We’ve got a few time-sensitive things to share before the usual news digest:
Call to Action
The biggest advocacy action we can take right now in support of the refugee resettlement program is getting a strong show of support on the state and local elected leader letter which is still open for signatures. Please push your state and local elected leaders to support this letter through the end of this month. We’re currently at 39 states represented on the letter – we know we can get more.
Main page for elected leaders to sign on or learn more about the effort: http://welcomingrefugees2020.org/
Cut-off for signatures is August 30th. Thank you!
The Immigrant Legal Resource Center has released a new Public Charge Outreach Toolkit for folks working with immigrant populations who may be affected by the new regulations. EMM also has a blog post on our public website about the Public Charge Rule with more information and resources.
Call for Applicants
The Boston University School of Social Work BRIDGE Program (Building Refugee and Immigrant Degrees for Graduate Education) is currently recruiting students interested in pursuing a Master of Social Work.
The BRIDGE program is a free, 9-session pre-admission course dedicated to increasing access to graduate social work education for refugees and immigrants, and increasing the cultural competency of the human services workforce. The program was created to expand the number of professionally trained social workers from underserved, culturally- and linguistically-diverse newcomer populations through a unique support structure that provides a “bridge” to graduate academic communities. It is open to students who have received bachelor degrees in their home countries, the United States, or somewhere in between.
The 2019 deadline to apply for the BRIDGE Program is September 1, 2019.
8/21/19, The Nation: We Have Been Here Before
“Ina and the Japanese Americans were speaking not only on behalf of themselves, but on behalf of the 707 Japanese immigrants who were incarcerated at Fort Sill between 1941 and 1942…That was far from the beginning of Fort Sill’s carceral history. It was established in 1869 to control the indigenous populations on the surrounding land. For 20 years, between 1894 and 1914, approximately 340 Chiricahua Apaches were incarcerated as prisoners of war at Fort Sill. Among them was the Apache leader Geronimo, who is buried there. Fort Sill was also the site of a Native American compulsory boarding school, which separated indigenous children from their families and communities, forcing them into a program of cultural erasure and reidentification. Opened in 1871, the school was not closed until 1980. Fort Sill also incarcerated migrant children during the Obama administration.”
8/20/19, Equal Times: In the US, big banks are divesting from private prisons, thanks to anti-ICE activism
8/18/19, New York Times: Her Ex-Boyfriend Killed Her Mother. Will the U.S. Offer a Refuge?
“To win asylum in the United States, applicants must show specific grounds for their persecution back home, like their race, religion, political affiliation or membership in a particular social group. Lawyers have sometimes pushed successfully for women to qualify as a social group because of the overwhelming violence they face, citing a 2014 case in which a Guatemalan woman fleeing domestic violence was found to be eligible to apply for asylum in the United States.
But Mr. Sessions overruled that precedent, questioning whether women — in particular, women fleeing domestic violence — can be members of a social group. The decision challenged what had become common practice in asylum courts.
Then, last month, the new attorney general, William P. Barr, went further. Breaking with decades of precedent, he issued a decision making it harder for families, like Lubia’s, to qualify as social groups also.”
8/17/19, New York Times: How Stephen Miller Seized the Moment to Battle Immigration
8/18/19, The Oregonian: Opinion: America welcomed me. We need to keep the doors open for others.
8/17/19, New York Times: The Tired and Poor Who Make America Great
8/21/19, Center on Budget and Policy Priorities: Inclusive Approach to Immigrants Who Are Undocumented Can Help Families and States Prosper
“In sharp contrast to the Trump Administration’s harmful rhetoric and administrative actions targeting immigrants, which have created a climate of fear — especially among families with immigrants who are undocumented — a number of states have adopted pragmatic policies designed to treat all people fairly and give all individuals an opportunity to thrive. This inclusive approach makes sense and holds true to our nation’s often-stated ideals, ideals which United States immigration policies have not always respected, and evidence shows it can foster community well-being and improve state economies. Harsh anti-immigrant policies, in contrast, harm workers and their children and likely weaken the economy.
At a time when many federal policies are creating widespread fear and harming people who are undocumented, states can take a better path. By choosing a pragmatic, humane approach, state policymakers can produce a more educated workforce, ensure that more workers are paid fairly, and raise more revenue to help pay for the schools and other public services that form a strong foundation for broadly shared prosperity.”