Updates from the Immigration Justice Team

Support Iowa Families Devastated by ICE
There was a major ICE raid in Mt. Pleasant on May 9. Immigration & Customs Enforcement detained 32 people, leaving families devastated.

There are many ways to help:

  • Donate to the Eastern Iowa Bond Project: Help raise money to provide bail funds for those who are eligible and reunite them with their families https://communitybondproject.org/
  • Financial support is needed to pay rent, utilities, and other expenses, including legal representation: http://www.firstpresbyonline.org/
  • Donate Supplies – Immediate needs for families include: diapers, sizes 3, 4, 5, 6; training diapers, food items, beans, tortillas, pasta, etc.; gift cards for food/gas; infant formula, Similac, Enfamil (blue); clothes – baby, 3 mo., 6-9 mo.; girls (9, 10 years); men medium, girls shoes, 9, 10 yrs. Donations can be brought to First Unitarian through May 20.

UUs Asked to Support Work of SURJ
You might have heard about a caravan of folks who are traveling from Central America, through Mexico, seeking asylum in the United States. (And if you haven’t heard about the caravan, check out this great explainer!) While this caravan has been operating informally since 2010, this year it caught the attention of certain media outlets. Militia groups, minutemen, and other varieties of white supremacists are threatening to turn online threats into offline reality.

Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) has been in contact with folks on the ground in Mexico with the caravan, and we’ve been asked to support their journey in a variety of ways. We believe our “showing up” in this moment is not only the right thing to do, but it’s a direct response to attempts to shut out these courageous migrants. If you’re interested in supporting those seeking asylum, there are many ways to do so — from helping out financially to serving as a sponsor for an individual or a family. Simply check the boxes on this form to let us know what support you’re able to provide, and we’ll follow up with you within a few days with next steps. Many people throughout the U.S. have responded to this call. Please consider how you, as members of First Unitarian Church of Des Moines, might be able to help.

Keep Families Together
Since August 2017, President Trump has repeatedly cancelled and refused to renew protections for foreign nationals living in the United States with Temporary Protected Status or Deferred Enforced Departure. These programs allow people who are unable to safely return home due to violence, war, and natural disasters to live and work in the United States.
Eliminating their protections has left hundreds of thousands of individuals, many of whom have lived in the United States for decades, vulnerable to losing their livelihoods, being separated from their families, and being deported to countries that are unsafe.
Legislation has been introduced in the House and Senate that would provide TPS and DED holders with the protections they need. In the Senate, the Safe Environment from Countries Under Repression and Emergency Act (SECURE Act) (S. 2144) and Liberian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act (S. 2275) together will provide a pathway to permanent resident status for TPS and DED holders. The American Promise Act (H.R. 4253), introduced in the House, will ensure similar protections.
Follow the link to ask your legislators to cosponsor the bills and protect these communities today: https://www.uusc.org/protect-tps/