We’ve been holding our breath a lot lately here at the MICA Project. Located less than 10 miles from Ferguson, Missouri, we’re anxiously awaiting the grand jury announcement. We often see our clients facing discrimination based solely on the color of their skin. Racism is very real, and not just in Ferguson.
Last week, we were holding our breath for a different reason, with eager anticipation for President Obama’s announcement on immigration. Our staff and board gathered in the office to watch the speech and start preparing our next steps. And we want you to be part of it!
This administrative relief makes a number of changes to the implementation of immigration law. Some people who have no option of obtaining legal status will now be able to obtain a deferral of deportation and the permission to work legally. It will be life-changing for many of our clients, as well as many people who are already contacting us with hopes of applying for relief.
This is a critical moment for our community. We have an important choice to make about how we treat our neighbors – those from other countries, in Ferguson, or even next door to us. We want you to help us address the urgent community need we are now facing. Here’s how you can get involved:
- Donate. We’re already operating at full capacity, and only with your support can we work with the large numbers of new clients that are going to come through our doors. Maybe all you can spare is $20 – it still makes a difference. Click here and donate now. This is a powerful way for you to support your community.
- Utilize your Spanish. Immigrants from any country can qualify for Administrative Relief if they meet all of the requirements, but we anticipate that our office will see the biggest need among Latinos. We need people to help translate portions of our website and other documents, answer phone calls (no legal experience necessary!), and assist at information sessions and clinics. Click here to sign up!
- Volunteer. If you don’t speak Spanish, you can still help. We’re working in coalition with the Missouri Immigrant and Refugee Advocates (MIRA) as well as other nonprofits to host informational sessions and clinics for those who qualify for Administrative Relief. Sign up (use the General Inquiries form) on our list and we’ll let you know when there are volunteer opportunities available. You can also sign up to act as a translator or interpreter for languages other than Spanish.
- Speak up. With Thanksgiving quickly approaching, you’ll undoubtedly hear conversations about immigration, Ferguson, and racism. Join the conversation and start a dialogue about these important issues. This is one of the best possible ways we can make our community a better place to live. For some resources to prepare you for those conversations, click here or here or here or here.