This summer, the general meeting of the Havertown-Area Community Action Network (H-CAN) will focus on immigration issues. The main speaker at the meeting will be Cathryn Miller-Wilson, executive director of HIAS. Miller-Wilson will discuss local, national and international immigration issues, as well as how current legislation is impacting immigrants and what we can do to help. If time permits, there will also be a brief training session for immigrants and activists. The meeting is open to the public.
For more information, contact Madeleine Shusterman.
by Victoria Alfred-Levow
Last Thursday, at a vigil for detained immigrant Jonatan Palacios, speakers addressed a crowd of about 275 protesters at the Haverford Train Station.
“We stand united in the belief that these kinds of policies that led to Jonatan’s arrest rip apart the fabric of our community,” said Amanda Levinson, a leader of the Havertown-Area Community Action Network (H-CAN), which organized the vigil. [Read more…]
On the morning of May 11, Jonatan Palacios was arrested by ICE agents in front of his Haverford apartment. Originally from Honduras, one of the most violent and dangerous countries in the Western Hemisphere, Jonatan came to the U.S. as an unaccompanied minor when he was 16 years old. He is a valued member of the community, a loving husband, and a straight-A student at Delaware Community College who was ripped from his family and life months after he had begun the process of becoming a legal citizen in the United States.
Please join us to show solidarity, support, and prayer for Jonaton and his wife, Lillie, who was with him when he was taken away. This type of senseless targeting of innocent people is happening in communities like ours across the country. Help us send a message that it will not be tolerated in our community.
NOTE: Please meet at the Sharpe Park and Bird Sanctuary at 405 Montgomery Ave, Haverford, PA 19041; vigil will start at 5:15 across the street at the SEPTA Parking Lot on Cheswold Rd in Haverford.
Please wear blue, Jonaton’s favorite color, and bring signs with messages of support. All are welcome.
As of October 2015, sanctuary status was claimed by 326 counties, 32 cities and four states, according to Philippe Weisz, managing attorney of HIAS Pennsylvania. Despite these numbers, Weisz explained that there is actually no such legal entity as “sanctuary,” since the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) operates freely. Weisz spoke during the inaugural session of HIAS Pennsylvania’s education series Welcoming the Stranger: Considering Immigration and Refugee Issues from a Jewish Perspective. The series provides background into American law and policy on these issues, as well as teachings on Jewish values. [Read more…]
The president’s travel ban for people from seven Muslim countries (now temporarily suspended by federal judges) has provoked outcries from the liberal community in the United States. Rallies and other acts of dissent have sprung up in most major cities. I last wrote about the response to the travel ban in the general Jewish community. I now seek to learn more from Jews who have lived in Muslim countries. [Read more…]
Editor’s Note – Events are moving quickly. This initial story will be expanded on over time.
At Philadelphia International Airport and locations throughout the U.S., on Saturday and Sunday thousands of protestors demonstrated against President Trump’s ban on immigrants. There were frequent developments in Washington and the rest of the country as well.
Time Line, in Reverse Order
Tuesday, January 31st
Tuesday, 8 pm: Trump scheduled to announce his pick for the Supreme Court. This justice could be the crucial vote that decides the legality of Trump’s immigration ban.
Tuesday, Morning/Afternoon: Senate Democrats spoke at length about former Acting Attorney General Sally Yate’s courage in defying Trump. The Republican majority allowed them to speak, even though it delayed the vote to confirm Jeff Sessions as the new Attorney General. That vote is expected to take place on Wednesday, February 1.
Monday, January 30
Monday, Late evening: Yates is replaced by Dana Boente, who immediately reversed her directive. Meanwhile, Yates is still packing up her office after a 27 year career with the Justice Department.
Monday 9 pm: Attorney General Sally Yates has been fired for refusing to defend the ban. Earlier she had sent a letter to her staff explaining the she thought the ban was illegal and unjust. She wrote that the Justice Department would not defend the ban in court. [Read more…]
“Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to be free.”
These are the words written on the base of the Statute of Liberty. These are the values that make America great. And today, these are the values that are threatened by Donald Trump’s executive order banning immigration from seven blacklisted countries. We must respond — and we will start today with a rally in Battery Park, New York, and a vigil at the Statue of Liberty.
Bring children; bring beautiful signs; bring musical instruments and snacks. The forecast is 45 ° and sunny, and this is a fantastic way to learn about American history and to take civic action.
This issue is not about Republicans or Democrats — it is about the soul of America. Trump’s executive action will not make Americans any safer. We all share real concerns about terrorism. That’s why our nation has rigorous screening procedures in place for all refugees. An American has never been killed in a terror attack on American soil by a person from one of the seven countries that were blacklisted today — and never by a Syrian refugee. Meanwhile, the countries from which the terrorists of 9/11 (Saudi Arabia, Egypt, UAE and Lebanon) came from were excluded from the ban.
We must stand up against this un-American absurdity!
Schedule of Events
1:30 pm – Rally at Battery Park
3:00 pm – Vigil at the Statue of Liberty
For more information, email Rabbi Ari Hart, co-founder of Uri L’Tzedek: Orthodox Social Justice, or call him at 434-294-9414.
The 2016 Jewish Social Policy Action Network Haggadah Supplement edited by Steven Sussman and Kenneth Myers is entitled “The Immigration Crisis: A Pesach Seder Reflection for 2016” and focuses on immigrants and refugees. Their plight calls to us at this season of the Jewish year when we remember that we were exiled from our homeland and enslaved in Egypt for four hundred years, and then stateless nomads for forty years in the wilderness of Sinai, at the mercy of the elements, often losing faith as danger surrounded us.
At your Seder, consider the crisis in Europe and what we can do to relieve the suffering of refugees.
The supplement is now available for download.