Stand Up, Immigrants campaign aims to empower communities

Updated: Oct 17, 2019

The Migrant Center of New York, Inc. has launched a campaign, called “Stand Up, Immigrants!” a while ago. The center aims to assist all immigrants regardless of status.

The result of the November 2016 presidential election struck fear and uncertainty into the hearts of many immigrants, especially those who are undocumented. From then, many of them are separated from their children, deported, or their children were forced into the detention centers.

DACA recipients (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) and TPS holders (Temporary Protective Status) are in a limbo. If they will lose their immigration status, they will add up to the number of undocumented immigrants in our country.

Although some religious leaders of various denominations have proposed the idea of turning churches and other places of worship into sanctuaries, the legal risks in doing this are unknown, especially since there is no guarantee that this present administration will respect any safeguards that the previous administration had put in place.

Our campaign targets those who are not informed about their legal rights. Stand Up, Immigrants: Build the Network! is a campaign to protect the rights and welfare of immigrants, especially the undocumented. The aim of the campaign is to build a network that provides immigrants with information, support, and protection. Along with their allies, Stand Up, Immigrants is primarily led by immigrants who are gravely affected by adverse immigration policies and their allies.

The number of available legal experts is simply not large enough to deal with the potentially massive numbers of detainees that may well result from the punitive approach being taken by the current administration towards undocumented and those non-citizens who are documented but who have any sort of criminal record (even if it involves the most trivial of offenses).

This lack of a sufficient number of lawyers and advocates ready and able to help detainees, together with the dearth of funding for legal representation, means that many immigrant detainees find themselves in a limbo of uncertainty, fear, anxiety, and helplessness.

Face with these challenges, immigrant leaders have recognized the need to protect and empower themselves, and the most viable way to achieve that is to organize! Their battle cry is: we don’t want to be caught unaware and unprepared! We want to empower ourselves!

The need to empower through education and getting organized gave birth to the campaign: Stand Up, Immigrants: Build the Network of Information, Support and Protection!

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