How to Support Immigrant Communities Now: An extremely rad list of WTF you can do
Donald Trump, discarded enema bag and President-Elect of the United States, has recently pledged to deport at least 3 million people who are living in the country without access to proper documentation.
Those of us who are actual living, breathing people with hearts and consciences (i.e. generally NOT Trump voters) are naturally concerned about the inhumanity, cruelty, and real-life damage to people, families, and communities, this unsupportable act will cause. So what can you do now to help the 3 million people (plus their families) who are about to feel the hammer of a despot? I asked my very good awesome friend (and actual immigration law cool-girl) to tell us how. Here are her words:
Dear friends & family,
Some of you have asked me how you can help immigrant communities in light of Trump’s election. Immigrants may be the most immediately impacted by Trump’s policies as it is the one area where the president can often act unilaterally and without Congress.
I put together this list of organizations based on my own (limited) knowledge [editor’s note: bitch please, you‘ve got this] and my best guesses about which immigrant populations will be most impacted. One of the scariest things is not knowing what will happen. Trump ran his campaign with the promise to build a wall and deport all undocumented immigrants. It is not logistically possible to round up and deport 11 million people, and Trump is backing away from that pledge. I’m not particularly concerned about the “wall” as it is a farce, border enforcement is already strong, and border crossings have dropped drastically since the recession in any case.
I think we will immediately see an uptick in workplace and home raids (which have already been happening under Obama), and Trump has pledged to “immediately” deport three million immigrants with criminal records. This number is dubious, of course, but it means that Trump will likely continue and step up the already existing pipeline from the criminal justice system to immigration enforcement. Keep in mind that this means that many people with legal status, such as longtime green card holders, may also be arrested, detained, and deported based upon past criminal convictions. Trump has also promised to renew Muslim registration (which happened after 9/11 and led to many deportations).
It is also likely that Trump will immediately end DACA, Obama’s executive action granting deferred action to the “Dreamers” (undocumented people who were brought to the US as kids and are in or completed school or military service). The Dreamers are well organized and I’m not sure that Trump will move to deport them, but they will likely be left without legal status and the ability to work.
There are so many great organizations, and if you already know of or help a local organization, that is probably the most important place to focus your efforts. I include some national advocacy/legal organizations here, but stress that help is most needed at local direct-services organizations. All of the know-your-rights/fact sheets stress that immigrants should meet with a trusted immigration law provider (immigration attorney, accredited representative at nonprofits, or law students through a clinic). Most direct-services organizations were already at capacity before the elections and cannot take on new clients.
A. National Advocacy Organizations
Families for Freedom (NY-based, but serves families and detainees nation-wide) http://familiesforfreedom.org/
Immigrant Defense Project (advocacy on criminal-immigration issues) http://www.immdefense.org/
National Immigration Project of the National Lawyer’s Guild http://www.nationalimmigrationproject.org/
Immigrant Legal Resource Center https://www.ilrc.org/
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)https://www.cair.com/
United We Dream (group of Dreamers/DACA recipients with political and services arms) http://unitedwedream.org/
B. Important Regional Organizations Serving Underserved Populations
Florence Project (SW border region — an area of huge need and almost no services)https://firrp.org/
Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NW and Tacoma Detention Center)
National Immigrant Justice Center (midwest and national)
C. Local Organizations
If your area has a sanctuary movement (sometimes called Sanctuary Coalition or the New Sanctuary Movement), join it! This might include political efforts at the state and local levels to try and prevent law enforcement from cooperating with immigration officials (aka establishing sanctuary cities), and/or efforts to provide physical sanctuary in churches and other places of worship.
Look up direct-services organizations here:
Feel free to reach out if you have any questions or if you want to join efforts in the NYC area. I’m working with NYU Law GOTV and the Immigrant Rights Clinic on various projects.
In the face of fear and uncertainty, I’m optimistic that we will be moved to act and organize now.
[Redacted rad-ass bitch from the revolution.]