“This Little Light of Mine”
Sanctuary Committee Update
This season may seem dark, but look around, there are little lights everywhere.
Who gets COVID19 CARES ACT help?
Things looked grim for immigrants. For starters, DC, was grouped with the US Territories instead of the states when it came to allocating funds. Nowhere in the bill were there monies for the thousands of immigrant workers, many undocumented.
So Congregational Action Network partnered with Jobs with Justice and others to pressure the DC City Council for $5 million for these excluded workers. Many of you made calls or emailed or tweeted, and even though this was ultimately an unsuccessful fight, every City Council member publicly mentioned the importance of COVID relief funding for immigrants and excluded workers.
Because of this public outcry, Events DC, a quasi-governmental organization whose focus is the support of tourism in the District, announced it would award $15 million in emergency assistance to those on the margins. $5 million of these funds will be directed for emergency assistance for DC immigrants—and funds will be distributed (beginning in a week or two) through trusted community service organizations that regularly work with immigrants such as: Mary’s Center, CARECEN, Catholic Charities, LEDC, LISC, & Bread for the City, AYUDA. (Specific list still being finalized.)
Here are the criteria for the award: 1) Have to be a DC resident, 2) Have to be undocumented.
Each household can get $1,000. There will be a one-page application.
Tell undocumented immigrants residing in DC that you know of with needs about these funds and prep them to be ready to apply!
Legal assistance funds for detained DC Immigrants
In 2019, the city allocated $900,000 on a one-time basis for a legal defense fund for immigrants. In this year’s draft budget, the Mayor allocated $5 million. Now because of COVID19, the city is anticipating a reduction of $600 million to $1 billion in funds. The DC Values Coalition (of which CAN is a member) has drafted a letter to the Mayor asking for $5 million for multiple years of Immigrant Justice Legal Services. The District has a sizeable percentage of tax-paying immigrants whose cases often require more than a year to process. This letter will highlight increasing immigrant needs in light of COVID and will highlight support roles immigrant organizations are providing during the crisis.
The Mayor’s budget is due May 10. A letter to the Mayor was signed by First Church along with other members of CAN.
Rescind of DACA case is now before the Supreme Court. A decision is expected by the beginning of June. A 9:30 Monday morning virtual ZOOM prayer vigil is ongoing. Please join us for news and support. Registration is required to receive dial in info.: https://bit.ly/DACAPrayersRSVP
We have recently learned that the lawyer for DACA has introduced a supplemental brief which the Court has accepted. The brief highlights the contributions DACA recipients have made as first responders to the COVID19 pandemic. This is a little light.
The day following the Supreme Court decision we will meet at 1 PM for a virtual national rally. Persons interested should text: DACADECISION to 877-877