PICC logo Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition

OCTOBER 18, 2017
In this issue...

#ShutDownBerks Campaign Update
Members of the Month: Linda Brock & Adele Margulies
We Are One Action Fair Benefitting PICC!
News from PICC Members & Partners
Upcoming Events


Today, the third iteration of Trump's Muslim ban was scheduled to go into effect. The new ban has increased the number of countries facing restrictions including North Korea, Chad, and Venezuela. The Muslim and refugee bans are discriminatory, unconstitutional and inhumane in the same vein as the Chinese Exclusion Act, the Japanese American incarceration, and special registration after 9/11.

The addition of non-Muslim majority countries to the ban, namely North Korea and Venezuela, does not negate its inherent anti-Muslim intent. It also affirms the white supremacist, exclusionary policies of the Trump administration that discriminate on the basis of faith, national origin, and immigration status. See more resources about this Executive Order on the Penn State Center for Immigrants' Rights Clinic.

Yesterday, a Hawaiian court issued a Temporary Restraining Order that blocks most of the ban 3.0, arguing that it has many of the same flaws as the two previous iterations. The court rules that the ban discriminates on the basis of national origin and therefore violates the "founding principles of this Nation." However, the visa bans for North Korea and Venezuela remain intact. The 120-day ban on refugees without "bona fide relationships" is set to expire next week. 

The #NoMuslimBanEver campaign is a grassroots awareness and mobilization effort. Organizers have set up a protest today in Washington, DC and communities across the country are showing solidarity with the movement by organizing their own actions. PICC stands with organizations across the country who are protesting against the administration's anti-Muslim policies. Check out www.nomuslimbanever.com to learn more about the movement.

#ShutDownBerks Campaign Update

Pennsylvania is still home to the Berks County Family Detention Center (BCRC), one of three detention centers for immigrant families, where children as young as two-weeks-old have been incarcerated. In August 2015, a Federal Court determined that the practice of detaining children in jail-like settings is illegal, and ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to immediately release all families held in immigrant family detention centers in Texas and Pennsylvania (see full report on federal litigation).  In January 2016, the PA Department of Human Services revoked the license to operate the Berks County Family Residential Center, and that facility has been operating without a license since February 22, 2016.

Since 2014, the Shut Down Berks Coalition has repeatedly presented the Secretary of the PA Department of Human Services (PA DHS) and Governor Tom Wolf with information on the human rights violations taking place at BCRC and what actions they can take to protect and release these families (see Human Rights First reports from Aug. 2015 and Feb. 2016). Extensive legal research was presented directly to Governor Wolf one year ago outlining the specific powers that he and PA DHS has to shut down BCRC, and yet he has refused to act. The laundry list of abuses suffered by parents and children, children as young as two weeks old, has not been enough to spur anything more than minimal action.

The continued incarceration of these immigrant families and the operation of BCRC is a disgrace and a stain on our Commonwealth. It is long past time for the Governor to take action.

What Can You Do?

  • Call and ask the Governor to protect these families today: 717-787-2500.
  • Attend the #ShutDownBerks Art and Action: Wed. Oct 25 at 12 pm, Philadelphia City Hall, North Entrance

Members of the Month: Linda Brock & Adele Margulies

Linda Brock—administrator, committee chair for multiple organizations, mother of two—and Adele Margulies—landscape designer, mother of three—learned about HIAS PA through Main Line Reform Temple (MLRT) Sisterhood's activities. Now, they are HIAS PA's in-kind donation gurus. For the Refugee Resettlement Program, Linda and Adele acquire, manage, and organize all of HIAS PA’s in-kind donations, maintain its’ storage locker, and have had MLRT designated as the depository for HIAS PA’s in-kind donations.

These tasks are accomplished with the help of women and Gary Brock from MLRT, and wonderful women from various other congregations. They triage items, practicing Tikkun Olam, meaning that what cannot be used by the refugees either goes to GreenDrop Charitable Donations, Sisterhood’s Rummage Event, recycling, Bryn Mawr Thrift Shop, or animal rescue organizations. All of this is could not be accomplished without the continued support of MLRT’s congregation, and the invaluable assistance of MLRT’s custodial staff. Since 2008 their in-kind donation efforts have saved the refugees approximately $513,000 in furnishing their new apartments.

Follow HIAS PA on Facebook, or donate to support their work!

We Are One Action Fair Benefitting PICC!

On Saturday November 4, over 22 organizations will come together to share information, recruit volunteers and raise funds. Come to the We Are One Action Fair to make a difference in Montgomery County. Join us for food, fun and community! 

Where: Reformed Church of the Ascension 1700 West Main Street Norristown, PA 19403
When: Saturday November 4th
What: Make Montgomery County a welcoming place for everyone
Action Fair: 10am-2pm

5k/2k proceeds will benefit PICC. Thank you so much to all of our allies in Montgomery County!

Upcoming Events

Check out the full event calendar.

#StoptheHate Bi-Weekly Call

Fri Oct 20, 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. This week's topic is "dispelling myths about the undocumented community."
Registration is required to receive the video link and call-in information.

Art and Action to #ShutDownBerks

Wed Oct 25, 12:00pm
Philadelphia City Hall, North Entrance
Hosted by the ShutDownBerks Campaign

Join members of the #ShutDownBerks campaign and artist Michelle Angela Ortiz to honor the families incarcerated at the Berks Family Detention Center and call on Governor Wolf and PA DHS Commissioner Miller to issue an ERO and shut down the facility

Reunion Comunitaria/ Community Meeting

Wed Oct 25, 6:00pm - 7:30pm
United Church of Christ, 1805 Tonopah St. Pittsburgh, PA 15216
Hosted by Casa San Jose

Nuestra segunda reunion comunitaria!

Evento gratis, todos son bienvenidos!

Multicultural Community Orientation

Fri Nov 3, 10:00am - 11:30am
Fellowship Hall of the Market Square Presbyterian Church, 21 South River Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101
Hosted by International Service Center

In an effort to increase the awareness of the various community representatives and Language Consultants regarding the mission and services of the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the International Service Center is organizing a Multicultural Community Orientation on Friday, November 3, 2017 from 10:00am to 11:30am.

We Are One Action Fair/Run For Immigrant Rights

Sat Nov 4, 8:00am
1700 W. Main St. Norristown, PA
Organized by We Are One Resist Hate

Our civil rights are in jeopardy. Support your favorite cause and those that impact your neighbors and friends. Come and learn about, make a donation to, or sign up to volunteer with these great organizations doing important work in Montgomery county. Come for the food, stay for the cause!

Proceeds from the 5k run/2k walk will benefit PICC! Facebook event here.

News from PICC Members & Partners

National Immigrant Integration Conference- Join Us!

PICC is organizing a group from Pennsylvania to attend the National Immigrant Integration Conference (NIIC) 2017 and you're invited! The largest immigration conference in the country will be from Dec. 10-12 in Phoenix, AZ. Participants will share practical strategies on family protection; on welcoming and supporting immigrants and refugees to thrive in America; on building power for an inclusive democracy; and on working towards racial and economic justice for all. Please email Alicia at aliciaquebral@paimmigrant.org by Friday, October 20th if you are interested in attending!

If you'd like tp support the 10 PICC immigrant leaders and allies who are attending, please donate today! Our goal is to raise a total of $10,000 including $5,000 in PICC matching funds and we need your help!

Harrisburg Multicultural Community Orientation

In an effort to increase the awareness of the various community representatives and Language Consultants regarding the mission and services of the Office for Civil Rights of the U.S. Department of Health & Human Services, the International Service Center is organizing a Multicultural Community Orientation on Friday, November 3, 2017 from 10:00am to 11:30am. The sessions will be held in the Fellowship Hall of the Market Square Presbyterian Church at 21 South River Street, Harrisburg, PA 17101. Please RSVP to Mr. Tuan
at (717) 236-9401, e-mail: tuan@isc76.org; or Ms. Hang at (717) 236-1523, e-mail: hang@isc76.org.

Esperanza Immigration Legal Services Seeks Executive Director

Esperanza Immigration Legal Services (EILS) seeks a full-time Executive Director (job description here). The EILS Executive Director is responsible for the operation and management of the organization and additionally provides direct legal services. EILS’ mission is to provide direct legal services, advocacy, and community education for underserved immigrants and their families so they have the opportunity to contribute to and participate in American society. EILS serves all immigrants in the Greater Philadelphia area regardless of national origin, but has a unique history of working with the Hispanic community due to its location in the heart of a low-income Latino neighborhood.

UUPLAN Seeks Executive Director

UUPLAN, a Unitarian Universalist, statewide, nonprofit, advocacy organization is seeking a half-time Executive Director. The person in this position is responsible for engaging and supporting volunteers, grassroots organizing, and educating members about public policy issues. The ED works in close partnership with the administrative assistant on communications and social media with the goal of social action. A job description is available hereDeadline for submissions is October 23, 2017.

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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