As the residents of the White House change, New Sanctuary Coalition’s vision remains the same: abolition of ICE and the full-scale dismantling of the U.S. immigration system, replacing the current approach of racism and elitism with one based on welcome, equity, and true justice for all.
We know there are those who will see the shift in administration and think New Sanctuary’s work is done. It is not. There are those who will be satisfied with less-horrific policies, with improved treatment of the “good immigrant” and continued cruelty to the “bad immigrant.” We will not. There are those who will be fooled by surface changes, by rearrangements of power that present themselves as progress but continue to perpetuate the systemic and intentional harm done to our Friends in service of a racist, classist status quo.
You will not be fooled. You are New Sanctuary. We are New Sanctuary. And we will not stop until every Friend is afforded the dignity, humanity, and welcome they deserve.
2020 made every aspect of NSC’s work more complex and more urgent. Our staff and volunteers stepped up and stepped in to answer the call, shifting nearly all of our work to online platforms, anticipating and responding to changing needs as the pandemic progressed.
We’ve put together an overview (20 pages and still partial!) of our work this year. A few highlights:
- Clinic moved online within one week of shelter-in-place being declared. To date this year, 350 clinic volunteers have worked with 587 Friends to file hundreds of asylum claims, work permits, motions to reopen, and change of venue applications.
- In 2020, we worked with 272 detained Friends, offering crucial support and advice during their incarceration. Through the L.I.F.E. Bond Fund and collaborations with other bond funds, as well as habeas petitions, NSC liberated 26 Friends from detention.
- Accompaniment shifted its primary focus to ensuring that Friends had the information they needed (and ICE rarely provided) about changes to court dates, paperwork filings, and check-ins. Staff and volunteers placed more than 8,000 calls to EOIR and ICE on behalf of Friends.
- Through the social work program, 586 Friends got the support they needed to access health care, mental health, eviction protection, food and child care.