This is an impressive article outlining a number of the issues involved with immigration. A must read. No one knows how many veterans have been deported, least of all the government, which has never taken a full accounting. Barajas helped change that. The 42-year-old’s improbable journey, from decorated military veteran to deportee and eventual U.S. citizen, has raised important questions about what makes a citizen and what is owed to those who have served and are deported just the same. Read more here.
On September 12, 2019, a member of the Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship, Immigration/Farmworker activist and Executive Director of Community to Community Rosalinda Guillen received RE Sources Environmental Hero award. Rosalinda Guillén Farmworker justice leader and food system activist. Among many other things, Rosalinda Guillén is a widely recognized farmworker justice leader working to promote food sovereignty, immigration reform, and farmworker rights in Northwest Washington. As the founding executive director of Community to Community Development (C2C), a grassroots organization led by women of color, she and her team work to strengthen local and global movements toward social and environmental justice, amplifying the voices of farmworkers on immigration issues, labor rights, and trade agreements. She also works to strengthen cross-border alliances for immigration reform and fair agricultural policies. Read more here . . .
Interfaith Worker Justice asks you to:It’s time to cool things down for workers. Eighteen of the last nineteen hottest years on record have occurred since 2001 and this year is on track to continue that trend. The effects of this heat are being felt by everyone, but it is workers on the front lines, working in the fields, on construction sites, or cleaning up after more frequent and powerful storms who are the most impacted. As you read headlines about record breaking temperatures, it might surprise you to know that there is no national standard for conditions when working in the heat. It’s time to change that!
The Asunscion Valdivia Heat Illness and Fatality Prevention Act (H.R. 3668) is an increasingly important and common sense legislation that directs the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to issue a workplace heat standard for both indoor and outdoor work.This legislation would ensure that workers would have access to water, rest breaks in shaded or climate-controlled spaces, a plan to help workers adjust to the heat, training, anti-retaliation rights, and other measures. *This is a joint petition with Interfaith Power and Light, an organization that mobilizes people of conscience and faith to take bold steps in combating climate change.
/ August 27, 2019 . . .Lilly Fowler
When awake, the children were told by guards, “Don’t touch me, I don’t want to get your diseases.” The guards threw food on the ground, prompting fights among hungry children.Children were never given toothbrushes or toothpaste and had limited showers and soap. Girls on their period were provided only one sanitary pad a day. One girl who had bled through her clothing said she “had no choice but to continue to wear her soiled underwear and pants.” These are the stories told by immigrant children recently detained at the border, unaccompanied, and transferred to various facilities in Washington state, where 100 beds are reserved for migrant children in facilities contracted by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. The allegations all pertained to incidents at border facilities. Last month, licensors from the Washington Department of Children, Youth, and Families and staff from the Washington state Attorney General’s Office heard these stories during interviews with 22 immigrant children 12 to 17 years old. Now the accounts will serve as supporting evidence in a new lawsuit being filed by Washington and 18 other states, in addition to the District of Columbia. They are suing the Trump administration over its attempt to effectively undo the two-decade-old Flores Settlement Agreement. The suit targets U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the U.S. Border Patrol and the Department of Homeland Security, among others. Read more here.
In mid-August, the Administration announced its final version of the “public charge” rule, which would force immigrants to undergo a rigorous wealth test in order to obtain their green card—an important step in the process of ultimately becoming a US citizen. Under new guidelines, immigrants may be denied their green card if they have in the past used or are deemed likely to use federal assistance programs such as Medicaid, Section 8, Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP), or Temporary Assistance for Needy Families (TANF). Without a doubt, this policy blatantly favors wealthy immigrants, and boldly inserts racist, classist, and white supremacist ideology into a process that should be open and equitable for all. Even though the use of benefits will not automatically make someone ineligible for a green card, it's obvious that the Trump Administration hopes that news of this policy will deter immigrants from using the public assistance they are lawfully eligible for. Read our blog post for more in-depth information about the public charge ruling, including straightforward facts on who could be impacted. It's also important to remember that multiple lawsuits have been filed by states and organizations across the country in response to this rule, and that litigation could deter or completely stop this policy before it is set to begin on October 15, 2019. The Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign has also developed fact sheets and advocacy materials.
Washington State Attorney General to Join California Lawsuit Challenging Federal Government's Immigrant Detention Policies
Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson has joined a lawsuit with 19 other attorneys general to challenge the federal government's immigration policies. In conjunction with this suit, he is filing a 26-page declaration, arising from interviews last month with 28 children ages 12 to 17, most of whom were detained in Border Patrol facilities over the last year and then sent to Washington state.
From Faith Action Network: Many of you are already responding with compassion and care for your immigrant neighbors. We are always looking for additional resources to share with our statewide network to maximize the role faith communities can play in response to workplace raids, detentions, and deportations. With El Centro de la Raza and the Anti-Defamation League, FAN is hosting a Sensitive Location Webinar on Thursday, September 5, at noon. Spend your lunchtime with us as we talk about how places of worship are sensitive locations and can protect immigrants. Click here to register. Instructions will be shared for you to join via Zoom web conferencing once you register. We know in Yakima, faith communities have been engaged with the Yakima Immigrant Response Network in witnessing ICE flights and transportation to the Northwest Detention Center. They are hosting an ICE Raid Verifier Training next week, Thursday, August 29, at 6:30 at Central Lutheran Church in Yakima. From the Washington Immigrant Solidarity Network (WAISN) there are several calls to action this week: “The core of our Deportation Defense strategy is rapid response teams. These teams work together to verify ICE activity so that we can report back to the community where ICE is operating and whether or not they have detained people. Are you part of a team or know someone who is? Do you want to start a team? Fill out this form and let us know!” Also from WAISN, this week there were reports of ICE action in Ephrata that caused widespread fear in the Grant County Courthouse. Please take action. Gethsemane Lutheran Church and Sanctuary Downtown Seattle supporters gathered this week and continue to support Jose Robles and his family while he is in detention. Contact them to support that effort. We will continue to add resources you can use in your efforts at our NEW ADVOCACY TOOLKIT page, scroll down to immigration resources. Thank you for all you’re doing!
Get your ticket today to an incredible evening - Backbone Awards presented to US Rep. Pramila Jayapal and Washington State Attorney General Bob Ferguson for their courageous leadership, as well as awards to 3 relentless activists fighting for the orca, the immigrant children, and for a just future. The evening will feature a plant-based meal crafted by Tom Douglas's chefs, incredible music and entertainment, a silent auction, beautiful props, and inspiration! Only 100 total tickets are available, and they are going fast. Purchase yours today - a table of 8 for $600, a half table for $300, or individual tickets for $75/person. (Ticket includes all food, drink, entertainment.) It all happens at the Palace Ballroom in Belltown, Seattle. To Co-Sponsor the event or to donate a Silent Auction Item, contact Amy.
On August 14th, the Department of Homeland Security published a prospective rule which fundamentally changes the longstanding “public charge” policy and sends a message of who is desirable or welcome in the U.S. The final rule, scheduled to take effect on October 15th of this year, will change the way the government makes “public charge” determinations, making it much easier for the government to deny a person an immigrant visa or admission to the United States.
The message is clear. This new rule is meant to deter and intimidate non-citizens and their families, and create additional obstacles preventing them from obtaining lawful permanent residence. See news article here.
Saturday, August 24, 2019 at 8 AM – 1 PM 1240 Central Rd, Everson, WA 98247-9632, United StatesNow that the first berry season is over, it's time to trellis the remaining plants and prepare the land for the winter. The cooperative is looking for volunteers who can lift and hold wires that will be strung between posts. Please bring your own gloves! DRIVING DIRECTIONS: Head north on I-5, take exit 255 for WA-542 E or Sunset Dr (toward Mt Baker) At the exit, bear right onto 542 E/Sunset Dr In .9 miles, turn left onto Hannegan Rd (heading north) In 7 miles, turn right onto Central Rd (right after Ten Mile Rd. All of the intersections are marked a littles ways out with a yellow sign with the intersecting street name) In about half a mile, the Cooperativa is on the left on Central Rd, right after passing Courtney Ln on your right. There is a huge CAMPESINO POWER sign hanging on the property, and a sandwich board marking the entrance with an image of Zapata!
The King County Immigrant and Refugee Commission (IRC), is currently recruiting to fill 3 vacant positions. The IRC was created in 2018 by Executive Dow Constantine and the King County Council and is committed to integrating, strengthening, and valuing immigrant and refugee communities, upholding the County’s commitment as a welcoming community. The Commission works to achieve fair and equitable access to County services for immigrant and refugee residents, improve opportunities for civic engagement, set annual goals, and participate in important dialogue on County policies and practices that impact the community. To apply for a seat on the Immigrant and Refugee Commission, please visit the County's Boards and Commissions page. Spanish versions of application materials are also available on the site. Applications are due August 16, 2019.
Through our coalition efforts we have shut down the detention camps in Tornillo and Carrizo Springs, TX, prevented Ft. Sill in Oklahoma from becoming a detention camp, and seen 1,500 youth released from the Homestead Florida camp.
The fact that the Department of Health and Human services is now saying it will eventually close these camps proves that they never had to cage these kids but rather have chosen to carry out the cruel policies of the administration. We need to keep the pressure on Homestead and ensure that the 17 year olds there are released before they turn 18 as they are being handed over to adult detention centers on their birthdays! We will close Homestead and keep on fighting to close all detention centers and get justice for migrants, asylum seekers, and refugees. Here’s what we need you to do:
Sign Reverend Barber's Petition Calling for Presidential Candidate Anti-Racism, Pro-Voter Registration Rally
I'm Reverend William J. Barber, II, of Repairers of the Breach, the Poor People's Campaign, and the Moral Mondays movement. And I am asking you to join me in this call to all the presidential candidates: All presidential candidates should unite for a massive, pro-voter, anti-racism rally in Greenville, NC—the city in which Trump supporters spread a bigoted, racist and xenophobic chant—to reject racism and regression, register voters, and demonstrate what an America committed to moving forward together looks like.
Today (July 26) the Trump Department of Labor announced plans to make sweeping revisions to the H-2A agricultural guestworker program to the detriment of farmworkers. The proposed H-2A changes would weaken key protections for farmworkers, reducing the ability of the current farm labor force to obtain employment with H-2A employers and exposing H-2A workers to greater vulnerability and costs.
The Trump Administration seeks to guarantee agribusiness unlimited access to a captive workforce—guestworkers who are denied the rights and freedoms of immigrants and citizens. The proposal epitomizes the Trump Administration’s hostility to immigrants.
Read more here.
WHEN: Saturday, August 3, 2019 from 1-3 pm.
WHERE: Bellingham Unitarian Fellowship (1207 Ellsworth St. Bellingham, WA 98225).
There will be a Dignity Dialogue the day before the march where we will discuss the new WA State legislation, Keep Washington Working, and what our local government is required to do to guarantee our community is safe. We welcome Eric Gonzalez from the ACLU. As one of the key people in the Legislature leading the advocacy strategy, he will lead us through the legal implications for Whatcom County and all cities.
August 4th, Ferndale/Bellingham, WA
Please note – all times are approximate; we will make every effort to stay on time
Schedule for the day:
4:00 am - volunteers arrive at 1431 Sunset Ave in Ferndale
4:30 am - public is invited to arrive at 1431 Sunset Ave in Ferndale
4:30 am-5:00 am sign in & buy a commemorative March t-shirt
5:00 am - 6:00 am sunrise ceremony and mistica
PARKING NOTE: there is no parking at the detention center. Participants are STRONGLY encouraged to carpool or take a shuttle. There will be a shuttle sign up post coming soon! If you drive to Ferndale for the beginning of the march, please park in the Hardware Sales or Lummi Market parking lot, or make sure that you are not parking somewhere you can be towed.
6:00 am the march begins
7:00 am the march stops at Michael Moore Park in Ferndale, breakfast is served
9:00 am the march arrives at Crystal View for an action
12:30 pm the march arrives at Meridian High School. Water and snacks will be provided
3:00 pm the march arrives at the end point, the Jardîn de Agroecologica, 495 E Bakerview
*PLEASE NOTE: the parking at 495 E Bakerview is reserved for church parishioners, and for set up and clean up volunteer crews for the march. Please arrange your carpools from elsewhere. There will be shuttles at the end of the day to get people back to their cars.
*FOOD: At the end of the march – TACOS, Tadeo’s will have their food truck set up in addition to the Potluck
*POTLUCK - the end of the march has always included a potluck to celebrate community through food. There will be two parking spots reserved for potluck drop off. You can drop your potluck dish at 495 E Bakerview Rd between 1:00 pm and 2:00 pm. Bring Cold salads: such as pasta, vegetable, potato, bean OR desserts Special NOTE: Please bring it in a dish you do not care about getting back or in recyclable dish with recyclable serving utensil, we will dispose left over dishes – we cannot take responsibility for getting it back to you at the end of the day. We do not have storage for potluck dishes. There will be a separate post on our Facebook page with more food and Pot Luck details
*WHAT TO BRING TO THE MARCH:
Water (please bring a reusable water bottle. There will be water filling stations along the route)
hat/bandana/any clothing that you use to keep you protected from the sun
Wear white (white C2C t shirts will be available for sale at the march)
dress in layers
snacks if you need them
anything medical or otherwise that you need to take care of yourself. This is a 14 mile march. It is likely to be hot and dusty. Take care of yourself.
Next week, Syrians with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) in the U.S. will hear whether they're at risk of deportation to a warzone.
There aren't many options left for Syrians fleeing humanitarian crises created by eight years of war — from Trump destroying U.S. refugee resettlement to the Muslim Ban.
We have to do everything we can to protect TPS for Syria. Because if we can get loud enough, we can force Congress to block the Homeland Security and State Departments from deporting Syrians back to a warzone.
Can you demand your members of Congress act NOW to protect TPS for Syria?