“Urgent” is not a strong enough word to describe our current circumstances. This summer, people most impacted by the criminal legal system face death by murder and disease, inhumane conditions of incarceration, empty wallets and empty cupboards. As we scramble to protect ourselves and one another, our government doubles down on mass incarceration, spending billions to lock up more than 50,000 people per day in immigrant detention facilities. In this period of competing horrors, even actions of such magnitude can remain under the radar. This is why CJI continues to focus its attention and funds on grassroots groups that support immigrant communities to fight the consistent infringement on their rights and liberty.
Throughout this year of crisis, CJI’s grantees continue to build power in immigrant communities without pause, organizing to respond to immediate needs and maintaining powerful ongoing campaigns. Here are just a few key examples:
In Seattle, Washington, La Resistencia supports people detained at the Northwest Detention Center in Tacoma, one of the largest immigrant detention facilities in the country, who are organizing for their own survival. La Resistencia members partner with outside groups to demystify the profit motive behind the privately-owned detention center as part of a national movement to shut down facilities and end immigration detention.
In New York City, Equality for Flatbush is organizing to free Maria de Los Angeles Sanz Pimental, who was arrested and detained March 1, 2020 in a brutal take-down by ICE while working her shift at La Cabaña Restaurant in Flatbush, Brooklyn. ICE threw Maria on the floor and pepper-sprayed her – never identifying themselves, presenting a warrant, or explaining to Maria what was happening.
In Phoenix, Arizona, Trans Queer Pueblo, led by undocumented trans and queer migrants, has created an emergency leadership support fund to provide food, housing, healthcare, and jobs to their constituents during the COVID-19 crisis. Our fund provides essential support to give activists the care they deserve so that they can continue to shift national politics toward community-based safety and away from white supremacy and mass incarceration.
In Rhode Island and Southern New England, AMOR (Alliance to Mobilize Our Resistance) leads a coalition effort aimed at the Wyatt Detention Center and the Rhode Island Department of Corrections, organizing for the reduction of the prison population in response to COVID-19, demanding assurance that detained and incarcerated people have the healthcare they need, and fighting to reduce arrests for minor infractions during the COVID crisis and beyond.
And, in Burlington, Vermont, Migrant Justice works to implement policies preventing collaboration between local police and ICE to ensure that police are not in the business of ICE enforcement. Following the successful settlement of their community’s landmark First Amendment lawsuit against ICE and the Vermont DMV, which stopped the targeted arrests of community leaders, Migrant Justice is now working to ensure that community members are able to obtain licenses without discrimination or fear of retaliation.
With your support, we can do even more!
100% of your donation will go directly to more than 50 grassroots organizations doing powerful, innovative and impactful work like those mentioned above. You can also support CJI’s Change Makers Campaign by sharing our donate page, following us on Instagram, liking our Facebook page, and encouraging your friends and family members to tune in to our social media channels.
Our lives and freedom depend on our collective efforts to generate lasting change. Your support means the world to CJI and to the Movement!