Welcome to the WICIR newsletter where we share immediate needs, upcoming events, and an overview of the current situation in Washtenaw County.
Over the past month, WICIR has received at least 3 urgent response calls. Of these, at least 2 involved the detainment of loved ones by immigration agents. The other call related to a request for sanctuary by a member of the community. In each case, WICIR volunteers worked with callers to link them with resources and provide volunteer support for people in our mixed-status community.
We are really excited to be partnering with Synod Community Services (who also hosts the Washtenaw ID Project) as our fiscal sponsor. We have a new paypal account that is now available on our website. Check it out!
A couple weeks ago, a group of WICIR volunteers trained about 30 Detroit organizers from Detroit Rapid Response on how to start their own Urgent Response system. We had the opportunity to explain how we respond to immigration related emergency calls, how we support families, and how keep communication safe. It was a great event and we excited to continue supporting Detroit Rapid Response in their community-led initiative.
The longest government shutdown in history ended on January 5th without funding for Trump’s border wall.
A federal judge ruled against the Trump administration’s attempt to include a citizenship question on the 2020 census. In Arizona, a judge convicted 4 humanitarian aid workers of crimes related to national wildlife refuges for leaving food and water for people crossing the border. The US troops deployed at the US-Mexico border will likely remain there through September 2019.
Investigations into Southwest Key, the business that runs almost a third of the shelters for detained immigrant children, raise the question of what would happen to the children if Southwest Key lost its contracts. The number of detained children has gone down, in part because of a change to the fingerprinting policy for sponsors. However, the number remains high. Additionally, there is new evidence that more children were forcibly separated from their parents at the border than previously estimated.