October 2017 Immigration Happenings
Despite some terrible news in the world, there are some beautiful things happening, and we are part of them! Here are some region-wide events and trainings on immigration for your calendar.
TODAY (Tuesday) - We will gather in front of Fort Collins City Council (300 LaPorte Ave) at 5:30pm in continued support of creating city policy that promotes trust and well being. Some of you have heard that the Community Trust Ordinance has been watered down to a resolution. And the one piece that was believed critical – asking the police to take questions about “legal status” off the table except in necessary criminal cases – was removed. The resolution does include the creation of a task force, and the hope is that the task force can be a body that actually has the power and potential to hold our city accountable. Please come and show your support tomorrow with your body and spirit. The resolution is part of the agenda (and should be an early item), so we are not allowed to speak about it at public comment. You can bring signs of support to hold outside the building between 5:30-6pm; we are not able to take them inside. Don't hesitate to include your faith affiliations in your signs and comments! It is effective! You can also write to city leaders TODAY: firstname.lastname@example.org. Tell them you are grateful for the work that has been done on the resolution, but that you are disappointed that the outcome has neglected some of the key recommendations made by the community, especially those views expressed directly by our immigrant community.
THURSDAY (Oct 5th) - Fuerza Latina and ISAAC will be passing out $200 scholarship checks to all the DACA recipients who attended the Fuerza DACA renewal clinic last month! These funds are thanks to the Emergency Immigration Fund of ISAAC, The Interfaith Sanctuary and Accompaniment Coalition. For more information on ISAAC and how to be involved with their work, please see the attached 2-sided handout.
SATURDAY (Oct 7th) - Immigration Detention Center Visitation TRAINING, 1-3pm, in Aurora. This will occur at the Casa de Paz guesthouse. If you are interested, please respond directly to Arpi: email@example.com. Arpi will put all those interested in touch with one another for more info and carpooling.
SUNDAY (Oct 8th) - Grand re-opening of the Museo de Tres Colonias! 425 10th St, Fort Collins, 2-5pm. If you have not visited the museo or heard much about the history of families who worked in the sugar beet industry, this is for you! The Facebook event is here: https://goo.gl/QfXgFW. You can read more about the museo and watch a short documentary here: http://www.museodelastrescolonias.org/Museo/Museo.html
WEDNESDAY (Oct 18th) – CSU’s Alumni Association invites you to a special evening with WHO I AM, a presentation and film showcasing the work of CSU’s first generation students as they mentor immigrant and refugee high school students in Fort Morgan. More information here: https://advancing.colostate.edu/WHOIAMFILM.
THROUGHOUT OCTOBER - Plymouth Church will be hosting a series of adult education programs on immigration as part of the churches "Immigrant Welcoming" discernment process. All events will be in the Fireside Room at the church (916 W. Prospect Rd) and the topics are as follows: Stories of deportation, by local author Laura Resau (10/8); Reflections from Fuerza Latina Immigrant Helpline Volunteers (10/15); The Interfaith Sanctuary and Accompaniment Coalition, by retired Mennonite pastor Steve Goering (10/22); and Daring to DREAM: DACA, Dreamers, and the Student Experience (10/29).
ART INSTALLATION! Local artist, Maria Singleton, who spends her winters in Ajo Arizona working with the organization No More Deaths, has created a powerful interactive art exhibit at Plymouth Church (916 W. Prospect Rd, Fort Collins). Stop in any Sunday between 8:30am – 1pm to experience it. The exhibit asks you to take a skull stone from the basket and walk clockwise around the border wall. You will notice the back of the stone has the names of people whose bodies were exhumed in the desert in the last decade -- migrants trying to cross the border. Please see the prayer written on the back side of the wall, and place your stone on the altar. If you would enjoy a more extensive meditation, you can remove one of the black Velcro streamers covered in the names of men and women who have died, and you can walk up and down the hallway or circle the exhibit. This exhibit will travel the city after 6 weeks at Plymouth. Pictures below. And ISAAC information attached.
The seeds for forming the Interfaith Sanctuary and Accompaniment Coalition were planted in February 2017, when multiple, local, faith-based communities met to discuss how to support immigrants who are facing increasing threats of deportation from new immigration policies of the federal administration. The members of ISSAC believe the mandate to “welcome the stranger” is a justice issue common to virtually all faith communities and that it transcends doctrinal differences. Thus, we eagerly enter into covenant with each other to alleviate some of the important immigration concerns which are separating families and are creating human hardship for many.
The rescinding of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) makes our work even more pressing. An estimated 17,000 people in Colorado may face deportation as a result of the federal administration’s cancellation of DACA.
ISAAC’s steering committee has representatives from these congregations and meetings: Foothills Unitarian Church, Plymouth Congregational Church-UCC, Sojourn Mennonite Church, Jewish Action Network, Fort Collins Friends Meeting and Namaqua Unitarian Universalist Congregation in Loveland. The steering committee is open to members from any faith-based organizations in the area. We encourage your congregation to participate in ISAAC as part of your faith and justice ministry. There is no financial obligation to being a member congregation.
As the coalition name states, one of our three primary goals is to provide physical sanctuary for immigrants facing deportation. ISAAC will support Sanctuary Congregations in northern Colorado and southern Wyoming, beginning with Foothills Unitarian Church.
The immigrant group Fuerza Latina quickly taught ISAAC that immigrants have many needs that cannot be met by sanctuary. These include seeking legal stays to deportation orders, accompaniment to appointments with government officials and court dates, support for the families of deportees and support for those both in detention and coming out of detention. Accompaniment is the second of ISAAC’s primary goals.
ISAAC’s third goal is to build bridges through personal contact and public forums. To reach more immigrants who are facing challenges due to their immigration status, we are reaching out to increase the diversity of faith communities joining our coalition, particularly to those with large immigrant membership. We also want to build communication bridges with the US Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and local law enforcement agencies. Finally, we will seek to be a bridge to our legislative representatives and other public figures to shape how immigration law is written and practiced in our cities, our state and our country.
Please use the address below to join ISAAC’s mailing list and be updated on opportunities for education and volunteering: ISAACoaltion@gmail.com
Donating Funds to ISAAC
The NoCo Emergency Immigration Fund was created by ISAAC to provide direct assistance to those impacted by immanent deportation and to their families. The fund can assist with a variety of legal and personal needs. Foothills Unitarian serves as its fiscal agent. A minister of Foothills, a member of Foothills, a member of the ISAAC steering committee and a member of the immigrant community oversee the fund.
Donations can be made electronically to the NoCo Emergency Immigration Fund at https://foothillsuu.churchcenteronline.com/giving/to/emergency-immigration-fund or by texting any amount to 84321 with + immigration. You will be asked for your credit card information on a secure website. Checks with Emergency Immigration Fund in the memo line may be sent to Foothills Unitarian, 1815 Yorktown Ave., Fort Collins, 80526.
The Foothills Unitarian Church Sanctuary Fund will be used for building enhancements, legal counsel, living expenses for the person in sanctuary, staff support dedicated to supporting the sanctuary initiative, and other costs required to ensure the security and comfort of our guest. To learn more, volunteer or contribute visit the Foothills website:
Donations can be made to the Foothills Sanctuary Fund at https://foothillsuu.org/sanctuary/ or by texting 84321 with + sanctuary. If this is your first time, you will be prompted to add your credit card information on a secure website. Checks with Sanctuary Fund in the memo line can be sent to Foothills Unitarian, 1815 Yorktown Ave., Fort Collins, 80526.
The DREAMer Fund at Sojourn has been created by the Sojourn Mennonite Church. The money in this fund goes to DACA recipients for legal fees, DACA renewal fees and school and living expenses as needed. It is overseen by a board made up of two representatives from the DACA community and at least two members of Sojourn Mennonite Church, as well as one other member from the community at large (ISAAC, Colorado State University, Front Range Community College, or other faith-based communities)
Donations can be made to the Sojourn Mennonite Church Community DACA Fund by personal check made out to Sojourn Mennonite Church, with Community DACA Fund written in the “For” or “Memo” line and mailed to Sojourn, c/o Westminster Presbyterian Church, 1709 W. Elizabeth St., Fort Collins, 80521. Electronic payments may be made at: : http://sojournmennonite.org/give/dreamers/ Be sure to indicate the Community DACA Fund in the memo line if paying with a credit card.