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Immigration Justice Stalled: How can we help keep families together?

On April 23, Standing on the Side of Love, along with our partners at the UU College of Social Justice and the UU Service Committee, hosted a webinar called Immigration Justice Stalled.  It was a powerful time of building community together, as Unitarian Universalists and our partners on both sides of the Mexico/U.S. border shared their stories, including allies and people directly affected by our broken immigration system.

Due to tech difficulties, the webinar is in two parts, access Part One here, and Part Two here.

We want to offer ways to support everyone who shared their stories with us, so read on for opportunities to continue building these critical relationships!

Just a few days after Yolanda Varona of DREAMers' MOMS Tijuana shared her story on our webinar, she was able to hug her grandchild during a brief temporary opening in the border and the photos of their reunion are just heartbreaking. We stand on the side of love with all those whose families have been broken apart for years, with all the parents who can’t watch their children grow up. Those like Hector Barajas, who served for many years in the 82nd Airborne of the U.S. Army and yet, even after risking his life for this country, was deported back to Mexico and torn apart him apart from his daughter. Hector now directs the Deported Veterans Support House, and they need your support! Mar Cardenas works in close coalition with Yolanda and Hector, and co-directs the Centro GaryMar in Tijuana, offering ways to learn about the border first-hand.

Jennifer Toth and Yolanda Varona of DREAMers' MOMS Tijuana with allies in Tijuana, MX

Our friends at the UU College of Social Justice and the UU Service Committee have partnered with RAICES, based in San Antonio, to help support another expected wave of migrants from Central America this summer. We heard directly from Mayra Jimenez and Michelle Garza who work with RAICES, tragic stories of abuse and neglect at the Karnes Detention Center.  Click here to learn more and see if you might have the skills they are looking for in much needed volunteers.

Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray and UURise incoming director Katia Hansen joined our partners in Arizona last Thursday, where they just celebrated five years of resistance to SB1070. Check out photos and learn more about ways to support Puente, one of the leading justice partners on the ground in Arizona.

Lastly, we just received word that the Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition (MDSC) is working with a second person in sanctuary.  In addition to Arturo Hernandez, who has now been in sanctuary for over 5 years at the First Unitarian Society of Denver, their congregation Jeanette Vizguerra is an immigrant leader with the MDSC and a justice leader in our community, and she has been fighting her case for almost ten years, struggling to stay in Denver with her citizen children, her husband, and her grandchild. Learn more and support Jeannette here.

There is much we can do to help keep families and communities together. We must begin by hearing their stories and taking action to keep families together. Love knows no borders!