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.
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:
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.
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”
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!
Dr. Adrianne Aron speaks on: Human Rights and Wrongs
Saturday, March 23, 2019
3:00- 5:00 pm
Berkeley Zion Presbyterian Church in El Cerrito
Join Dr. Adrianne Aron and learn of her journey into the lives of the men, women and children living without a homeland and seeking a safe place in the United States. How does their journey impact their lives and ours?
Human Rights and Wrongs grew out of Dr. Adrianne Aron’s experience as a liberation psychologist serving immigrants and refugees who have suffered traumatic abuse. This experience also generated Writings for a Liberation Psychology (Harvard University Press, 1994); her English translation of Mario Benedetti’s powerful play about torture, Pedro and the Captain (Cadmus Editions, 2009); and several professional articles, book chapters, and lectures about the unique challenges of doing psychology with oppressed populations. For respite, she took up writing short prose pieces, which won her acclaim in the worlds of both fiction and nonfiction. She has been awarded literary prizes by, among others: New Millennium Writings, Able Muse, the Jack London and San Francisco Writers’ Conferences, and the California Writers Club.
Adrianne Aron took up fiction writing for respite from her long hours with traumatized refugees. The recognition she received for her short fiction encouraged her to write Human Rights and Wrongs, a work of nonfiction, in the style of a collection of stories for the general reader rather than as didactic narrative. Dr. Aron used to think of herself as a psychologist who writes. Nowadays she thinks of herself as Adrianne, a writer who does a little psychology. She lives in the San Francisco Bay Area where she is an active advocate for social justice.
In addition to Dr. Aron’s presentation on her latest book, the community event sponsored by El Cerrito Progressives – Social and Racial Justice Committee will provide participants and opportunity to share information on advocacy and action including opportunities to support refugees and immigrants locally.
For more information about the event: email@example.com
The ushering in of Daylight Savings Time will mark the end of El Cerrito Shows UP for this year. Local residents mobilized in 2016 at the height of the Nazi demonstrations in Charlottesville to send a message that our community does not tolerate hate and racism. Since that time, residents faithfully appeared week after week (prior to winter darkness) to maintain this message. Some of the human billboard actions were huge, with over 600 people in attendance.
For almost a month, hundreds of local residents responded to the separations of families at the border.
With a plethora of countywide actions from the different organizations of the social justice community, residents “kept the heat on ICE.” (ICE is the acronym for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a division of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The County Sheriff finally agreed to end the County’s contract with ICE and no longer houses detained immigrants at West County Jail.
The point of El Cerrito Shows UP has been two-fold:
To build resistance and remind residents that our current administration cannot be tolerated, accepted or be normalized.
To create community among people who care about social justice and prevent isolation and depression that can easily beset individuals when power in this country is so abused and intended to promote hate.
Clearly, for those who are politically involved, we know the November 6th elections mean the possibility of stopping the train wreck of policies threatening our health care, education, environment and more. How can we show others that voting can make a difference? On Thursday, October 25th, from 5-7 pm., residents will gather for the last El Cerrito Shows UP for this year. PLEASE JOIN US. We will be focusing our attention to the mid-term with sign’s to remind voters what is at stake. If you haven’t been involved, this is a time you can meet up with others and get involved. Plenty of phone banking, text banking and canvassing is still needed to be done. You can find the Indivisible East Bay ready to get you started.