News & Views

Weekly Wins Round-up: October 2022

Dear Friend,

Your mailbox is full and so is mine. Coverage of the upcoming election has increased exponentially as November 8th approaches. Facebook, Twitter, and TikTok are bursting with messages, memes, and exhortations about the upcoming elections. And why shouldn’t all of this be happening⁠—after all, the stakes are really, really high!

But you know what’s NOT happening? The messages we need. The long position papers of the people that are running. How people will advocate for or against certain issues. Instead, the upcoming election—like all elections in the US—is being covered like a sports event. We hear about the latest polls, the amounts of money raised, the number of rallies that people running have attended. But there is no substance. No attempt to actually educate the public about the people running and how they will vote regarding the issues. What’s wrong with this, besides the obvious? The fact that, not only are people not being educated, but people are being affirmatively misled by the information that is published.

Take polls, for example. What do we really know about polls except for the name of the company that conducted them? Sometimes, if we’re lucky, the number of people polled will be shared. But never are the actual questions asked published. Nor is the demographic of who was asked. Nor is there any substantive discussion about what specific questions, answered in a specific way by a specific type of person, actually mean.

Join us TONIGHT at 7PM for an “Ask Me Anything” on political discourse, the media, and immigration, as we cut through the noise and discuss the art and business of polling on public perception of immigration.

With crises erupting all over the world and here at home, the need for immigrants and for immigration reform that lets people in, keeps them safe from harm, lets them work, and lets them vote couldn’t be greater. Immigration is on the ballot as much as any other issue. Join us to learn, and vote like your life depends on it. Because it does.

As you wait for tonight’s Ask Me Anything program to begin, please join me in celebrating our successes!

HIAS PA’s work with Haitian immigrants is recognized by the Mayor’s Commission

Stephanie Laurancy, HIAS PA’s Haitian Immigrant Relief Program Case Manager, spoke at the Mayor’s Commission on African and Caribbean Immigrant Affairs Town Hall Meeting on October 11th about our program providing services to Haitian immigrants. Thank you, Stephanie, for all your hard work around direct client assistance, networking, and partnership building!

-Lucy Rabbaa, Director of Social Services

Youth client graduates from high school after a years-long immigration process!

My Guatemalan client finally got her green card! She had been approved for Special Immigrant Juvenile Status several years ago, but then had to wait for years to apply for her green card and work permit because of a long backlog for most Central Americans. Under those circumstances, it was hard to support herself after she aged out of foster care, but she still graduated from high school. Now she’s working, and she eventually wants to go to college.

-Mary McCabe, Detained Children’s Program Supervising Attorney

Digital and financial literacy programs help immigrants thrive!

As of this month, we have our first 36 clients enrolled in the new Integrated Services Delivery program! This is our new employment program that includes digital literacy, financial literacy, and employment mentorship. The clients have been really excited about this program, and we are excited to get things started with our first group of clients!

We also started both our digital literacy and financial literacy workshops! We had our first four digital literacy workshops this month with 16 clients, where we went over email etiquette and organization, applying for jobs online, and editing resumes. Our financial literacy workshops, in partnership with the Philadelphia Federal Credit Union, cover topics such as understanding pay stubs, building savings, and understanding credit.

-Colleen Cronnelly, Economic Empowerment Coordinator

Deaf artist and survivor of domestic abuse gets a new chance at freedom!

My client, who was referred to us by DeafCAN a few years ago, just became a permanent resident! At the time of her referral, she was unknowingly in removal proceedings, and her conditional green card had expired after her abusive spouse refused to help her file a joint petition to remove the conditions of her status. We filed a Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) self-petition for her, which was ultimately approved. I was then able to terminate her removal proceedings and advocate for her green card interview to be waived due to a disability. After a long, traumatic road, she is so excited and relieved to be a permanent resident. This client also drew this awesome illustration for one of my children. We are so lucky to serve such wonderful people!

-Domestic Violence Program Co-Managing Attorney

HIAS PA Executive Director and Board member are honored on Pennsylvania Power 100 list!

HIAS PA Executive Director Cathryn Miller-Wilson and HIAS PA Board member Sara Jacobson were listed on City and State PA’s 2022 Pennsylvania Power 100 list.

Thank you for your continued support of HIAS Pennsylvania. I hope that these wins from HIAS PA staff give you a lift, as they do me. Look out for more wins at the beginning of next month!

In health,

Cathryn Miller-Wilson
Executive Director