Here in California, many immigrant families are living in fear of Trump’s “Zero Tolerance” immigration policy and the ever-present risk of deportation and abuse. Here are some ways you can help.
LOCAL (SACRAMENTO) VOLUNTEER & DONATION OPPORTUNITIES
- ABUELAS RESPONDEN//GRANNIES RESPOND – Migrant families are traveling thousands of miles from central and south America to escape conflict, violence, and in search of a better life for their children. These undocumented families are being processed by ICE at the southern border and then released to join family or friends who may live in New York, Washington, or many points in between. Eventually, these families will go through the immigration court process.
These families are provided a bus ticket by immigrant rights groups at the border, and perhaps a few dollars. When they reach Sacramento, either to join family, or as a stop on their bus trip, they usually haven’t eaten, have no money, and lack basic necessities like diapers, baby formula, toothbrushes, clothes, and blankets.
Abuelas Responden is a local chapter of a national group responding to this humanitarian crisis, by being present at the bus stops with food, backpacks filled with necessities, and assistance for families who may be lost or confused about where they are supposed to be going next! NorCal Resist is raising funds to help them purchase more backpacks and supplies. NorCal Resist can also take your gently-used backpack donations, and if you are interested in being a volunteer to meet these families at the bus depot, email us at email@example.com. Spanish (particularly Guatemalan dialect) is very helpful. In addition, one of our Abuelas Responden volunteers has created an Amazon wish list for our local group! Click the link to donate much needed and much appreciated items, which will be provided to asylum-seekers as they travel through Sacramento by Greyhound on their way across several states to meet up with their sponsors and family members.
- THE GODMOTHERS/LAS MADRINAS – The mission of this grassroots Sacramento group is to fill in the gaps when other public agencies can’t meet the needs of families with children 0-5 years of age who are experiencing homelessness or facing financial hardships The families who are helped by the Godmothers qualify for help under the CalFresh and WIC guidelines. These programs allotments often don’t last through the end of the month, and that’s where the Godmothers step in by providing diapers, wipes, food, car seats, cribs, clothing, toys, and much more. You can help out by donating or volunteering.
- PEN FRIEND IN DETENTION – There are a number of immigrants in detention in Yuba who are requesting a pen friend! Our allies at Freedom for Immigrants (Faithful Friends/Amigos Fieles) can connect you with a pen friend who can truly use your words of solidarity and encouragement. Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you can write to someone. Specify if you would like to write in English, Spanish, Punjabi, or have another language skill.
- FAITHFUL FRIENDS: Are you interested in volunteering to provide detained immigrants with connection and support by making visits to them at the Yuba County Jail in Marysville? Faithful Friends/Amigos Fieles is a Community Visitation Program whose volunteers do just that. Visitor volunteers provide human connection and a regular outside presence for detainees. Volunteers can also help protect against human rights abuses in detention and ensure that each person in these facilities is treated with dignity. For more information or to request a volunteer training session, please contact Program Coordinator Susan Lange: email@example.com
SAN DIEGO/TIJUANA VOLUNTEER & DONATION OPPORTUNITIES
- VOLUNTEER WITH BORDER ANGELS: Border Angels is an all volunteer, non profit organisation that advocates for human rights, humane immigration reform, and social justice with a special focus on issues related to issues related to the US-Mexican border. Border Angels engages in community education and awareness programs that include caravans to Tijuana to deliver donations to shelters and guided trips to the desert to place water along migrant crossing routes. Visit their website to learn more about donating and/or volunteering: www.borderangels.org
- San Diego Rapid Response Network is comprised of an extraordinary coalition of organizations that together provide coordinated services to meet the complex needs of just-released immigrant asylum seekers in San Diego. Your donations, made through GO FUND ME or AMAZON will help this coalition continue to treat these families with dignity and exceptional care. You can also volunteer at their shelter in San Diego — start by completing the volunteer intake form here.
OTHER OPPORTUNITIES AND RESOURCES
The UUCSJ also shares this list of resources for background information on various facets of this issue:
- Learn more about the Immigration/ Deportation System
- Flowchart about the detention process
- Accompaniment After Detention Webinar by RAICES
- Learn more about Detention and How Folks Resist
- This American Life Podcast on ICE
- Radio Ambulante Podcast on Immigration Bonds
- Congresswomen Call for immediate closure of Tornillo tent shelter for Migrant Children
OTHER ORGANIZATIONS TO SUPPORT
- American Civil Liberties Union: The ACLU has pledged to take Donald trump to court if he implements any of the policies he proposed that blatantly violate people’s civil liberties, including mass deportation of undocumented immigrants, punishing women for getting abortions, changing the country’s libel laws, etc.
- National Immigration Law Center: The NILC provides legal support and defends the rights of low-income immigrants who live in the US.
- Service Employees International Union (SEIU): An organization of 2-million members united by the belief in the dignity and worth of workers and the services they provide and dedicated to improving the lives of workers and their families and creating a more just and humane society.
- Sacramento Immigration Coalition: A network of individual organizations that meet to share ideas and resources around the common goal of making lives better for undocumented people in the community.
- Area Congregations Together (ACT): Sacramento ACT organizes to create a more just and fair community for everyone in the Sacramento region, with a particular focus on communities of color that have experienced historical discrimination and disinvestment.
- RAPID RESPONSE TEAMS: Sacramento ACT, PICO, and the Sacramento Immigration Coalition are providing trainings to people interested in becoming legal and moral observers of ICE raids through their Rapid Response Network. Here’s how it would work: Rapid Response Protocol