John Kavalunas, Facilitator
Our Immigration team will focus on issues that promote justice and compassion for immigrants and refugees to the United States. This is in line with the welcome expressed by the Statue of Liberty and Ellis Island. We will pay particular attention to the Trump Administration’s attempts to marginalize these immigrant/refugee communities. As we become aware of actions and educational materials in our roles working and volunteering with immigrants and refugees, the Immigration Team will communicate these to the entire IndivisibleNWIL group. We also look to the Political Action Team to identify Immigration issues/actions.
Members of the Immigration team commit to taking at least one action supporting the Indivisible goals every two weeks – either with Immigration, Climate/Environment, Education, or one of the other focus areas. This action may be a protest participation, meeting with or calling their Member of Congress staff, Town Hall meeting attendance, letter to the editor, solidarity meeting with other area progressives, etc.
Perseverance is important, as this effort opposing the Trump Agenda looks to be a marathon, and not a sprint.
Butterflies are a symbol of migration and freedom. Create a simple butterfly and send the image to MoCs and other key decision-makers. Demand that children and their families be released from detention.
It’s easy. Taking a moment to do this quick project right now will make a big difference. You’ll be done in a flash, but make a lasting impact.
Now more than ever, children should be safe and secure with the people who love them.
PROTECTING FAMILIES AT THE BORDER
Here are some organizations on the front line:
- Al Otro Lado is committed to protecting the rights of migrant families. They are legally challenging the human rights violations brought about by the government's policies.
- Asylum Seeker Advocacy Project - prevents wrongful deportations by connecting refugee families to community support and emergency legal aid. https://asylumadvocacy.org/
- Kids In Need of Defense (KIND) - protecting unaccompanied children who enter the US immigration system alone to ensure that no child appears in court without an attorney. https://supportkind.org/
- La Union del Pueblo Entero - founded by Cesar Chavez and Dolores Huerta, a community union that works in the Rio Grande Valley from the grassroots up. https://lupenet.org/
- No More Deaths is an advocacy group that is based in Arizona that seeks to end the deaths of undocumented immigrants crossing the desert near the southern border
- Texas Civil Rights Project - lawyers and advocates on the front lines of the family separation crisis https://texascivilrightsproject.org/
- We Belong Together - mobilizes women in support of common sense immigration policies that will keep families together and empower women. https://www.webelongtogether.org/
- Women's Refugee Commission - advocating for the rights and protection of women, children, and youth fleeing violence and persecution. https://www.womensrefugeecommission.org/
A lot of honks, a couple of fingers, and one maniac: A report on the Defund Hate rally
Last Friday, on a cool and breezy evening, a dozen members of IndivisibleNWIL gathered on the
Fox River bridge in Algonquin as part of the #Defund Hate Coalition national September Day of
Action. Carrying signs with phrases like “Keep Families Together,” “We’re all immigrants,”
and “Love Beyond Borders,” the activists bore silent witness to the abuses of the Trump
administration’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) amid a lot of supportive honks, a
couple of obscene fingers, and one screaming maniac.
The goal of the #Defund Hate campaign is weaponize the congressional appropriations process
by putting pressure on Congress to ensure that the next funding bill contains cuts to ICE and
CBP and restrictions to ensure that our tax dollars aren’t misused.
We all know immigrants are under assault across the country. While Customs and Border
Protection (CBP) agents have separated families at the border, denied them access to basic
necessities like showers and toothbrushes, and put their children in detention cages, their
counterparts in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) have conducted raids that rip
people from their homes. It’s time to cut off the flow of money that allows DHS to enact its
September is the critical month to put pressure on House members since the budget deadline is
September 30 th . By urging Congress to Defund Hate, we can finally begin to dismantle the
concentration camps, end ICE raids and family separations, and instead invest our tax dollars in
education, health care, housing, and other programs that strengthen our country.
So, now you know what you’ve gotta do: contact your MoC before September 30 th and demand
that they #DefundHate by divesting from ICE and CBP.