Immigrants are currently under attack. Asylum-seeking families are being held in overcrowded detention camps where children are sleeping on cold floors in filth. Other immigrants are being rounded up and torn from their families. Here’s how you can take action to make a difference for the immigrants in your community.
What You Can Do:
- March or protest at an event like Lights for Liberty. Plan your own or like HIAS Pennsylvania on Facebook, where we will share upcoming events in Philadelphia.
- Join HIAS Pennsylvania for our bimonthly phone banking events calling upon government officials to pass immigrant friendly policies. The first event will be in September 2019. Check back for more details. In the meantime, you can call your Congressperson/Senator and tell them to support the GRACE Act which will set the annual refugee ceiling to at least 95,000. Also tell them to vote against the Secure and Protect Act which will lengthen the amount of time children can be legally detained and make asylum even more difficult to apply for.
- Help pay for immigration counsel. HIAS Pennsylvania provides legal services for immigrants here in the greater Philadelphia region. Here is a list of reputable organizations that work to help immigrants at the border.
- Become a Philly Neighbor and work one-on-one with a refugee or asylee family as they acclimate to life in Philadelphia.
- Immigration is federal issue, but all politics are local. Philadelphia’s city government has agreed to not help ICE, but they are not the only government officials that immigrants can interact with. Find out here who in Pennsylvania is cooperating with ICE and ask them to stop doing federal work that hurts local families and businesses.
- Learn more about the needs of immigrants in your community. Sign up for HIAS Pennsylvania’s newsletter or learn more from the Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition (PICC), New Sanctuary Movement, or Juntos.
- Create a fundraiser. Immigrant Families Together offers a long list of potential fundraiser formats on its site, ranging from movie nights to silent auctions. It’s really easy to create a birthday fundraiser for your favorite non-profit on Facebook.
- Volunteer to mentor and tutor English-language learners to help them pass the citizenship test.
- Immigrants have rights if approached by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials. Learn these rules and share them widely in your neighborhood and online.
- If you work in education, use materials from Teaching Tolerance to help explore topics like race and immigration and emphasize the importance of human and immigrant rights.
- Donate household goods and ensure that newly arrived refugees have a welcoming home.
- Educate yourself. This great This American Life episode explains the many ways that the current administration has attacked immigrants and how that has led to this current crisis. Human Rights First has compiled a blueprint that outlines clear policies that would greatly mitigate the current crisis. Need some talking points to further explain the current broken system? Find them here.