What you can do to help

What You Can Do To Help

While it may seem that we are powerless in the face of the recent tidal wave of violence in the country, this need not be so. Here are several ways how you as an individual can make a change. (Click on the white arrowheads to see more.)

Solidarity Pilgrimage for Immigrant Justice
Mon, Aug 19, 2019 at 11:00 AM  through Sat, Aug 24, 2019 at 1:00 PM
JFK Federal Building (map)
Note: The times on this event entry are TBD. You’ll need to sign up to get all the information
The Essex County Community Organization’s (ECCO) Solidarity Pilgrimage for Immigrant Justice, August 19th-24th.  Groups will walk from the JFK Building in Boston (Warren Headquarters) to the ICE Detention Center in Dover, NH, joining pilgrimage partners from Maine, New Hampshire, and Vermont.
We walk to denounce the racist immigration system that dehumanizes Muslims, uses Black and Brown bodies for profit, cages children, and causes death. We will call on the presidential primary candidates to make immigration a centerpiece of their presidential platforms.
Learn more about the Solidarity Pilgrimage for Immigrant Justice
Lead organizer, Essex County Community Organization

Jericho Walk at Burlington ICE
Tuesday, August 20, 2019
1:00 PM  2:00 PM
1000 District Avenue, Burlington, MA, 01803United States (map)
Lead Organizer: Burlington Area Clergy 4 Justice  Facebook Page
Join us for our monthly Jericho Walk at the ICE office in Burlington, MA. 
The Jericho Walk is a silent interfaith prayer and act of solidarity which draws inspiration from the Battle of Jericho, in which the community marched around the city of Jericho seven times, causing the city walls to fall. The Jericho Walk of today is a silent, peaceful, and prayerful walk to bring down the walls of our unjust immigration system and is open to people of all or no faiths.

Please bring signs calling for just treatment of those who are caught in our broken immigration system, suggested messages “Keep Families Together”, “No Family Separation”, “Not One More/Ni Una Mas”, “Not In Our Name”. Please refrain from signs explicitly endorsing or condemning any political candidate or official.

We will walk, pray and sing together.

We will gather in front of the office, along District Ave, just look for the people holding signs.

This event will take place unless there is extreme weather.

The Winchester Multicultural Network (WMCN) has recently established a new action arm, the Immigrant Justice Committee. This committee is taking on an ambitious project to encourage Winchester to become a “Safe Community” where all people in Winchester are encouraged to cooperate with police without fear that their immigration status will be an issue; that Winchester police have clear policies limiting cooperation with ICE to the minimum required by state and federal law.” Getting Winchester on board with this policy will take time and effort, educating residents about the policy through hosting tables at town events, holding outreach events, etc. We welcome volunteers in this effort.
If you are interested, please contact office@wmcn.org

The Trump administration has been implementing policies at our southern border that are endangering and harming families and children. The policies are designed to discourage migrants from seeking assistance at our southern border despite evidence that these families are fleeing horrific violence and that cruel border policies are ineffective and do not reduce migration flows. The migrants arriving at our southern border are seeking refuge for their families and have no other place to go, and any of us would do the same. Families are being separated, children are being held in filthy and dangerous conditions, and children are dying in US custody as the Trump administration ramps up these deterrence policies – some of which are illegal and all of which threaten our values as a nation.

This is not a question of funding for Customs and Border Protection, or a need for more detention capacity. It is not an asylum crisis. It is a political and moral crisis created and exacerbated by an administration holding innocent children hostage to score political points. Since its first days in office, this administration has implemented policies that have strained our processing systems, harmed children, and caused chaos and confusion, including:

We must preserve our asylum system and defend laws, such as the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act [TVPRA] and the Flores Settlement, which protect the rights of the most vulnerable people in our nation. We should utilize proven alternatives to detention which are more cost effective, efficient, and humane ways to process asylum seekers. We should stop forcing asylum seekers to wait in Mexico while their immigration cases are processed – a policy that is already being challenged in court. We can and must invest in smart comprehensive and humane solutions to the reality that children and families are fleeing Central America and seeking protection at our border.

(Text reprinted from the Women’s Refugee Commission)

This is not an immigration crisis – it is not an asylum crisis – it is a management crisis. Providing humane treatment to refugee children is a basic American value. Speak out on social media and educate the people closest to you on the facts. Do this by calling your government representatives – your local, state, and/or national representatives – to let them know that you think this is a humanitarian issue. You can find your federal senators and representatives here. Key messages include:

  • Protect children’s rights. Do not eliminate any existing protections for immigrant children and families. Protections are not loopholes.
  • Give children the chance to tell their experiences, and evaluate their claims to see if they qualify as refugees.
  • Establish standards for the humane treatment of children (and families) in Customs and Border Protection (CBP) custody
  • This is a crisis of leadership, not a crisis of insufficient resources.

(Text reprinted from the Women’s Refugee Commission)

Most of the children coming to the US have family members in this country who can care for them. However, many families are afraid to come forward. In the meantime, shelters and foster families are a critical need for some children. If you are interested in being a foster family for some of the very young children or pregnant girls who are arriving, the best advice is to begin the process to become licensed foster parents. This is run through your local child welfare organization and is required by the Office of Refugee Resettlement. For more details, look at this page of the Office of Refugee Resettlement’s website, and at the two organizations that generally manage foster care for unaccompanied minors: the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Lutheran Social Services for Children and Families.

(Text reprinted from the Women’s Refugee Commission)

For legal assistance for detained refugees, contact the UN refugee agency (UNHCR) hotline or American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA). To contact UNCHR from outside a detention center, dial 1-888-272-1913; to contact UNHCR from inside a detention center, dial 566#. To contact AILA, see details on their webpage.

(Text reprinted from the Women’s Refugee Commission)

  • Visit immigrants in detention centers in your area. Not all detention centers are at the border. ICE has hundreds of detention centers all over the country. You are allowed to visit detention centers. Many areas have visitation programs so that you can volunteer to be a visitor and provide moral support for immigrants in detention. Check out this list to see if your city or state has such a program.
  • Volunteer with local service providers in your area to accompany immigrants to immigration court and ICE check-in appointments: Some organizations coordinate accompaniment to court or ICE check-in appointments. Others need interpreters or people to babysit children while they interview parents. There is not one national organization overseeing these local efforts. Click here for a list of service providers in Massachusetts.

(Text reprinted from the Women’s Refugee Commission with the inclusion
of service providers in Massachusetts)