Community of Santos en Virginia.
Nothing that has been on the news is new news.
There is now more than ever before main stream media coverage of the conditions and painstakingly obtuse, downright evil processes and policies migrants have to suffer to call this place (stolen Land) home. We must first understand that people have died, been mistreated, dehumanized, raided, disappeared and deported under every president beginning with the first land theft and Indigenous resettlement. Genocide. Regardless of the way people arrive to this Land, and considering that most folks in detention centers right now are Indigenous People traveling through sacred, century-old routes these immoral acts of cruelty toward humanity based on citizenship and warped nationalism must cease. This is the will of The People of Virginia.
People coming into these Lands should be given welcome and refuge and a chance to heal. Not more violence.
As we watch the news and our attention is drawn to the Border, we feel desperate to act now, although a trip to the border or a quick donation to a national organization sounds great, really, better praxis is connecting with local organizations in your community, following the lead of impacted folks within that community, checking and leveraging your privilege and putting your money and time directly into the community you already live in. Chances are that there is already folks doing this work and chances are that they need your support!
Have you heard of ‘support local businesses’?
Now hear me out because you’re going to love:
“SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL BAIL FUNDS!”
In Virginia, there is amazing community bail funds, like Saints and friends in Charlottesville, the folks at Cville Community Bail Fund whom are freeing people in the Blue Ridge Mountains region of Virginia. Every community needs folks like them doing this work daily to keep families together. Their motto “The Border is Here” is truly well said, and honestly should keep us all across the country grounded on this truth: the border is at your community, sometimes blatant as a wall, sometimes like counties in Virginia being looked over for potential as new homes of concentration camps, excuse me, ‘detention centers.’ Sometimes the border is here by way of raids or churches unwilling to open their doors to those in need of sanctuary.
SANTOS en Virginia was created with the idea that we can work together with other community bail funds, organizations, activists, community leaders, immigration defense lawyers, impacted community members and you to get our people home safe in Virginia.
ICE bonds are much more costly than other bonds, ranging from $5,000 to $15,000 per person, we need to make those types of funds available to any migrant in need without a heavily vetted process and understanding that sometimes families have nothing to put toward these type of costs.
Without legal representation a case with ICE is a case lost, so SANTOS seeks to connect with trusted lo-bono or pro-bono lawyers across the region to connect our community with legal help.
We seek to help create and connect a coalition of prison abolitionists doing the work of liberation state-wide in the intersections of ‘crime’ and ‘immigration’ related justice work. We seek partnerships and working collaborations with community leaders. We also seek to add language justice as well as political and popular education as our offerings later on, dreaming of a fellowship for immigrant justice advocates for the General Assembly.
As you can see, SANTOS are dreamers, diligent doers and defenders. Right now we are in baby stages pending our non profit status, we have already received $40K dollars worth of requests and need YOUR help to fill requests and be ready for the next wave of asks!
Please consider becoming a monthly donor or donating anything you can to our bail fund now as well as looking into your own communities to see how you can help support the work being done for migrant families locally.