Dear Casa San José Amigos,
Welcome back to our email newsletter!
How to take action:
SAY NO TO THE WALL! The US Congress is now debating last-minute budget negotiations as Trump threatens a shutdown. We back FIRM’s action and recent statement:
- Please contact your Members of Congress to say NO to any increases in funding for the Wall, more private prisons and detention beds, or expansion of border enforcement. Here’s an easy way to do it.
- Tweet and post on social media using the #Not1Dollar hash tag
We stand with our partner PICC: State Police Must Stop Collaborating with ICE! Many PA state and local police officers are actively working with ICE to target immigrants. Sign the petition to ask Governor Tom Wolf and Acting State Police Commissioner Lt. Col. Robert Evanchick to immediately enact clear rules, oversight, and tracking of police encounters with immigrants!
How you can help:
We have started an Immigrant Family Legal Fund, partnering on the Ioby platform with the Jefferson Regional Foundation, which will match donations. This fundraiser will help us establish a legal defense fund to provide legal assistance to our immigrant families impacted by ICE arrests and detentions, particularly with bond expenses. Please donate if you can and definitely share this link with your friends, families, and networks.
News on what we’re doing:
This week Monica led a coalition effort to expose the Colcom Foundation‘s support for anti-immigrant and white supremacist groups, resulting in the removal of their signs which had been prominently displayed in Market Square’s Holiday Market. Colcom, a local foundation, donates tens of millions of dollars to national groups that demonize and attack migrants, like the American Border Patrol, FAIR, and CIS. The coalition is still working to find ways to support other worthy local organizations who currently receive some funds from Colcom but now may divest to show solidarity and reject anti-immigrant violence. See news on the press conference here.
The “public charge” comment party on Dec. 3 was a success! We joined with partners from Just Harvest, the Islamic Center, the Thomas Merton Center and Justice at Work, 47 people attended, and dozens of comments were submitted. This was to protest the new proposed rule threatening applicants for green cards – that they will no longer be eligible if they enroll for the benefits that they are entitled to. At the close of the comment period on Dec. 10, comments to the Federal Regulations site were overwhelmingly in opposition to the rule – and 216,097 were submitted!
We had programs for our youth over the weekend: on Friday, over 90 children got Christmas gifts donated by Toys for Tots at a program hosted by Zone 6 Police and Beechview citizens at St. Catherine’s church. Then on Saturday, for 75 kids at Brookline Teen Outreach, there was more gift-giving from the members of St. Thomas More Church. Many thanks to all the donors! Normal holiday times bring stress, but to that is added the worry about the dangers of imminent deportation, so there are more events planned for writing Christmas letters to parents, watching the “Elf” movie, and just having fun and relaxing.
Also over the weekend, Casa’s Community Organizer, Ibania Rivas, and Emergency Response Organizer, Laura Perkins, held Know Your Rights Sessions with communities in Moon and Monroeville. Participants shared their concerns, learned how to interact with authorities, and discussed preventative measures they can take both at home and in the community.
“Almost 15,000 migrant children now held at nearly full shelters”, John Burnett, NPR Morning Edition, Dec. 13.
“ICE arrests at workplaces skyrocked 640% this year,” Tess Owen, VICE News, Dec. 13.
“Portraits from the Exodus: Members of the migrant caravans, stranded in Tijuana, explain why they traveled thousands of miles from their homes”, a photo-essay, John Washington and Tracie Williams, The Nation, Dec. 14.
Human Rights Watch Letter to Congress Regarding Appropriations for the Department of Homeland Security. This report explains why DHS should get reduced funding until it corrects its abuses, due to the agency’s ongoing, countless, and inhumane violations of immigrants’ and children’s rights in border policy, detention and enforcement.
Good news: “Americans are becoming less isolationist, polling finds”, Ariel Edwards-Levy, HuffPost, Dec. 13. “Most starkly, the percentage of Americans who say they feel the nation’s values are threatened by newcomers fell from 48 percent in 2016 to just 36 percent today.”