Nonviolence . . . Human trafficking . . . Women . . . . The elderly . . . Immigrants' rights . . . Housing. . . Children . . . Prisoners' rights . . . Health care . . . World Hunger . . . Globalization, as it affects Latin America . . . Care of the earth . . . Seamless ethic of life

Note: The ideas and opinions expressed in this blog are solely those of the author's and should not be ascribed to the Congregation of Sisters of St. Agnes or its members.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Stop Separating Immigrant Children From Their Families!

Click here to tell the Trump Administration to stop separating immigrant children from their families IMMEDIATELY — and account for what is happening to all children in immigration custody.

The Trump Administration is a threat to millions of immigrant children and their families. If you look behind the headlines, you’ll find that Trump’s ICE and Border Protection agents have escalated their practices to systematically separate babies from their mothers, and put children and youth in detention under inhumane conditions.
A recent report from the ACLU shows that children and youth are being subjected to physical and sexual abuse. Basically, while Trump makes up scary stories about ‘violent immigrants’, his own agents are the ones committing unthinkable violence against defenseless children.



Friday, May 11, 2018

Stop Separating Children From Their Parents at the Border

I just received this link from the Anti-Defamation League.  It is an easy way to voice an objection to the separation of families that is taking place amid immigrant families.

Happy Mother's Day to All Mothers


Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers reading this alert.

I want to share prayer resources from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition for Mother’s Day and Pentecost. 

2018 Mothers’ Day Resources, This Mothers’ Day: Honor Immigrant Moms  
2018 Pentecost Resources, Pentecost Resources: Called to be an Advocate

Continue to contact your senators and representatives about immigration, the fate of Dreamers, the Farm Bill and SNAP.  Canvass for signatures to nominate candidates that you would like to see run for office.

Sign the nomination papers of those you support for public office.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Contact Your Representative on the Farm Bill

The farm bill now wending its way through the U.S. House of Representatives has a number of  anti-environmental provisions.  It exempts pesticides from the Endangered Species and Clean Water Acts. It boosts logging, removes environmental reviews, and makes it easier to build roads in national forests. It undermines sustainable agriculture, makes it tougher for people to qualify for nutrition assistance, and tips the scales toward corporate interests and away from small farmers.  The bill is likely to come up for a full House vote this month, so it’s time to contact your representative to voice your opinions.

Wednesday, May 2, 2018

Perspectives of Asylum Seekers at San Isidro Port of Entry - from LCWR


As an update, I spoke with officials at the San Ysidro Port of Entry this morning and learned that they anticipate processing all the Central Americans by the end of the week. Their ability to process these asylum seekers is dependent on capacity and the flow of other asylum seekers and in particular Mexican asylum seekers.

Port officials estimate that there are asylum seekers from about a dozen countries in Tijuana right now. This is normal. In this region, we regularly see a fluctuation of asylum seekers from 10-20 different countries from around the world in a given week. Over the last several years, we have seen a steady flow of Mexican asylum seekers, mostly from the states of Guerrero and Michoacán. Recently the number of Mexican asylum seekers has increased sharply and in the days prior to the arrival of the Caravan, as many as 200 were approaching the port daily.

In other words, when the Caravan of Central Americans arrived, the port was already at capacity. The number of Mexican asylum seekers is significantly larger than the Central American group and is continuing to grow. Because the former are seeking asylum from the country they are in currently, they are prioritized at the port. Asylum seekers who are from other countries rarely express fear of being persecuted in Mexico; when they do, they are also prioritized.

For those who are currently in CBP custody, it might take a week for them to leave the port facility and make space for others to be processed in. This is normal when we have large groups of asylum seekers coming through. Everyone must be processed in, screened for TB (this always of concern), given credible fear interview, and assessed for a custody determination. In the best case scenario, someone clears the health screening, passes the CFI, and is determined to be releasable to a sponsor. In that instance, it still might take a couple of days for the sponsor to provide the necessary documents, come to pick up the detainee, or arrange for travel for the detainee. Until that happens, the port cannot process more people in.

Those who are less fortunate will be detained either for deportation or for asylum proceedings in the courts. They might move more quickly out of CBP custody unless they are family units. We do not have, nor do we want, family detention facilities in the area. Families who will be detained pending deportation or court proceedings will be moved out of the region to another part of the country. 

As the Central Americans (and their advocates) voice their desire to be processed in immediately, we must remember that there are many more asylum seekers from other countries and there will continue to be once the Central Americans have moved through the system.

We are fortunate to have a compassionate and dedicated network of service providers on both sides of the border to help asylum seekers every day of the year. They are the experts and are in the best position to alert us when agents are mistreating asylum seekers or acting outside the norm. 

Andrea Guerrero, Esq.
Executive Director
Alliance San Diego

Tell Congress: Protect Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP)

 Stop the Attack on Food Security!

Contact Your Representative to Protect SNAP in the Farm Bill

The Farm Bill (H.R. 2) has reached the House, and it is just as bad as we expected. Republican leadership, including bill author Rep. Mike Conaway, has pushed a purely partisan Farm Bill crafted around Speaker Ryan’s welfare fantasy, and the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program (SNAP) is first on the chopping block. Despite Republicans’ claims of “no cuts to SNAP,” the bill recklessly restructures the program and restricts eligibility in a way that puts food security at risk for millions of low-income households. Email your Representative now to protect SNAP. 
Proposed eligibility restrictions, benefit cuts, and strict work requirements would deepen poverty and food insecurity for millions of Americans. Specifically, the Farm Bill undermines SNAP by threatening:
  1. Changes to eligibility, which could cut off about 2 million people from some or all of their nutrition assistance benefits. Nearly 90% of those benefits go to households with members who work for low-wages while receiving SNAP.
  2. Punitive work requirements, which could affect an additional 6 to 8 million unemployed, underemployed, and working SNAP recipients who would have an additional burden to document their hours to keep food on the table.
    1. Under its “one strike and you’re out” provision, failure to meet new requirements within a month of receiving SNAP would mean losing food assistance for a year. The second infraction would cause loss of benefits for three years.
    2. Strict requirements would also be expanded to apply to older people living in poverty -- raised from 49 up to 59 years old -- and to parents raising children as young as 6 years old.
Let’s be clear: Republicans are using language about “opportunity” and “self-sufficiency,” but their policies are wrong. The Farm Bill removes $23 billion from direct nutrition assistance benefits, and instead chooses to divert money to half-baked skills and job training programs. In order to receive nutrition benefits, people experiencing food insecurity would have to navigate a new, massive bureaucracy that tracks monthly paychecks for millions of SNAP recipients, and states would be left to sort through the red tape.

The current SNAP proposal connects to a larger GOP strategy of imposing work requirements on various anti-poverty programs, including Medicaid. We all have a stake in protecting SNAP by pushing back against this attack on people experiencing poverty and the programs that help them get by. On the heels of a tax policy that rewards corporations and the wealthiest Americans, it is unacceptable that the House could now vote to take food away from the most vulnerable.
Voice your opposition as a person of faith! Tell your Representative to oppose the Farm Bill. We say no to changes in SNAP which would 1) take away states’ flexibility in getting food to tables, 2) restrict access or lessen benefits for working families, and 3) require people to work in order to receive food assistance. Tell your Representative that you oppose H.R. 2.
Email your member of Congress and remind them that our duty as a nation includes feeding the hungry. As NETWORK tracks the bill, we will alert you about future actions you can take to ensure the Farm Bill protects and strengthens SNAP, rather than weakens it.