New Sanctuary Coalition

Keeping families together and advocating against deportations

New Sanctuary Coalition Newsletter: May 2020

May Newsletter

The struggles for liberation and the freedom to live without persecution, to walk the streets and drive the roads, go to work and school and the corner store without threat of state-sanctioned violence, are interconnected and interdependent. The system that hired and trained and employed a police officer who would kneel on the neck of George Floyd until he died is the system that hired and trained and employed an ICE officer who would shoot Erick Diaz Cruz in the face for defending his cousin. 

These systems perpetuate racism and violence because they are built on racism and violence. They are entwined and designed to create a system of fear and oppression rooted in white supremacy and aimed to make unmistakably clear who they believe belongs in this country and who does not, who is afforded dignity and who is not, who deserves to live and whose life can be snuffed out by a police officer’s knee, an ICE officer’s gun, or a virus spreading unchecked through a crowded detention center.

 In the words of Ella’s Song, written to honor the great activist Ella Baker, “We who believe in freedom cannot rest until it comes.”

New Sanctuary Coalition stands with the protestors, the activists, the healers, the true leaders, and all who hold hope for a better future in our hearts.

We will not rest until it comes.  

Black Lives Matter


  • Success stories 
  • Stories from Detention
  • Upcoming Events
  • Immigration News
  • COVID-19 Resources 
  • Poetry Corner
  • Fundraising 
  • Reverend Micah Bucey's Tiny Prayer

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. Over the past ten weeks, we’ve been able to continue supporting Friends because you have participated and supported our work:

  • 170 weekly pro se clinic volunteers working with 50 Friends each week

  • 50 changes of venue this last week
  • 158 (anti)Detention hotline shifts

  • You've made 6000 calls to EIOR (Executive Office for Immigration Review).

  • Over 100 motions have been filed

  • A SIJ (Special Immigrant Juveniles) was sent, and was accepted!!

  • Non-detained court and in person reporting requirements with ICE and ISAP remain suspended through at least mid-June pending further notice from EOIR / ICE ERO. All Friends with hearings or check-ins on our calendar between March 16 and June 12 have been notified of these suspensions. Dedicated accompaniment leaders have assumed responsibility for performing weekly checks on all 500+ 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 liaise with ICE to facilitate communication and support all Friends in successfully receiving 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

  • We have helped liberate 10 Friends working with other organizations and with our L.I.F.E. Bond Fund for a total of 136k.

Get involved!

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. 

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

Listen to the stories in their own voices here.

Upcoming Events

Community Meeting

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.

Jericho Walk
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 for “One Time Around,” when we will sit in silence together for the amount of time it typically takes to walk around 26 Federal Plaza once (12 minutes), then 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.

Zoom Link here.

Immigration News

“SOMOS, a network of 2,500 immigrant physicians that serves thousands of people in the low-income and immigrant community, commissioned a mural to be painted in honor of Dr. Decoo and the other immigrant physicians who have fought the pandemic.

The mural was painted by Jorge Rodriguez-Gerada in just five days. Rodriguez-Gerada told CBS News that he has always been interested in using his work to bring attention to social issues, and that as the pandemic continued, he realized it was killing a disproportionate number of Latinos and African Americans.”


We have seen bonds as high as 50k given to people who came here seeking asylum.

"A federal court has ruled the Trump administration must provide fair hearings for people in immigration detention and requires the government to justify detention at a bond hearing. The ruling also requires immigration judges to consider people’s financial circumstances when setting bond amounts and forms of release.

“This ruling means people will no longer be locked up without any legal justification. It is a huge victory, and in a time of COVID-19, it could save lives,” said Michael Tan, deputy director of the ACLU’s Immigrants’ Rights Project."'


Democratic congressional leaders expressed alarm Wednesday at a sudden acceleration in the deportation of migrant children and in a strongly worded letter requested that the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement “cease this practice immediately.”


Witness at the Border is doing incredible work to expose the practices ICE is using to fly immigrants on charter flights. They are moving them around the country during COVID19 as well as deporting people who may have the virus. We are working with this incredible team to pressure ICE and the companies they subcontract to, to stop these flights.  

Poetry Corner

Here's a beautiful poem written by accompaniment volunteer Bonnie Billet after attending accompaniment training inspired by what she heard at the training and a dream she had the very same night of training. This was written before COVID19.

There are three simple rules:
do no harm
make no judgments
be silent this isn't about you
show the immigration judge
the friend you sit with
has a community
in New York

there are no windows
in the court no natural light
someone suggests
wearing bright colors

I dream there are men
in green and orange suits
carrying reams of paper
covered with hieroglyphics

explaining the meaning of color
at the end of the dream I stand alone
surrounded by rows of walls
made of colored glass

beyond the walls
America is unreachable

COVID-19 Resources 

Please use and share the resources available to New Yorkers, 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. 

Setting up a fundraising campaign is quick and easy. Please let Marty or Amy know if you want any help getting started! 

Today's Tiny Prayer from Reverend Micah Bucey

Today’s Tiny Prayer (for those who are protesting):

May your cries dig painfully into each of our hearts until we are all dragged out of our own quiet, and may your act of doing something generative with your rage compel us all to do something generative with our rage, while always listening most deeply to those most suffocated by violent, systematized oppression, and showing up in every way possible, through amplification, education, association, and donations.



New Sanctuary Coalition

239 Thompson St.

New York, NY 10012