Success Stories and Gratitude to Our Volunteers and Community
We are grateful to our extraordinary volunteer community for everything you have done since we transitioned to remote operations. In the time of COVID19 we’ve been able to continue supporting Friends because you have participated and supported our work:
- 141 Defensive and Affirmative Asylum Applications have been filed since April.
- 155 weekly pro se clinic volunteers working with 42 Friends each week in June.
- 130 new Pro Se Clinic volunteers were trained in June.
- In June, our social work team connected 60 Friends to food assistance programs, healthcare system, shelter system and other basic services.
- Non-detained court in Newark will re-open on July 13 and in NYC remains suspended through at least July 10. EOIR (Executive Office For Immigration Review) has shared this public health notice to "protect all people working in and visiting EOIR spaces" as they move forward with reopening across the country in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic.
- In person reporting requirements with ICE and ISAP (Intensive Supervision Appearance Program) remain suspended through at least the end of June pending further notice from EOIR / ICE ERO (Enforcement and Removal Operations).
- Over 700 Friends with hearings or check-ins on our calendar between March 16 and the present day have received personal calls from NSC to be notified of these suspensions.
- A team of dedicated accompaniment leaders continues to perform weekly checks on all suspended hearings to remain up to date on any rescheduling, while another team calls Friends as their hearings are rescheduled to ensure they know the new date.
- NSC staff continues to reach out to ICE to facilitate communication and support all Friends in successfully receiving their next check-in dates.
- Hundreds of phone calls to Friends
- Hundreds of phone calls to jails, detention centers, local health departments, and other agencies on behalf of friends.
- NSC contributed towards one bond this month to get our Friend released. Our Friend Yoscal was released from detention after we prepared a pro se Habeas Corpus for him.
- We still write letters to Immigration Judges for our Friends. If you are interested in becoming part of the letter writing team, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
To receive information on these trainings and other upcoming remote volunteer opportunities, please sign up on the Remote Volunteer Opportunities page on our website and indicate areas of interest.
In this edition:
- Stories from Detention/Free Them All
- Upcoming Events
- Immigration News
- Art Corner
- COVID-19 Resources
- Reverend Micah Bucey's Tiny Prayer
Stories From Detention:
Every day our (anti)Detention team, led by Andres Jimenez, receives calls and letters from our Friends in detention and their families. Now, more than ever we must work to change the unjust immigration detention and deportation machine. Prisons and Immigration detention are hotbeds of COVID-19, and are in danger of becoming death camps if we do not #FreeThemAll
The weekly Community Meeting is still happening via Zoom. Being with our Friends has been inspiring, and a way that we continue to connect and support each other.
The past few weeks we've heard from Friends who were recently released from detention who have shared about their fight and the support NSC has given them. They say it has kept them strong. As usual we sing, laugh, and celebrate even though we can't be together in person.
Silent Solidarity Action: Every Thursday at 11 am
In this time of physical distancing, our physical Jericho Walk is on hiatus -- but the Jericho Walk in our hearts continues, especially as so many of our immigrant Friends sit in detention, vulnerable to the threat of the coronavirus.
Join us each Thursday at 11 am via Zoom. We pray our Jericho Prayer out loud, read the names of our currently-detained friends, and let out a scream of solidarity, rage, love, faith, and hope.
While the Trump Administration steals public funds to build an unauthorized wall at the Southern border, families across the country are struggling to pay their bills. They deserve to know that their hard-earned dollars are going where the law intended — to benefit their families and their communities.”
The American Civil Liberties Union, which represented the Sierra Club and Southern Border Communities Coalition, called the decision in its case "a win for the rule of law, the environment, and border communities."
“President Trump’s xenophobic wall is already leveling protected lands, desecrating cultural sites and destroying wildlife," said Dror Ladin, staff attorney with the ACLU’s National Security Project. "There’s no undoing the damage that’s been done, but we will be back before the Supreme Court to finally put a stop to this destructive wall.”
“The ability to seek asylum from persecution is a core human right enshrined in international and domestic law. Nonetheless, the Trump administration quietly announced a new set of rules last week aimed at permanently gutting protections for asylum seekers. With the election just a few months away, President Trump knows animus toward immigrants is an effective tool to rally his base. And with the country currently distracted by a global pandemic and a fight for racial justice, these new rules could soon become law. That would effectively abolish asylum as we know it here in the United States. Yes, it really is this dire.”
U.S. Must Release Children From Family Detention Centers, Judge Rules. “The family residential centers are on fire and there is no more time for half measures,” she wrote. Judge M. Dolly Gee.
“‘During a virtual court hearing held Thursday via Zoom, U.S. District Judge Marcia G. Cooke told U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement that she would soon be deciding whether to assign a “special master” or “professional observer” with the aim of finding out if her court orders — which were designed to prevent the spread of the coronavirus — have actually been followed.
“You’re getting my drift here?” Cooke asked Dexter Lee, an assistant U.S. attorney representing ICE in an ongoing lawsuit seeking the release of detainees at the Krome Processing Center in Miami-Dade, the Broward Transitional Center in Pompano Beach and the Glades Detention Center in Moore Haven.
Cooke’s suggestion emerged after two ICE detainees gave nail-biting accounts via telephone. The Glades detainees, who both tested positive for the coronavirus, told Cooke ICE is still placing COVID-positive detainees with people who are healthy or have yet to be tested, which would be a direct violation of her June 6 court order.
Scott echoed Thomas: “We get like two spray bottles, gloves, a couple rags, two push brooms and three garbage bags. They tell us to clean up after ourselves.”
Thomas told the judge COVID-positive detainees eat from the same dirty and “moldy” meal trays and that there is no opportunity to social distance anywhere on the premises, including while standing in line for daily meals or sharing one toilet for as many as 45 men. Thomas recounted to Cooke how an unmasked guard told him this week that “there is no social distancing happening here.”
“They laugh and say ‘Yeah, you all positive,” Scott said. “They [were] joking about it; making little mockeries about the symptoms we have.”’
Thanks to Dariel, age 7, for this wonderful portrait of an amazing accompaniment volunteer pre-COVID pandemic.
Please use and share the resources available to New Yorkers, Link here.
Free COVID-19 testing for NYC, Link here.
Domestic Violence Hotline for NYC, Link here.
Resources from the National Institutes of Health, Link here.
CDC Guidelines, link here.
Help NSC Spread the Word and Raise Funds
New Sanctuary Coalition relies on the support of individuals like you to continue our essential work, today and every day. One of the most powerful ways you can help NSC is by spreading the word about this crucial work and offering your friends, families, colleagues and compatriots the opportunity to contribute to a fundraising campaign you create. Let them know that you stand with New Sanctuary and our Friends in detention, facing deportation, struggling against a system designed to destroy families and perpetuate racist notions of who belongs in this country and who does not.
Today's Tiny Prayer from Reverend Micah Bucey
Today’s Tiny Prayer (for those who just don’t know where to start):
May you take a step toward humility today, seeking education, making a connection, asking a question, investigating a privilege, a bias, a given, an assumption, and may you be honest with yourself about the daunting reality of how much work there is to do, but may you also be honest with others about your need for collaboration, knowing that this work is not yours to do alone, and also knowing that this fact does not clear you of individual obligation, but rather demands your daily, active, evolving participation in the continuing co-creative work.