Get Proximate to Our Detention System

Many from UUC have worked for Immigrant Justice for decades. That work began in the 80’s, with UUC offering sanctuary to those being persecuted in Central America. From 1985 and until 1993, UUC housed more than 40 refugees from El Salvador and Guatemala. Roberta Ray describes her involvement in that Sanctuary Movement as “work done by ordinary people who had the courage to care, many without knowing that the work they were doing was heroic, but doing it because it was the right thing to do.”

Today’s Sanctuary Movement is different. Some at risk of deportation still seek sanctuary in churches. Many immigrants are asking us to join them and follow their lead in other ways. As such, each immigrant will decide and the paths each chooses may vary. About 15 from UUC have participated in training sessions in the last few months, preparing to offer hospitality through the U-District Hub — 9 churches and synagogues working together — to offer sanctuary, when a family determines that this may be the only option that allows them to stay together. The U-District Hub is also working with the University of Washington’s Leadership Without Borders — a program that supports UW students who are undocumented or with DACA status. Volunteers will offer hospitality and safe space, if there are ICE raids or acts of hate that impact the UW community. Others from UUC will accompany young adults through immigration proceedings. Some from UUC have opened their homes, offering short-term housing, to those seeking asylum, with other congregants helping with transportation, groceries and other expenses. This much-needed hospitality provides support while immigrants await a work permit, the first step toward increased independence during the lengthy asylum process. If you want to explore offering short-term housing, or want to help fund some expenses, like groceries or an Orca card, contact Pam.

Stories about immigrants being arrested and detained by ICE in our community have increased. Learn more about some of our neighbors, living in fear, in our backyard….decide how you can plug in and stand in solidarity with these neighbors—

  • Recently, an immigrant activist who leads both immigrants and their allies, to fight against the inhumanity of the Northwest Detention Center (NWDC) received notice of deportation proceedings. Listen to Maru on Democracy Now!
  • A local family was separated for 6 months, after Manual was arrested by ICE and imprisoned at the NWDC. Only about 11% of those detained are lucky enough to have an attorney represent them at immigration court. Even so, uncertainty and fear remain high….sometimes for many months, even a year or more. Learn more about Manuals’s story. He was fortunate to have the Northwest Immigrant Rights Project represent him to identify a legal option; however, this was after the judge’s initial decision to deny his request to stay, after living and working in our community for over 10 years.

Learn how you can join the solidarity movement with those being detained. Three upcoming events are supported by UUC’s Racial Justice & Immigrant Justice teams—

Saturday, February 17 12-3pm
Detention & Deportation: Current Conditions
Learn more about the current state at the Northwest Detention Center from members of the NWDC Resistance. Kadima Reconstructionist Community, in Madrona neighborhood, invites members of UUC to join for a potluck and their monthly social justice program. RSVP to Pam on the contact form below.

Saturday, March 3 1:30-4pm
Solidarity Day at Northwest Detention Center
UUC will join the Coalition of Anti-Racist Whites (CARW) and Kadima at Solidarity Day, with the NWDC Resistance. RSVP to Roberta on the contact form below.  Carpools will be arranged to leave UUC about 12:30pm.

Monday, March 5 10:30am – 12pm
UW Center for Human Rights: Panel on Immigrant Rights – La Rond Baker, Maru Mora-Villalpando & Megan Ybarra
This panel brings three speakers to discuss human rights violations against detainees at the Northwest Detention Center.