WE the Community: A Conversation on Your Rapid Response Toolkit

Are you going to Convening this year? Has the presence of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, in your local courtrooms and community made your clients anxious? Has your community experienced ICE sweeps and raids in workplaces? How can community members reach out to others and offer support in times when a quick response is needed? To learn more and share your perspective, join us at Convening for a brown bag lunch to dialogue about the power of community preparedness and offer feedback on a new CLINIC resource.

Unfortunately, we have seen more reports of aggressive and large-scale ICE sweeps in communities across the Nation. When our neighbors abruptly disappear or are taken from our communities, we all lose. When they are detained and deported, they leave a void at home and in their neighborhoods. The consequences of these actions are many and can deeply affect the most vulnerable, our children—but together, we can take action and prepare for situations like these.

CLINIC is currently researching different models and plans communities employ to prepare for ICE enforcement. We are developing a toolkit based on best practices and lessons learned from communities conducting rapid responses during ICE raids and arrests. Many in our network, many of you, are the steadfast in your communities, who can provide the support and guidance people need during and after a raid. Some of you are rapid response veterans and others are new to its demands. The purpose of this toolkit is to close the gap and bring helpful ideas to the table—ideas that CLINIC affiliates have used as immigration advocates or they have seen others implement in a successful way.

This brown bag session will be a space to share experiences and learn from each other about the value of preparing ourselves, as well as our communities, for small- and large-scale ICE actions. It is crucial to prepare people and their families to save them time and maximize the reach of their networks as they assist their loved ones in detention. Thus, join in and give feedback on a new “how to” resource focused on building an inclusive rapid response team in your community.

In his 2018 World Day of Migrants and Refugees message, Pope Francis stated that we can express our pastoral response to the challenges of migration through four actions: to welcometo protectto promote and to integrate.

As we approach Convening 2019, CLINIC proposes revisiting Pope Francis’s message, in the context of our local communities and in our response to unique challenges during emergencies. Therefore, we are called

  • to welcome, in a way that builds trust and bonds between us;
  • to protect, to keep our communities informed and walk with those whose dignity has been violated;
  • to promote, by working peacefully with key community stakeholders to ensure human development for all; and
  • to integrate, to provide and create safe spaces for community members to recognize their rights and engage.

We believe that preparing ourselves and our communities for an uncertain future is a powerful way to embrace the Gospel value of “welcoming the stranger” and a shared responsibility we have committed through our faith. This rapid response toolkit is only one of many proactive ways to carry out a collective response.

We hope to see you in Pittsburg and that you share in our conversation on May 31 at 1 p.m. Join CLINIC staff for a grassroots feedback session on developing resources to support you, our affiliates, in times of increased immigration enforcement.