Welcome: “There is no envy, jealousy, or hatred between the different colors of the rainbow. And no fear either. Because each one exists to make the others’ love more beautiful.”
- A refugee is someone who has been forced to flee his or her home because of war, violence or persecution, often without warning. Every refugee started out as an asylum seeker.
- An immigrant is someone who makes a conscious decision to leave his or her home and move to a foreign country with the intention of settling there.
- A migrant is someone who is moving from place to place (within his or her country or across borders), usually for economic reasons such as seasonal work
Orientation to Issue Action Team
- Vision: We envision being the action team of information and advocacy for people of faith resisting cruelty to immigrants, refugees, and migrant workers in Washington State and the NW United States.
- Mission: Sharing resources, opportunities to advocate, and events that enable and encourage UUs to answer the call of love and fight to resist criminalization of people in our communities regardless of their country of origin.
- Julia Cochrane and Peg Hunter – Olympic Peninsula – Quimper UU Fellowship, also Jefferson County Immigrant Rights Advocates
- Nancy Guidry – Mukilteo – Evergreen UU
- Julie Caruso – Edmonds UUC
- Janet Wright – UUc of Whidbey Island
- Melvin Mackey – Vashon Island UUF
- Steve Parker – UUC of Spokane and Spokane Immigrant Rights Coalition
- Katherine Niall – Bainbridge Is. – Cedars UU, AID NW
- Nancy Maranville – Seattle – UUC
Brief Review of Program Goals of JUUstice WA
- Increase congregation participation. There are 58 PNWD congregations, 30 of which are in Washington. Most congregations are engaged with one or more of the above populations.
- Increase participation by
- youth and young adults
- Ministers, Boards and Religious Educators
- Affected communities
- Incorporate the concepts and practices of EDI (equity, diversity and inclusion)
- Bring in the legislative and judicial perspectives
- Establish partnerships with affected communities, NGOs, and other faith groups.
RIMS Goals and Programs (not necessarily in this order)
- Created a support matrix based on
- Population(s) – Refugee, Immigrant or Migrant
- Activities we are part of in our communities:
- Accompaniment – Cedars, Spokane and Port Townsend
- Legal Advocacy – Edmonds, Spokane and Port Townsend
- Sanctuary ability – Cedars
- Material support – Cedars and Spokane
- Education – ESL, Citizenship classes, etc. – Edmonds, Spokane and Port Townsend
- RRT (Rapid Response Team) – Spokane and Port Townsend
- Vigils or visits – Cedars, Edmonds, Vashon Is. and Port Townsend
- Other – Edmonds and Spokane
What we learned from each other:
- AIDNW coordinates NW Detention Center (Tacoma) vigils by congregations and groups, supports released immigrants
- NW Immigrant Rights Project
- UURISE – voter registration – California, works with Love Resists.
- World Relief Tri-cities, Kent and Spokane
- Community to Community – Bellingham
- Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network WA state has a grant for money for people at the detention center. DACA funds available.
What congregations are doing:
- Vashon UU is doing 2nd Saturday visitation to the detention center. Other congregations are doing 1st, 4th and 5th.
- Bellingham UU – 16 families deported or detained in August, C2C
- Spokane – Spokane Immigrant Rights Coalition is scanning records for ICE holds, Got a $20,000 grant from UUA to pay for attorneys, consultation fees, green cards, DACA, etc. Spokane using grant to train impacted populations, train the trainer on Know Your Rights.
- We agreed that we would like to stay in touch and share info and resources.
Closing: As we move through life finding ourselves, always wise and newly foolish, we ask that our mistakes be small and not hurtful. We ask that as we gain experience, we do not forget our innocence, for they are both part of the whole.
~ Rev. Dr. Orlanda Brugnola