These are young people who were brought here as children, grew up in the US, and are now young adults without U.S. citizenship. In 2012 President Obama signed an Executive Order (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) to provide relief from deportation to qualified, young adults so that they can go to school, drive, and work.
On September 5, the Attorney General, Jeff Sessions, announced that the DACA program will be rescinded. Here are some specifics:
- There will be no new DACA applications accepted. The program will end in March, 2018 unless Congress acts to continue it, for example through the proposed Dream Act.
- DACA renewals (for some recipients) will be accepted until October 5th for those whose status is due to expire before March, 2018.
- USCIS (the federal government) will continue to charge $495 for each renewal application.
If you’d like to learn more about DACA and the current, national situation, here is a good website: http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/trump-ends-daca-dreamers-immigration-442789653.html
WHAT’S HAPPENING LOCALLY
Here in Charlottesville, Sin Barreras and Legal Aid Justice Center have agreed to work quickly with as many of our local DACA recipients as possible to renew their status before October 5th. These two local nonprofits are and have been on the front line of helping initial and renewal DACA applicants – and they are currently poised to support dozens of DACA renewals if we can support the application fees.
Sin Barreras and Legal Aid Justice Center hope to raise $25,000 to support these DACA renewals for any Dreamer on an as-needed basis. Any additional funds we raise will be used for Dreamer’s legal support going forward.
Any size donation is very much needed – and appreciated.
CALL TO ACTION
If you are willing to help our Dreamers, please go the Sin Barreras website (write “Dreamer” in the message box) at www.sinbarrerascville.com or send your check (write “Dreamers” in the subject line) to Sin Barreras, PO Box 6433, Charlottesville, VA 22906.
If you have questions or want more information, please contact , Ruling Elder.
How You Can Get Involved in
Welcoming, Supporting, and Protecting Our Immigrant Neighbors
Before Sept. 5, urge the President to protect the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program (write to The Honorable Elaine C. Duke, Secretary of Homeland Security, Washington, DC 20528) and our Senators Warner and Kaine to support the Dream Act, reintroduced by Senators Durbin and Graham, to provide a pathway to citizenship for young people who know of no other home than the United States. They have lived here, attended school here and become contributors to our communities, and should not have to live in fear of being rounded up by ICE and deported to a country they have never known.
For more information on defending DACA and supporting the Dream Act, your may access a webinar from Presbyterians for Just Immigration here. The recording also includes the visuals shared during the webinar. Those visuals offer educational resources and advocacy options for supporting DACA recipients.
Support the Legal Aid Justice Center in its civil suit on behalf of Latino plaintiffs against the ICE practice of making collateral arrests based on racial profiling, by donating to its Immigration Advocacy Program. “ICE agents go out into the field looking for a person,” notes Simon Sandoval-Moshenberg, Legal Director of LAJC’s Immigration Advocacy Program. “They don’t find them so they basically arrest some other person that they do find instead. They call it collateral arrests. We call it racial profiling.”
For more information on advocacy, contact
Drive a Charlottesville immigrant neighbor to ICE check-ins, court hearings, or registration with US Citizenship Information Services in Arlington or Alexandria, VA. Scammers are charging up to $600 for such transportation for people who do not have driver’s licenses, and therefore are vulnerable to being arrested. Contact
Support Sanctuary Congregations
Serve as WPC’s liaison to sanctuary congregations, and volunteering to organize or provide hospitality (food, laundry, child care, transportation, etc.) for persons sheltered while appealing their deportation orders. Contact or
Rapid Response Hotline
Serve as a volunteer for a hotline being developed through LAJC and Sin Barreras, to assist persons who are subjected to an ICE enforcement action in their homes, school, or workplace. Contact
Visit Detainees at Farmville Detention Center
Volunteer with the Capital Area Immigrant Rights coalition, based in Washington, DC, and which visits Farmville twice a month for two days, to provide legal information and assistance to detainees who do not have their own legal representation. Requires a 2-hour training. Contact
Westminster members are becoming involved in this work as we organize efforts with community groups such as Sin Barreras, Legal Aid and Justice Center, and the Immigrant Advocacy and Resource Coalition. To get involved, you may contact the following:
For Transportation assistance, contact
Drivers are needed to take undocumented persons who must report to locations in Alexandria, Arlington, and Fairfax. Gail has a volunteer form for volunteers to complete in order to become a part of this network of drivers.
For Advocacy and Communications, contact
Sandy will be sending out information on how we can advocate for persons threatened with deportation, protecting the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) act in place, and contacting our political representatives on behalf of our immigrant neighbors. Contact Sandy to get on her distribution list for these messages and opportunities.
For Visitation to Farmville Detention Center, contact
The Capital Area Immigrant Rights Coalition needs volunteers to assist them Wednesdays or Thursdays in their work of providing legal information and assistance to detainees. This opportunity requires an all day commitment plus travel time to and from Farmville. The next CAIR training for volunteers will be at the University of Richmond School of Law, Sept. 26 7:30-9 pm. Contact Gene for more information
Point Persons Needed
The Peace, Justice, and Inclusion Committee is looking for persons ready to assume a coordination role for WPC efforts in the following areas:
Rapid Response Hotline-being developed by a team of volunteers and professionals through Sin Barreras. This will give persons impacted by an ICE enforcement action timely access to guidance, resources, and legal help. Volunteers will be needed to take shifts to respond to such calls, and will be thoroughly trained and oriented.
Hospitality-several congregations/faith groups in Charlottesville have indicated willingness to provide safe space for persons threatened with deportation. They will need support in the form of groceries, toiletries, transportation, child care, and other material support should such sanctuary be offered.
Fundraising/Legal Assistance– undocumented persons without legal representation face a very high probability of being deported. Those who have legal assistance fare much better in the system. Fundraising activities to create legal funds to support the work of LAJC and pro bono legal aid can make the difference in keeping families intact and in their homes.
To discuss any of these coordination opportunities, please contact or Allen Hench
The monthly meeting of the Immigrant Advocacy and Resource Coalition of Charlottesville/Albemarle will be this Wednesday, June 28th, 7 p.m. in the Library.
This group is a network of churches, faith groups, and other community organizations working to support and protect our immigrant neighbors. Lana Heath de Martinez of the Welcome All program and the Central Virginia Sanctuary Network of the Virginia Interfaith Center for Public Policy, and Alina Kilpatrick, attorney volunteering with the Central Virginia Sanctuary Network, will be the speakers. Circles of Protection working groups will meet following their presentation.
This is an opportunity for WPC members who missed Lana and Alina’s presentation last Sunday to hear them and ask questions, as well as to join a working group – all are welcome.