome back to our email newsletter!  It now has a new location on our website, which we hope you will visit often.

HELP:  Please like us: Jeimy has been working hard on getting our social media presence up to date, and now we can send news and be contacted not only via our website and Facebook, but also Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedInLiking and Following us will greatly help us build our community!

 ACTION:   Despite a judge’s injunction recently, which still leaves their status unclear, the Dreamers continue to be in great jeopardy until the DREAM Act is passed. Over 120 per day, now more than 16,000, are losing their DACA protections daily.  Please keep up the pressure on your Congressional representatives to do whatever they can to pass the Dream Act soon.  See United We Dream’s “Take Action” for what you can do.

Wanting to cover all bases, in the event that the legal case is resolved in the Dreamers’ favor, Casa held a DACA clinic on Saturday January 20 to offer free renewals and assistance, childcare and refreshments. Young people came from as far as Cleveland, and it was covered in the Post-Gazette and on KDKA.

NEWS:  Casa San José just won the Coro Pittsburgh’s 2018 MLK, Jr. award for organizational leadership!

Van with kidsFor our many transportation needs – from taking children to Kennywood, to bringing supporters to marches, to escorting people to a court date, to moving furniture, donations and food supplies, etc., etc. – we thank the Miller Foundation who generously gave us a grant to get a new Chrysler Pacifica 2017 Van.  It is just fabulous – we are so grateful.

On Jan 29, we are starting an after-school program on Mondays for K-8 Hispanic kids at Dormont Elementary School, adding to our programs at Beechwood Elementary and Brashear High School.

Another new program is being offered: Puerta Abierta.  Every Wednesday afternoon, a Spanish-speaking counselor from Women’s Center and Shelter of Greater Pittsburgh will be onsite to help and advise anyone who is subject to domestic violence.

Sister Janice spoke to students at Carlow University on Jan. 25 about the struggles and issues surrounding immigration and what can be done about them.

RicardoANOTHER STORY:  Last Wednesday, Casa got a call that a teenage immigrant boy, who had just made the perilous journey alone from Guatemala to Texas to Pittsburgh, had been picked up by ICE and being held in custody at their South Side office.  He spoke no English, and was very frightened.  As an unaccompanied child, he would not be subject to immediate deportation, but here was the problem:  it was his 18th birthday. He needed an advocate.  Sister Janice and Veronica answered the call, convinced ICE that he had an asylum case and could await trial with a relative, found shelter for him overnight at Family Links, and contacted his brother who lives in Massachusetts to come and get him.  He asked these things:  was he safe now, could he let his Mom know he was OK, and could someone find his lost notebook that he kept to learn English. Veronica answered yes to at least the first two, and saw him off with his brother at 6 a.m. the next day. She said “I was fortunate enough to witness the reunification of the brothers. It was very emotional to witness the joy of seeing that he was no longer in danger.”

Van with kids 2

(Earlier messages can be found here.)

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