Immigrant Roundtable Recap
A heartfelt thank you to those of you who were able to join us for our Immigrant Roundtable on Saturday evening. We were able to collect $1,140 for the Migrant Shelter in San Diego! The shelter also gained new volunteers!
Our three expert speakers gave us great insight into the complex but clearly "manufactured humanitarian crisis" at our border as Becca Taylor, Lead Coordinator of San Diego Migrant Shelter, reframed the current immigration situation. Throughout the talk, there was a focus on reframing language to humanize immigrants. We were reminded that immigrants are less likely to commit crimes than the native born general population and are being detained when they are here to work and make a better life. There are 11 million undocumented immigrants that have been living and working in the U.S. for many years contributing to our nation who need a clear path to citizenship. Leah Hurwitz, recently retired immigration attorney, explained that new restrictive interpretations of US asylum laws, tremendous processing delays, and the new policy of making asylum seekers wait in Mexico for their cases to be heard in the US are pressing issues. Lilian Serrano, Chair of the San Diego Immigrant Rights Consortium, shared part of their work is to help families who are impacted by raids with legal assistance, and detained asylum-seeking immigrants who are waiting for hearing dates to pay unreachable bond amounts averaging $4000 per person. Ms. Serrano explained that immigrant communities and farmworker families in San Diego County, even those with documentation, are experiencing heightened fear such that they are afraid to go to the doctor or allow their children to access free school lunches because they think they may be deported if they access services that are rightfully theirs.
There is so much to do to support immigrants in our communities and our little community is doing this work with big hearts open to our newest neighbors! I want immigrants to bring their kids to the doctor if they are sick. If you agree, take a few minutes to make a call to your CA representative supporting a law that would give Medi-Cal access to undocumented immigrants (see the number and calling script below).