PICC logo Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

In this issue...

Happy 5-Year DACAversary!
Time for Congress to Take Action
Welcome Alicia!
Meet a Member of AFRICOM
PICC This Month 
Upcoming Events

Happy 5-Year DACAversary!

Aug. 15th was the 5-year anniversary of Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), a program that has provided temporary protection from deportation for thousands of young people in PA. PICC members and partners gathered at City Hall with Philadelphia Mayor Jim Kenney and the Office of Immigrant Affairs to commemorate this anniversary. Undocumented young people from the region spoke about how DACA has impacted their lives, and what more needs to be done to ensure everyone in their community, including their parents and those currently ineligible for DACA, are protected from deportation and detention.

Talk to Your Members of Congress This August!

The Trump Administration and Congress have launched a hyper politicized federal agenda that is an all-out assault on immigrant families. As a result, immigrant families are under fierce attack with thousands of immigrants being detained every day around the country, causing the destruction of families.

The situation will worsen if Congress approves a 2018 budget that sets aside billions to detain and deport even more immigrants, hire thousands of additional immigration officers and build a wall between the U.S. and Mexico. As Congress determines the national budget for 2018, we must fight to set the right priorities for our families and our communities, including keeping immigrant families together.

Now is the time to talk to Pennsylvania's Senators and Members of Congress and ask they take a stand against these hate-filled attacks on immigrant communities. Tell them they need to:

  • Fight to protect the DACA program and immigrant youth.  Members of Congress should publicly defend DACA and support legislation that provides a permanent solution for immigrant youth and puts them on a path towards citizenship.  Any legislation that provides solutions for and immigrant youth must be free of enforcement trade offs.
  • Oppose any money in the 2018 budget that will be put towards immigration enforcement at the border or in the interior of the country. Taxpayers should not have to pay for Trump's attacks on immigrant families, much less at the expense of funding for programs they care about.  
  • Urge the administration to renew expiring TPS designations for the full 18-months. Members of Congress should reach out to the Administration in support of TPS and consider introducing or co-sponsoring legislation to establish a permanent solution and protection for TPS holders.
  • Reject the RAISE Act, authored by Senators Purdue (R-GA) and Cotton (R-AR). The legislation is a direct attack on all immigrants, on our legal immigration system, and on one of the core principles that drives immigration: family reunification.
  • Reject Cornyn’s Building America's Trust Act.  This bill further militarizes the border, adds even more power and resources to the deportation machine and undermines state and local efforts to protect immigrants and their families. 

Welcome Alicia!

We are excited to introduce you to our newest staff member - Alicia Quebral!

Alicia is the program staff for our newest initiative, Women Empowered to Lead (WE Lead), which is part of a national program focused on building community leadership through comprehensive training on naturalization, financial literacy, and immigration law basics. The Pittsburgh WE Lead program will be building on two years of successful implementation of PA is Ready! and will further increase PICC's ability to support our grassroots-led member and partner organizations. 

Alicia began volunteering with refugees at a resettlement agency in her hometown of Buffalo, and throughout her undergraduate years was an active ESL tutor with FORGE (Facilitating Opportunities for Refugee Growth and Empowerment), serving as co-president from 2012-2013. In 2013 she was a co-founder of Pittsburgh Refugee Youth Summer Enrichment (PRYSE) Academy, a program that provides educational and leadership opportunities for refugee and immigrant youth. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, where she earned her BA in International Relations, with minors in Economics and Latin American Studies. Her most recent position was Program Coordinator for Immigrant Services and Connections (ISAC), a six-agency collaborative program serving immigrants throughout Allegheny County. She currently serves as the volunteer Director of Operations for the Alliance for Refugee Youth Support & Education (ARYSE).

Meet a Member of AFRICOM

I am Astan Sacko. I am the owner and operator of Astan African Hair Braiding on 58 & Market St. in Philadelphia.  For a decade I have worked with many African immigrant and refugee women whose experience I share on a daily basis. The experiences are the reasons why I founded a nonprofit organization called DEME AFRICAN HELPING HANDS. The mission of the organization is to help these African mothers and hair braiders improve their lives and those of their families. A better way to achieve this mission was to join the Coalition of African Communities (AFRICOM). Our membership with AFRICOM has increased our involvement in the affairs of the thriving African communities. We have also created a program through which children, youths, and parents receive free tickets to attend educational, sports, and entertainment events. AFRICOM has also exposed my organization to grant writing and other leadership development programs.

AFRICOM has been a member of PICC since 2014. Follow them on Facebook or donate to show your support.

Upcoming Events

Community Navigator Orientation and Immigration Basics

Learn about what Community Navigators are and the PA is Ready! model, followed by an Immigration 101 presentation. This training will be offered via webinar. Login information will be included with your confirmation email after registration.

Orientación del navegador comunitario e inmigración
Aprenda sobre lo que son los navegadores comunitarios y el programa PA is Ready! seguido de una presentación de Immigration 101. El taller se ofrecerá vía webinar. Las instrucciones sobre cómo participar en el taller se incluirá con su correo electrónico de confirmación después del registro.

En Espanol: Thu Aug 17, 6:30pm - 8:30pm
Haga click para registrarse

In English: Fri Aug 18, 10:00am - 12:00pm
Click here to register

#ShutDownBerks August Vigil

Sun Aug 20, 3:30pm

Join faith organizations and allies at the Berks Detention Center to show families that we are still fighting for their freedom. Reverend Sandy Strauss from the Pennsylvania Council of Churches will be leading the August Vigil.

RSVP and more info on Facebook.

#StoptheHate Bi-Weekly Call

Fri Aug 25, 12:00pm

Join activists from around the state who are working to stop all anti-immigrant legislation in PA and to pass pro-immigrant policies at the municipal and state levels. Every call we will have an in-depth presentation on a different topic or campaign.

Registration is required to receive the video link and call-in information.

PICC This Month

Workers' Rights 101 Training Was a Success!

On July 29th, PICC members from around the state gathered in Harrisburg for our first ever training on Workers' Rights 101. The training was led by Mary Bellman, PICC board member and labor educator at Penn State, and Vanessa Stine, attorney from Friends of Farmworkers. Participants learned about what protections workers have on the job, who is covered by these protections (including undocumented workers!) and common violations of these protections. The trainers also shared information on how groups could support workers who have experienced wage theft or other workplace violations. Thank you to the International Service Center for their continued generosity in hosting PICC trainings!

Based on participation and feedback, we will work with the trainers to host more trainings on this topic, including how community groups can support workers who want to organize for more rights at the workplace - stay tuned!

FIRM Northeast Youth Convening

During the weekend of Aug 11- 14 FIRM hosted a weekend convening to train children of immigrants and be active with FIRM's "Not One Dollar campaign" an effort to stop Trump's 2018 budget to move his plans of increasing deportations.  PICC's youth leader Jalen and Casa San Jose youth leaders Jeimy, Leonardo, and Jeovani were among 100+ youth that came together (3 of them attended PICC's youth convening the weekend before). When the news broke of the white supremacist and neo-nazi led racist violence in Charlottesville many youth leaders decided to record a message of solidarity to all fighting racism there.  Watch the video message. 

Please Donate to PICC!

PICC depends upon your support. Please donate to PICC today to support our advocacy and organizing work to mobilize the immigrant vote, build immigrant leaders, campaign for pro-immigrant policies at the local, state and federal levels, and support the effective implementation of pro-immigrant public policies.

Connect with us:
Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition
2100 Arch Street, 4th Floor
Philadelphia, PA 19103

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