News for Amigos de Casa San José, Oct. 4, 2018

Dear Casa San José Amigos,
Welcome back to our email newsletter!


With all the news oxygen being taken up by the Supreme Court nomination, the situation regarding immigrants is not getting much attention.  Here is one we should know about:

“The government is moving migrant children to a Texas Tent City,” (Caitlin Dickerson, New York Times, Oct. 2.) “More than 1,600 migrant children have been sent with little notice on late-night voyages to their new home: a barren tent city in West Texas, where they do not receive schooling and have limited access to legal representation. The Trump administration opened the facility because shelters that house migrant children have been overflowing.”  Please call (most effective way) your Senators and Congresspeople (find them here) to protest this continued outrageous attack on innocent children, and ask what they are doing to stop it.  More on this: “13,000 migrant children in detention”, Alice Driver, CNN, Oct. 1. “Detention of migrant children has skyrocketed to highest levels ever”, Caitlin Dickerson, New York Times, Sept. 12.

We are continuing to register voters – recently at the Annual Latino Picnic at Schenley Park and at the Hispanic Heritage Festival at St. Catherine’s Church.  Many thanks to volunteers Ana and Michael, Phyl, Rob, and Greg for signing up more voters!



Join us tomorrow at First Friday October 5, 2018, 7pm – midnight at 5120 Penn Ave, for a night of dancing, eating, drinking, and donating for a good cause!  Latin + Japanese dinner starts at 7pm until it runs out and live music/dance party begins at 8pm! It’s a family friendly/kids welcoming space.  All funds go towards sending immigrant families, youth, DACA folks + allies to protest the border wall + temporarily reunite a special Pittsburgh family in AZ.  See you there!

If you have a bed you can donate, one of our clients is in need of one – any size is fine.  Let Monica know at monica@casasanjose.org.


Come hear local organizers and researchers discuss “What is immigrant justice and why do we need it?” at the Univ. of Pittsburgh Dietrich School’s Open Door Project, facilitated by Monica Ruiz, our Executive Director.  Thurs., Oct. 18, 2pm, University Club, conference rm A., on the Pitt Campus (map.)

The Hispanic Heritage Festival at St. Catherine’s Church on Sunday was a beautiful event, with hundreds of people from Pittsburgh and many Latin American countries sharing their delicious food, lively music and colorful decorations and enjoying each other’s company. Thanks to volunteer Sarah for keeping the kids happy!

kidssr janice and kidsparty

At our last community meeting on Sept. 26, Liliana from the Consumer Health Coalition spoke about public health services – emergency aid, Medicaid and CHIP – and cleared up the complications of applying for them. C

Closely related to this was an explanation of the devastating changes proposed for the Public Charge Rule by the Department of Homeland Security, which is about to be posted for public comment. Kristen was there to explain the significance of this change which, if it goes into effect, will penalize immigrants for using the few benefits that are available to them or their (often American citizen) children, denying them any future eligibility for US citizenship. Please stay tuned here for updates, and for your chance to make your voice heard during the public comment period.

Our Saturday youth program, Puentes Hacia el Futuro, has begun at the Brookline Teen Outreach Center under the direction of our new intern, Al Garcia.  In it we create a comfortable safe space where our young people can study, be creative, play, and most of all, be free of stress.

Thank you, Tickets for Kids Charities for the wonderful experience we had at the Pirates game this month.  One of our lucky kids even had a winning ticket to meet José Osuna and get an autographed jersey!

Pirates game

Our Story, continued:

Carmela has been working with our Service Coordinator Veronica for some months now, finding a job downtown, renting an apartment in the South Hills, and enrolling her preteen son José in school there. He needed to begin school in September, but at the last minute their apartment availability was delayed, and the only place they could find to live was at a friend’s living room on the other side of town.  With no transportation for her son, and a new full-time job she couldn’t risk, the family was liable to be reported to school authorities for missing school, and from there, an increased vulnerability to ICE and deportation.  Rescue came from one of our wonderful volunteer families who live in the South Hills, who took them in until their apartment was ready, and made sure José got to school on time.  Carmela and José (not real names) have now moved in to their new home and have started making their new life in Pittsburgh.


Yet another reason to vote in local elections:  “For Cops Who Want to Help ICE Crack Down on Illegal Immigration, Pennsylvania Is a Free-for-All”, Dale Rusakoff and Debra Sontag, ProPublica, April 12.

“Trump’s Public Charge rule is a one-two punch against immigrants and public assistance”, Jonathan Blitzer, The New Yorker, Sept. 28.

“Finding homes for immigrant kids is hard; Trump’s making it harder by arresting their relatives”, Dara Lind, Vox, Sept. 21.

“Coming of age in American detention”, Editorial Board, New York Times, Sept. 22.

“Federal agents board buses 100 miles from the US border to ask: are you a US citizen?”  Samantha Raphelson, WLRN Miami, Sept 20.

Report: “Family Consequences of Detention/Deportation: Effects on Finances, Health, and Well-Being,” Samantha Artiga and Barbara Lyons, Henry J. Kaiser Foundation, Sept. 18.

Thank you for joining us!