Child Welfare

Protecting Immigrant Communities Newsletter: 4/17/20

April 22, 2020 | Texas

[This is a bi-weekly publication produced by Senior Policy Associate, Cheasty Anderson. New issues will be posted here on this blog or you can subscribe to have them delivered directly to your inbox.]


Dear Partners and Friends,

Thank you so much for wanting to stay up to date on what’s happening. Here’s the latest roundup of immigration-related news, and our bi-weekly action opportunity.  Please let me know as things cross your desk that you think might be of value for our next newsletter, and as always, feel free to forward to folks who might want to join our list.

Lead Stories:

The Missing Piece in the Coronavirus Stimulus Bill: Relief For Immigrants. 

Overlooking unauthorized immigrants in the coronavirus response could carry public health costs. Read the full story here.

USA: ‘We Are Adrift, About To Sink’: The Looming COVID-19 Disaster In United States Immigration Detention Facilities

“The Trump administration is failing to protect people in immigration detention during the COVID-19 public health emergency.” Amnesty International has released a comprehensive report on the dangerous conditions for immigrants inside detention facilities during the current public health crisis. Read it in both English and Spanish here.

Action Items:

Petition to President Trump and Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf: Stop Deportations to Mexico & Central America 

Join Latin America Working Group in urging President Trump and DHS Secretary Chad Wolf to stop deportations and these harmful policies once and for all, and instead screen and process those seeking protections at our border humanely and fairly. Sign the petition (written in English and Spanish) here.

Tell ICE: Release All Immigrants at Risk of Coronavirus

Use this form to join RAICES in sending an email to Daniel Bible, the ICE Field Office Director of ERO San Antonio, telling him to free detained families and other immigrants in detention, who are at unacceptable levels of risk due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Help RAICES amplify the letter they sent to Daniel.

Organizational Sign-on Letter to Congress: Keep Immigrant Communities Safe and Secure 

The Protecting Immigrant Families Campaign has drafted an organizational sign-on letter to urge Congressional leaders to quickly pass legislation that will make all of our communities healthier and more secure. “If we are serious about addressing the full scale of this public health emergency, we can no longer afford to leave out millions of our community members from the response and must ensure that everyone has access to the health care, nutrition and income support they need.” Sign on here.

Organizational Sign-on Letter to Congress: Children’s Advocates on COVID-19

The Center for Law and Social Policy (CLASP), National Education Association (NEA), UnidosUS, Children’s Defense Fund – Texas, and others invite national, state, and local organizations that serve, represent, or advocate on behalf of children and youth to sign onto a letter calling on Congress to include immigrant families in the next COVID-19 relief package. Sign on here.

COVID-19 Resources for Immigrants:

Freedom for Immigrants COVID-19 Hotline 

The National Immigration Detention Hotline is the nation’s largest immigration detention hotline, connecting immigrants in detention to their family, resources, and abuse documentation support at no cost to them. It was created and is managed by Freedom for Immigrants, and staffed by a team of highly trained multilingual advocates across the country.

Call: 9233 (from inside detention)
Call: 209-757-3733 (from outside)
Read more details about the hotline here.

New American Economy’s COVID-19 Information and Resources for Immigrants

New American Economy is working to produce the latest estimates that show how immigrants are part of America’s fight and response to the COVID-19 health crisis. They’ve also updated their website with helpful resources for immigrants. Find their page here.


Informed Immigrant’s Resources For the Undocumented Community During The Coronavirus Outbreak 

These English and Spanish language pages include national and state-based resources including food distribution sites, mutual aid funds, and health care accessible to undocumented and mixed status families. Please read and share to connect immigrant families with resources during this difficult time.

Other Recent News of Interest: 

6 Detainees, 5 Employees Test Positive For Coronavirus At Otay Mesa Detention Center

  • Advocates have faulted CoreCivic, the company that runs the center, for not adequately protecting detainees against the spread of the virus, and letting employees spread the infection among the detainee population. KPBS

Farmworkers, Mostly Undocumented, Become ‘Essential’ During Pandemic

  • Immigrant field workers have been told to keep working despite stay-at-home directives, and given letters attesting to their “critical” role in feeding the country. The New York Times 

For Undocumented Immigrants, Coronavirus Fears Include ICE

  • As the number of coronavirus cases increases in the state, so, too, do the anxieties of undocumented people who fear accessing any government services could either jeopardize their chances at citizenship or lead to deportation. The Public’s Radio 

At Least 19 Children at a Chicago Shelter for Immigrant Detainees Have Tested Positive for COVID-19

  • A coronavirus outbreak at a Heartland Alliance facility on Chicago’s South Side may be the largest outbreak of the virus in any shelter for immigrant youth in the country. At least 19 children and two staff have tested positive. ProPublica

Trump Administration Has Expelled 10,000 Migrants At The Border During Coronavirus Outbreak, Just 100 In Custody At The Border

  • The Trump administration has carried out nearly 10,000 summary deportations or “expulsions” since March 21, using emergency public health measures that have given U.S. Customs and Border Protection broad authority to bypass immigration laws, CBP officials said Thursday. The Washington Post

Dreamers On The Frontlines Of The Coronavirus Health Crisis Work In Limbo

  • Healthcare workers under the protection of Daca anxiously await a supreme court decision that may deport them. The Guardian 

Supreme Court Asked to Suspend Wealth Test for Green Cards in Light of Virus

  • New limits on the “public charge” rule will deter immigrants from seeking care during the pandemic, lawyers for New York and other states said. The New York Times

Coronavirus Diaries: My Green Card Interview Was Canceled

  • I haven’t been home in more than four years, and I have no idea when I’ll be able to visit again. Slate

The Coronavirus Has Derailed The Citizenship Oath For Thousands Of Immigrants Who Are Anxious To Vote

  • “It’s like being on the 1-yard line and suddenly there’s a timeout that may last for months.” BuzzFeed News

How the Deportation Machine Criminalizes Immigrants

  • There are no true sanctuaries. The Nation 

Women In Ice Detention, Fearing Coronavirus, Make Video To Protest Unsafe Conditions

  • Women locked in an Immigration and Customs Enforcement detention center in Louisiana are terrified that they have been exposed to a person ill with the coronavirus, and they fear that they, too, will get sick. The women have been trying to communicate with the world about their plight, and they’ve been punished for trying. The Intercept

The Impending Mass Grave Across The Border From Texas

  • As the virus sweeps across the U.S., a dusty migrant camp along the southern border in Mexico is on the brink of becoming a humanitarian disaster. The New York Times

In Time Of Coronavirus, This Free Pharmacy Doesn’t Stop

  • The St. Vincent de Paul Pharmacy serves the low-income uninsured in a state that leads the nation in uninsured residents. The free pharmacy is believed to be the only one of its kind in Texas.
    Dallas News


Thanks so much for reading and staying informed.