The Earth and Social Justice Ministries received this update on March 14th from our friends at the NC DREAM Team. We would like to encourage our congregants to stay informed about this movement as the protests and detentions continue and lend not only your moral support but also your voices and your resources. If you or your friends could donate to the urgently needed funding for legal and organizing support or take time to make phone calls in support to ICE and your congressional representatives, these have been identified as our most effective next steps in solidarity with those in detention. If you have questions about the movement or how you can help, please call Elizabeth Mount at 720-560-5680 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get connected!
Around fifty more people crossed the border yesterday (you can find some of NIYA’s video here). ICE was more prepared this time, with enough vans to quickly whisk everyone who crossed away to a detention facility away from the protest. ICE agents are also threatening parents, saying that their children will be taken away, or in some cases that Deferred Action (DACA) will be taken away from their children. One person–Dolores Lara, a father from Yakima, WA–has been deported. Dolores saw his daughters for the first time in three years this weekend, through the border fence, but on Wednesday he was sent back to Mexico. All others who have crossed are still detained.
President Obama and ICE are getting pressure from across the country. We have dozens of petitions circulating now, including one for the entire group (which is now being called the “Reform 150”), and we are still writing many more. If you are on Facebook, I encourage you to follow the National Immigrant Youth Alliance and Bring Them Home North Carolina to find all the petitions and the latest news.
In North Carolina alone, there have been vigils in Charlotte, Hendersonville, and Durham, with another tonight in Burlington. If you weren’t there on Wednesday, you missed out: it was an amazing to witness 35 people marching through downtown Hendersonville chanting “Out of the shadows, into the streets!” as passers-by stopped and stared. Yesterday’s Times-News included a good article about the action and Skarlett’s family.
The third and final crossing will take place on Sunday at noon Pacific time (3pm Eastern). There will be a statewide vigil in Charlotte as the crossing takes place. More details will be announced on Facebook soon. If you want to go but aren’t on Facebook, call or text Paco Hernandez (828-803-7271) for more information.
I received news this afternoon that NIYA organizers in San Diego (including our friend Santiago) are in desperate need of more money. They have spent thousands of dollars helping to house families this week, and they need more support from around the country to keep organizing. In North Carolina, we are still $900 short of our fundraising goal, and so far Asheville has offered lots of moral support but very little money. If you are able to donate, please do so here.
Many thanks as always,