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Immigrant Justice and Decarceration in times of COVID-19

Dear STAND community and others –

We are living in a particularly challenging time. As people with white and male privilege most of us have been socialized to discount, minimize or ignore our feelings. Take time to acknowledge and feel your emotions, as we think about not only ourselves, but also the health and safety of our larger communities and society. Reach out to others, especially folks who are vulnerable and/or struggling in this period.

At a time like this we must consider how to take care of ourselves and engage in mutual aid to support our communities while working simultaneously for structural, transformative change. The people being asked to, or needing to, continue working and risk exposure to the Covid-19 virus are disproportionately poor and working class, people of color, women, the elderly, people with disabilities and immigrants. The inequality embedded in our society is elevated and exploited by the ruling class in crisis like this. That is why it is an important time to ask ourselves what we are each doing to personally dismantle patriarchy and racism, and to take action in our broader communities.

For example, ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) continues to hold immigrants and refugees in concentration camps in deplorable conditions increasing the risk for disease transmission. The US Prison system continues to hold people who are disproportionately poor and brown and black, in conditions becoming increasingly dangerous. With the leadership of many immigrant rights and prison abolitionist organizations, we have opportunities to join movements to lift up immigrant rights and release people from jails, prisons, and ICE detention. This week we have seen some successes getting people released from prison, as well as increased pressure on lawmakers to take broad actions around immigrant detention.

We are seeing a wave of anti-Asian racism in response to Trump’s and white nationalists’ framing of the Covid-19 virus, which is exposing and reminding us of the depth of anti-Asian and anti-immigrants sentiments in the U.S. (Two articles about this here and here.) This is playing out on both interpersonal and political levels, and is dangerous to people in our communities. We must denounce racism, and also work to dismantle the structures of power that enable it.

Take Action

 

 

Please consider donating money and adding your voice to immigrant rights and decarceration work happening right now. If you are receiving a stimulus check, and have the means to, consider donating this money to an undocumented neighbor who will not be receiving this money, or to an immigrant support fund.
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Donate to the Immigrant worker safety net fund (National)

We are launching the Immigrant Safety Fund to provide immediate resources and financial support so excluded workers can take care of themselves and their families at home. Without paid sick time leave, remote work capability, health care, access to jobs, and financial security, migrants are uniquely vulnerable, and the support we collectively muster for the Immigrant Safety Fund might be the only lifeline for thousands of people most at risk in our communities.
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Donate to National Domestic Workers Alliance (National)

For many in-home care workers, nannies, and house cleaners the threat from Coronavirus is especially severe. Without access to health care, paid sick leave, or job security, they are being forced to navigate this crisis alone — without a safety net.
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Donate to a local undocumented immigrant relief fund in your community. There are funds such as these around the country. If you live in the SF Bay Area, one such fund is the Oakland Undocumented Relief Fund (https://www.centrolegal.org/our-fund/#) . Legal Aid at Work has compiled a list of undocumented immigrant relief funds around California (https://legalaidatwork.org/blog/relief-funds/) .
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Demand lawmakers to release people from ICE custody (Includes resources for local, state, federal action, from the Detention Watch Network (https://www.detentionwatchnetwork.org/) )

#FreeThemAll:Toolkit to Support LocalDemands for Mass Release ofPeople in ICE Custody

Learn More:
Prison Abolition and Immigrant rights resources

#COVID19DecarcerateSyllabus A Political Education Resource (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1XNkWwFajh7WsSbvVCMoaIxiFsXtsoQ5RlEFewOgBX6A/edit)

Curated by the California Coalition for Women Prisoners (http://womenprisoners.org/) (CCWP)

Dignity Not Detention Social Media Week of Action March 24th-27th (https://docs.google.com/document/d/1fggO2OxuFEGPaQVJYyeEcdr3vlKc-2m1ds4CmWIgApA/edit)

Paul Kivel writes on“Immigrants and Immigration” Adapted from Paul Kivel, Uprooting Racism, revised 4th edition, New Society, September 2017 (http://paulkivel.com/resource/immigrants-and-immigration/)

Learn More:
Responding to anti-Asian American racism

Asian Pacific Policy and Planning Council isresponding to and documenting anti-Asian racism (http://www.asianpacificpolicyandplanningcouncil.org/stop-aapi-hate/)

More resources here: Asian Americans Advancing Justice (https://www.standagainsthatred.org/resources)
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-The STAND Coordinating Committee (STAND: White Men for Racial, Gender and Economic Justice is a Bay Area project committed to educating and mobilizing white men)

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