First and foremost, we are holding in our hearts all who have been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak.
Also on our minds are on the thousands still reporting to ICE, the thousands attending immigration hearings, and the thousands detained in jails around the nation, forced to live through this pandemic without necessary and proper healthcare and preventative equipment and measures.
WHAT WE'RE DOING
This week, ICE announced that they would be banning "social visitation" in detention facilities. This move will only further isolate human beings who should not be detained in the first place, keeping them from staying in touch with their loved ones. With these compounding acts of cruelty, ICE keeps detainees under their powerful thumb, even using the threat of a virus to further dehumanize the most vulnerable.
Our continuing spiritual imperative is to keep our Friends safe from removal while doing our part to prevent the spread of coronavirus. It is increasingly difficult to do so because immigration courts are still open and detention centers won't free our Friends, but as new information surfaces regarding prevention and safety, we will shift our programs, services, and action plans.
Because of your continued support our Accompaniment Program just broke a record -- completing 104 accompaniments in one week! Our Pro Se Clinic also completed more than 15 asylum applications.
For updates on NYC's response to COVID-19, visit NYC Health.
We will continue to share updates on our web site and all social media platforms.
WHAT YOU CAN DO
Volunteer -- We are looking for volunteers in new remote roles. Click HERE for a sign-up form, let us know how you can help, and we'll be in touch soon!
Donate -- The good news is that the investments we are making in digital infrastructure will help us serve more Friends more efficiently after this crisis. The tough news is, these changes put a strain on our budget. Your donations make a huge difference in our ability to respond to emerging crises like Covid-19 without interrupting our critical ongoing programs. Please donate today to make this work possible.
Boost the signal -- Help us make people in your network aware of what's going on with our Friends. ICE continues to target, detain, and deport. Detention centers lack treatment and care options, isolating Friends instead of freeing them. We will continue to update you via email and our social media platforms.
Engage your faith leaders -- We are asking faith leaders to pressure immigration judges and detention centers to take drastic measures (including #FreeThemAll) to protect our Friends in detention and at risk of detention. A template for this outreach is available HERE! Reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Thank you for always standing with us in solidarity, in faith, and in hope!
Ravi Ragbir and the NSC Team