Action Alert: Pack the Court!

The East Bay Sanctuary Covenant are the lead plaintiff suing the Trump Administration regarding the Third County Transit Ban. There will be a hearing on their REQUEST FOR A TRO (TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER) ON WEDNESDAY, JULY 24, AT 9:30AM. The hearing will be at the Northern District courthouse in San Francisco, 450 Golden Gate Ave. Judge Tigar’s courtroom is on the 19th floor. They are asking supporters to show up. There are also some other action steps at the bottom of the info below. For more information https://ebsc.nationbuilder.com/?utm_campaign=ebsc_v_barr&utm_medium=email&utm_source=ebsc 

Facts about the Third Country Ban Lawsuit

According to Michael Smith, EBSC’s Director of Refugee Rights, “Trump’s policy is illegal and usurps the power of Congress to make laws. Seeking asylum is clearly protected under U.S. and international asylum law. EBSC’s asylum clients are fleeing horrific violence in their home countries. EBSC has one of the largest affirmative asylum programs in the U.S. and has successfully helped almost 4,000 people to obtain asylum.

Over 97% of EBSC’s asylum cases are approved, showing that these claims are meritorious. These are people fleeing persecution and seeking safety under the law. Contrary to what the administration is claiming, this population is not safe in Guatemala or Mexico, where they are vulnerable to their persecutors and other forms of oppression. Many of EBSC’s clients, including LGBTQ people and survivors of gender-based violence, are fleeing persecution in Mexico. Asylum seekers crossing the U.S. southern border are not only from Central America. They may be from Russia, Africa, and Asia; some have traveled through South America, the jungles of Panama and Central America, with the hopes of reaching safety. Nearly all of EBSC clients are victims of atrocious forms of persecution – 80% have been raped or sexually abused, including male and female children. Going forward, 80% of EBSC clients would be unable to apply for asylum.

The ramifications of the Trump administration’s actions will be long-reaching for people who are genuinely deserving of asylum protection. EBSC’s 37-year old asylum program reaching the most traumatized populations would be terminated. Act Now! Write your congressional representatives! Join EBSC’s social media networks. Share accurate news and articles so more people are informed of the detrimental impact of these attacks on asylum law. Support EBSC by volunteering or donating – your support matters!

Cookies Not Cages Launches this Weekend!

El Cerrito Progressives is working to help support East Bay Sanctuary Covenant to raise money for their work with unaccompanied minors. * Since 2014, EBSC has provided legal assistance to more than 600 unaccompanied children fleeing gang violence, human trafficking, and domestic abuse in their home countries. 

With EBSC help, these youth are often able to obtain asylum, reunify with their family members, and finally, feel safe. 

In 2018, more than 50,000 unaccompanied children were stopped at the border; in January 2019, apprehensions of minors traveling alone had increased by 40%.

 There are currently not enough lawyers to meet the needs of the growing numbers of unaccompanied children seeking legal services.  We are helping raise money so that EBSC can hire additional staff to assist with the legal cases of these minors. 

El Cerrito Progressives has a goal of raising at least $10,000 for EBSC through this gofundme and our community bakes sales Cookies Not Cages. 

We have all seen the pictures of these poor children being detained. Help us support them in being reunited with their families and obtaining sanctuary in the United States. 

Bake Sales are occurring this Saturday the 20th at EC Plaza near the Traders Joes and this Sunday at the Kensington Farmers Market. Sales will be active from 10-2pm. We have already raised over $2500 towards our 10k goal and this weekend we have a generous match of $500 for each sale!  We hope to see lots of our neighbors there. Enjoy delicious baked goods made by your neighbors and we usually have some vegan and gluten-free treats too!

If you want to donate and can’t attend the bake sales you can do so here https://www.gofundme.com/f/cookies-not-cages

*Unaccompanied minors are children under the age of 18 who come to the border without a parent. If they come with a grandmother or grandfather, aunt or uncle or other relative they are considered to be unaccompanied, separated from their relatives and placed in detention.

Protect “Mixed-Status” Immigrant Families – Take Action TODAY

The Trump administration continues to devise policies to separate immigrant families. On May 10th, HUD published a proposed rule in the Federal Register that would lead to thousands of “mixed-status” immigrant families that have members who are undocumented or otherwise ineligible for public and other subsidized housing to split up or be evicted, putting them at high risk of homelessness.  In a posting published by the National Low Income Housing Coalition: The proposed rule would prohibit mixed-status families from living in public and other subsidized housing. Such families will be evicted from their subsidized housing after 18 months or sooner. To learn more, follow this link:https://nlihc.org/resource/trump-administration-publishes-proposed-mixed-status-rule-would-lead-family-separations

Continue reading “Protect “Mixed-Status” Immigrant Families – Take Action TODAY”

CLOSE THE CAMPS REP. DeSaulnier!

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Overcrowding of families observed by the DHS Office of the Inspector General on June 11, 2019, at Border Patrol’s Weslaco, TX, Station. Photo: DHS OIG

Amidst the growing reports of the deplorable conditions at both the private Homestead facility in Florida, and other camps run by Customs and Border Protection, public outcry to “close the camps” echoed throughout the nation.  On July 2, 187 cities across the coast staged rallies and marches to ask that no more of our tax dollars flow to pipeline for the detention of migrants.

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El Cerrito Shows UP: Rally at El Cerrito Plaza on Saturday, June 29th- Banner in the back says: Kids Need Adults to be Kind – this banner made by kids last year upon the reporting of mass family separations at the border.

Locally, over 200 local residents gathered on June 29th to voice there concerns about the health and safety of children at the border, denouncing current immigration polices that criminalize people who are fleeing violence.  On July 2nd, over 1,000 people marched to the office of Diane Feinstein and Nancy Pelosi asking for three actions:

Close the Camps

Not One More Dollar for Detention Camps

Bear Witness to the situation at our southern border.

Earlier in June, Rep. DeSaulnier appeared at a town hall meeting in El Cerrito.  He covered many subjects, and answered many questions, but he did not answer this question:  Why not close the camps?  I followed-up with a written submission of the question and received this response:

Screen Shot 2019-06-30 at 3.06.59 PM

Readers, please note that many of the migrants including unaccompanied minors have family in the United States.  Prior to the increased criminalization of immigrants, civil violations for those who did not have papers were handled through legal hearings.  Organizations and/or family members (aunts, uncles, cousins, etc. ) sponsored those who were awaiting their hearing-clearly a better prospect than the filthy and unhealthy confines currently offered to those already suffering trauma.  This is where children can go –with their families.   As long as these centers exist, there is little political will to really consider the alternatives and we will continue to feed this bureaucracy in our name and with our tax dollars.  Congress does have authority to spend money and to defund departments.   Please write Rep. DeSaulnier and ask that he defund the centers, not a penny more! End the contract with Homestead, the private for profit processing center for over 1200 children.

Never Again is Now.

DHS Inspector General Border Findings

Bay Area Close the Camps Action

Alternatives to immigrant detention

Homestead profiteering off of immigrants

 

 

The Community Response to Child Abuse at the Border

Two hundred or more residents from El Cerrito and nearby cities rallied to decry the horrendous treatment of  children at the border.  Almost one year to this date, the media exposed the Trump/Miller/Session Zero Tolerance policy of separating families at the border and placing children in separate facilities that some are now calling concentration camps.  The children are now political pawns in an immigration strategy that seeks to deter families who are coming to the border for safe refuge. By limiting access to the legal port of entry, refugees and faced with spending weeks or longer in dangerous conditions at the border, or cross the border outside official entry points, thereby creating the criminalization of the refugee.  Furthermore, because it is now a criminal situation, custom officials separate the children from their parents, housing them in private facilities that lack basic sanitary situations.

Speaking at the rally, Mayor of El Cerrito, Rochelle Pardue-Okimoto, once again vowed to the crowd that local police will not cooperate with the ICE, and uphold the Sanctuary City status of El Cerrito. The crowd received thunderous support from cars whizzing by San Pablo Ave., and people were spirited in the chants to both welcome immigrants, and end the private for profit camps for children.

El Cerrito Progressives also launched the Cookies Not Cages bake sale to raise funds for Unaccompanied Minors (Children) who need legal support to move out of border detention and rejoin their family members.   In only two hours, organizers raised over $1,000 for the East Bay Sanctuary Covenanthttps://eastbaysanctuary.org/  for legal support.  Please feel free to donate and help us meet our $10,000 goal by clicking on this link: https://www.gofundme.com/f/cookies-not-cages?sharetype=teams&member=2407628&rcid=r01-156185248197-d0636a15df874c03&pc=ot_co_campmgmt_w

Resources: https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-family-separation-trump-year-later-20190412-story.html

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/family-separation-one-year-later_n_5ca4cda4e4b094d3f5c50ede

https://www.huffpost.com/entry/migrant-children-describe-detention_n_5d1646ffe4b03d61163af666

https://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2018/06/stephen-miller-family-separation/563132/

Local Effort Launches to Unite Immigrant Families as ICE Threatens to Escalate Deportations and Raids

Last year El Cerrito Progressives and dozens of community members conducted a Bake for Bonds campaign, raising over 10k to help support legal costs for immigrant detainees in custody at the West County Detention Center. We have all been deeply affected by the stories of minors in ICE custody being held in cages. We want to continue to support the efforts of family reunification, by supporting the young immigrants seeking asylum to join their families in the United States. We cannot turn our backs on the thousands of unaccompanied minors living in our community, awaiting reunification with their family. Our new fundraiser, Cookies not Cages, will raise funds to support East Bay Sanctuary Covenant (EBSC).    Currently EBCS needs additional legal support to help unaccompanied minors get Special Immigrant Juvenile Status (for those that have been abused and neglected) and asylum. Since 2014 EBSC has helped 210 youth gain asylum! Your donation will provide the necessary legal support for youth to be reunited with families. Continue reading “Local Effort Launches to Unite Immigrant Families as ICE Threatens to Escalate Deportations and Raids”

National Call for Justice for Immigrants

When:  Saturday, June 29th

Time:  Noon – 2:00 pm

Where:  El Cerrito Plaza (West Entrance)

Join your community in speaking out for immigrant justice.  As the Trump administration ramps up the Homeland Security apparatus for millions of deportations, as well as continued incarceration of non-criminal children and adults seeking asylum, we need to respond.  Silence is compliance!

Please rsvp to this link:https://actionnetwork.org/events/show-up-for-immigrant-justice/