2020-06-03 – Ayer por la tarde (yesterday evening), I attended (virtually) the 21st Human Rights Awards sponsored by the National Immigrant Justice Center (NIJC). That’s the organization I do volunteer work for.
I probably should qualify the present-tense form of that statement. I filed my last petition for an NIJC client in March, just as the shelter-in-place order was put into play. Being unable to meet with clients put an end to any new cases, for the time being. It has had a serious impact on the intake of new clients.
But I was happy to learn that not all of NIJC activities have been halted. They have gotten detainees out of ICE detention during the pandemic. Fortunately, my clients are not detained.
I haven’t really known much about the organization, so it was nice to learn about some of the other things they do. I do visa applications for immigrants who became crime victims AFTER arriving in the United States. They didn’t even mention that category last night. The more dire cases they handle involve asylum petition, ICE detention, fighting deportations, and fighting to preserve DACA rights for immigrants who arrived here as small children and know no other country but the United States.
That’s the nice part.
The not so nice part is that, despite a massive effort (over 2,000 pro bono attorneys), only 11,000 clients were served last year. I don’t even know how many millions need help.
Although I don’t remember the exact figures, I learned that something like of a quarter all doctors fighting COVID are immigrants. More than a third of all “essential workers” during this crisis are immigrants.
And the powers-that-be want to send them away? You’ve got to be kidding. (But we say that about most of their insane policies, and it does no good. You have to work to oppose the stupidity. Si se puede.)
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