Attached is a summary of the rule change regarding asylum and talking points for writing comments. Please review the information provided and send in offer comments. Ray Garrido, Legal Services Director at Kitsap Immigrant Assistance Center graciously granted permission for us to use this summary document. Please comment today. Instructions are inside the attached doc. Asylum Rule Talking Points
All leaders must frame their COVID-19 responses within existing obligations under international law. Whilst states may temporarily close their borders to limit transmission, any such measures should be non-discriminatory, necessary, proportionate and reasonable in all circumstances. It is understandable and proper that a leader’s first priority is to take care of the people they govern. But in a global crisis, attention must also be paid to those groups of marginalised people whose situations transcend national borders: refugees, asylum seekers and migrants. Furthermore, public health measures put in place to protect citizens should not exclude those with irregular status, or be used to further isolate or punish them. Read more here.
Last month, the Trump Administration issued a proposed regulation which would make it much more difficult for asylum seekers to obtain protection in the United States. However, there is still time to voice your opposition to this dangerous proposal and help ensure it does not go into effect. This new regulation represents the most sweeping assault on the asylum system under the Trump administration. If the regulation goes into effect, it could become nearly impossible for community members fleeing violence to obtain humanitarian relief. The federal government is obligated to review and address every single comment submitted by the July 15th deadline - make sure they read yours by submitting a comment today.
From the moment the coronavirus began spreading in the United States, advocates and experts warned that ICE’s network of detention centers posed a serious problem — medical experts at the Department of Homeland Security called the facilities a “tinderbox” for the spread of the disease — and said they expected detainees to die absent changes in ICE detention policies and priorities. As one of the most visible arms of the Trump administration’s ultra-hardline immigration agenda, ICE has resisted those changes.
Because people in ICE custody are held for civil rather than criminal violations, the agency could release them at any time. Though ICE has made limited releases in some areas, including the Otay Mesa Detention Center, it continues to hold more than 26,600 people, many in for-profit facilities with abysmal health and safety records. The agency has tested only a fraction of those in its custody — 2,394 people in total, as of Saturday. Among that population, more than half, 1,201 individuals, have tested positive for Covid-19. An additional 44 ICE employees at detention centers have also tested positive.
Read more here.
It's Time Our Elected Officials #ActOnIt and Move Their Talk into Action to #FreeThemAllGo to https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=2632349890425924 to watch and share La Resistencia’s latest video, featuring testimonies from family members with detained loved ones, Senator Rebecca Saldaña, essential workers, formerly detained community members, lawyers, Shutdown Coalition members and more. Everyone has a shared message: #FreeThemAll! Detention Centers have been and always will be a public health crisis. Both before and during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Tacoma City Council, state legislators and Gov. Inslee have all expressed concern over the neglect and mistreatment of people detained at NWDC. It’s time they #ActOnIt to #FreeThemAll from NWDC and take steps to #ShutDownNWDC during this global pandemic. This week, you can help us pressure our electeds to send a letter to the local ICE Field Office Director Nathalie Asher, urging her to free everyone from NWDC immediately. Emptying the cages is not just the right thing to do for public health, it’s a path to shutting the facility down!
3 Things You Can Do TODAYEmail and call elected officials. You can find scripts below in this email or a text-only version online at https://docs.google.com/document/d/13CHKUD7bI2WkiNsvLjW_1aLG3LXvUpogMBw7i68wMLo/edit After you've sent those emails & calls, make it public! Tweet at your elected officials, tagging them. And share our video, FB post and IG post on your social media! Share this CTA, take a picture of yourself with the text #ActOnIt #ShutDownNWDC #FreeThemAll and tag 5 friends to join you in action. Tag us @LaResistenciaNW
Today's Action Contact Info & TemplatesGovernor Inslee
Governor Jay Inslee, 360-902-4111
David Postman, Chief of Staff, email@example.com, 360-902-4112
Alejandro Sanchez, Special Assistant, Alejandro.Sanchez@gov.wa.gov, 360-902-4124
Molly Voris, Senior Policy Advisor, Public Health and Health Care, firstname.lastname@example.org, 360-902-0557Tacoma City Council, Mayor Woodards
Mayor Victoria Woodards, (253) 594-7848, Victoria.email@example.com
CM John Hines, (253) 591-5470, firstname.lastname@example.org
CM Robert Thoms, (253) 594-7848, email@example.com
Deputy Mayor Keith Blocker, (253) 591-5470, firstname.lastname@example.org
CM Catherine Ushka,(253) 594-7848, email@example.com
CM Lillian Hunter, (253) 594-7848, firstname.lastname@example.org
CM Conor McCarthy, (253) 594-7848, email@example.com
CM Kristina Walker, (253) 591-5470, firstname.lastname@example.org
CM Chris Beale, (253) 591-5470, email@example.com
Assistant to the City Manager Anita Gallagher, (253) 591-5133, firstname.lastname@example.orgState Legislators
House Speaker Laurie Jinkins, Laurie.Jinkins@leg.wa.gov
Legislative Assistant for Laurie Jinkins, Ann Dasch, Ann.Dasch@leg.wa.gov
Senator Jeannie Darneille, J.Darneille@leg.wa.gov
Legislative Assistant for Darneille, Lisa Fisch, email@example.com
Representative Jake Fey, Jake.Fey@leg.wa.gov
Legislative Assistant for Jake Fey, Anna Nepomuceno, Anna.Nepomuceno@leg.wa.gov
Draft Email Template for GovernorEmail addresses to send to: firstname.lastname@example.org Alejandro.Sanchez@gov.wa.gov email@example.com Dear Governor Inslee, I am a [WASHINGTON RESIDENT/HEALTHCARE WORKER/ETC] and I am [WRITING/CALLING] to ask that you write a follow up letter (view template letter here) to ICE Field Director Nathalie Asher, urging her to release everyone from NWDC and provide weekly updates on the number of people released. In your own words, “We do not accept preventable death in Washington.” Conditions in detention were already deplorable, but under the threat of a global pandemic it is imperative to release everyone in detention before it is too late. We know there are over 900 positive cases of COVID-19 in detention sites across the country, minimal testing and transparency from ICE, and at least one “recovered positive” inside NWDC right now. We also received news from people detained that ICE officers at NWDC are staging photos in a pod under quarantine (where one person is awaiting a test) to make it look like social distancing is possible. Please act on your written commitment to “protect the health of those detained at the Northwest Detention Center” and amplify the voices of your constituents in demanding mass release and transparency from ICE. Sincerely, [YOUR NAME] [ANY ORGANIZATIONS YOU REPRESENT]
Draft Email / Phone Call for Mayor and City Councilkristina.firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org Victoria.email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org email@example.com Dear Tacoma City Council Members, Mayor Victoria Woodards, and Assistant to the City Manager Anita Gallagher, I am [WRITING/CALLING] to urge you to follow up on your April 24th letter to ICE with the following actions to protect the health and safety of the people inside the Northwest Detention Center:
- Pass a non-binding resolution calling for the immediate release of all people from NWDC
- Write a follow up letter (view template letter here) to ICE Field Director Nathalie Asher, urging her to release everyone from NWDC and provide weekly updates on the number of people released
Draft Email / Phone Call for State LegislatorsJ.Darneille@leg.wa.gov firstname.lastname@example.org Jake.Fey@leg.wa.gov Anna.Nepomuceno@leg.wa.gov Laurie.Jinkins@leg.wa.gov Ann.Dasch@leg.wa.gov Dear House Speaker Jinkins, Senator Darneille, and Representative Fey, I am a [WASHINGTON RESIDENT/HEALTHCARE WORKER/ETC] and I would like to thank you for contacting ICE in DC on May 5th with your concerns about the well being of people detained at NWDC. I am [WRITING/CALLING] today to remind you that the privately-run Northwest Detention Center continues to pose an urgent public health threat, and to ask that you write a follow up letter (view template letter here) to ICE Field Director Nathalie Asher, urging her to release everyone from NWDC and provide weekly updates on the number of people released. In the words of your colleague Rep. Lillian Ortiz-Self, “It is wrong and immoral to profit from the misfortune of others.” It’s time to act on those words. Conditions in detention were already deplorable, but under the threat of a global pandemic it is imperative to release everyone in detention. We know there are over 900 positive cases of COVID-19 in detention sites across the country — and at least one “recovered positive” inside NWDC. We also received news from people detained that ICE officers at NWDC are staging photos in a pod under quarantine (where one person is awaiting a test) to make it look like social distancing is possible. Please act now, before it is too late. Sincerely, [YOUR NAME] [ANY ORGANIZATIONS YOU REPRESENT]
Updates from InsideStay updated on conditions inside by listening to testimony from those detained at the NWDC here. Since late March people detained have staged at least 3 hunger strikes and one work stoppage. All calling for immediate release of all people detained who are “sitting ducks” for a contagion of COVID19. Detention conditions have worsened in the middle of the global pandemic; we've received reports of scabies, mistreatment from guards, denied medical care and access to COVID19 tests, transfers to other facilities, and ongoing deportations. People detained staged a SOS action at the yard last April 15th, sending us a distress signal in hopes we would listen and act. There are over 900 positive cases in detention centers across the country. ICE rate of testing is low because they have tested a small number of people out of the 28,000 plus people they continue detaining. This is why we support the call to #FreeThemAll and #ShutDownNWDC.
Download #FreeThemAll Coloring Book(https://static1.squarespace.com/static/5917516cb8a79b8c6e2bf67e/t/5ebc440fb499bb7eea6709bb/1589396528347/FreeThemAll_Final_Optimized.pdf) A group of 20 artists from across the US released a print-at-home coloring book to raise funds for undocumented communities impacted by COVID-19. In exchange for a free download, the artists are asking folks to make a donation to one of several funds listed on our website, which includes Resistencia! You can download the entire book (more than 50 pages!) or just individual artworks that speak to you. Share your creations with the hashtags #freethemallcoloringbook #freethemall #liberenatodos #liberenatodx.
In Iowa, Latinos account for more than 20 percent of coronavirus cases though they are only 6 percent of the population. Latinos in Washington State make up 13 percent of the population but 31 percent of cases. In Florida, they are just over a quarter of the population but account for two of every five virus cases where ethnicity is known.
Public health experts say Latinos may be more vulnerable to the virus as a result of the same factors that have put minorities at risk across the country. Many have low-paying service jobs that require them to work through the pandemic, interacting with the public. A large number also lack access to health care, which contributes to higher rates of diabetes and other conditions that can worsen infections.
The COVID-19 pandemic is a test of our common humanity. It has revealed our shared vulnerabilities, and only a coordinated response based on justice, solidarity and humanitarian principles can help us overcome it.
Unfortunately the coronavirus crisis also is exposing problems of inequality between and within countries and the exclusion of vulnerable groups. How leaders respond to the plight of desperate, marginalized sectors of society will define their reputations and legacies.
Read more here.
Last year, the Trump administration rolled out several policies that restricted access to asylum as well as employment-based and family-based immigration pathways. With a presidential election on the horizon, 2020 could bring even more restrictions as US President Donald Trump makes a final push to fulfill his agenda before voters head to the ballot box.
Here are 10 immigration issues we’re watching this year . . .
/ 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.
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:
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project in Federal Court for Pivotal Hearing on the Rights of Asylum Seekers
Putting the human faces to the Caravan of Asylum Seekers. Take a few minutes to view the humanity, then pass it on.
From Independent photojournalist, Linda Wolf
I know our hearts have been heavy in recent days with so much difficult news: Pittsburg; attacks on birthright citizenship; and 5,000 troops sent to the border as if people seeking asylum were our biggest threat – while white supremacist violence takes lives. Many people have reached out to UUSC asking how they can do more to support the migrant caravan. We wanted to share our latest with you in hopes of opportunities to collaborate. SOLIDARITY WITH THE MIGRANT CARAVAN UUSC is part of an interfaith coalition in regular communication with people accompanying the Honduran migrant caravan on their journey through Guatemala and Mexico. Two immediate needs have been identified:
- Volunteers are urgently needed at the Annunciation House in El Paso, Texas, which is receiving over 1,000 asylum seekers a week. The UU College of Social Justice is organizing teams to go for a minimum of one week, as well as placing longer-term volunteers at a migrant shelter in Guadalajara, Mexico. Please share the link to learn more and apply: http://www.uucsj.org/volunteer/us-asylum/
- The Interfaith Immigration Coalition, of which UUSC and UUA are members, has identified an immediate need for more U.S. clergy to physically accompany the caravan through Mexico. This role will be physically and emotionally demanding and requires at least conversational Spanish. Organizers anticipate this will be a hugely impactful and a life-changing experience. Details are forthcoming, but please have potentially interested clergy reach out to email@example.com for further information.
- There will likely be additional mobilization for public action at the request of border grassroots partners – we will make sure to keep you updated.
- 2 Minute Video: Testimonies of Human Rights Violations in Honduras
- Blog Post: Four Facts You Should Know about the Central American Migrant Caravan
- Podcast & TV Interview w/UUSC's Hannah Hafter: What is Driving the Honduran Migrant Caravan to the U.S.?