All posts by Ray Garrido

in memory of mariano matias mendoza

We honor the memory of one of our community leaders who was taken from us too soon due to COVID-19.

Mariano and his brother Prudencio
Mariano and his brother Prudencio

Our Family Services Director, shares this: “Mariano Matias Mendoza immigrated to the US from Guatemala decades ago. He became fluent in English, his third language along with his native Mayan language Mam, and Spanish. He became a point-person and influencer among his fellow immigrants in Bremerton and beyond, and helped connect many people to housing, employment, healthcare and legal assistance. He was particularly instrumental in building trust between KIAC and our Guatemalan neighbors and he interacted frequently with KIAC’s co-founder, Martitha May.
I got to know him over the past few years because he often worked as a driver and translator, bringing people to appointments and connecting them to services they might not have known about. He supported others even as he sought a better life for himself and his family. He is greatly missed by those who knew him and those whom he impacted.” The Kitsap Sun published this article about Mariano and his legacy: https://www.kitsapsun.com/story/news/2020/08/08/bremerton-covid-coronavirus-deaths-leader-guatemalan-community/3324940001/

DACA denied – USCIS is defying our courts

Support DACA

On Friday, July 17, a U.S. District Court Judge ordered the administration to restore DACA to its “pre-September 5, 2017” status. This means that people with DACA can renew their status AND that people can apply for DACA for the first time.

We all celebrated this decision until we found that the US Citizenship and Immigration Service (USCIS) was defying the court order and refusing to accept new DACA applications. This means that hundreds of young people who have been denied access to DACA and thought the door was now open, have had it slammed in their faces.

We call on this administration, which prides itself on following the rule of law, to do just that – obey the court’s order and open the door to these DREAMERS who deserve to apply for DACA.

ADD YOUR VOICE TO PROTECT THE AMERICAN ASYLUM SYSTEM!

On June 15, 2020, the Trump Administration proposed a new regulation which, if implemented, would gut the U.S. asylum system. This new policy will result in America turning its back on thousands of immigrants every year who flee horrific conditions such as domestic violence and threats due to gender identity and sexual orientation. Women escaping rape and domestic violence and LGBTQ individuals facing deadly attacks will no longer be able to seek safety and protection within our borders.

Under the pretext of “streamlining the asylum process,” the new regulations will instead drastically limit the ability of individuals to obtain asylum. It is the most sweeping assault yet on a fundamental right and will make asylum nearly impossible to win. This is the latest attempt of the Trump administration to rewrite immigration law in contravention of our nation’s longstanding tradition of being a beacon of hope and freedom in the world.

The public has 30 days—until July 15—to comment on this proposed rule. Please add your voice in opposition to this attack on asylum. More weight is given to unique comments so please use the bullet points below to craft your own letter.

Thank you for taking your time to help save asylum.

Read KIAC’s Ray Garrido and Isis Goldberg analysis

TAKE ACTION

We are providing several ways for you to add your voice. All comments must be received by July 15, 2020:

Use the government’s comment form
You can comment directly here
The character limit on the form is 5,000. You can also attach a PDF if your comment is longer. If you need help converting a document to PDF, we can do it for you.

Use the CLINIC comment form
Go to this link to customize CLINIC’s comment

Use the Tahirih Justice Center comment form
They have created a comment template addressing the danger this proposed regulation poses on survivors of gender-based violence seeking asylum protections. You can use their form here.

Mail a letter to the Department of Homeland Security
The letter must be postmarked by July 15, 2020.

Address:
Lauren Alder Reid, Assistant Director 
Office of Policy
Executive Office for Immigration Review
5107 Leesburg Pike, Suite 1800, 
Falls Church, VA 22041

BE SURE TO ADD, DELETE, OR MODIFY THE POINTS BELOW SO THAT YOUR LETTER IS UNIQUE.

Dear Ms. Alder Reid

I submit this comment to oppose DHS/EOIR; RIN 1125-AA94; EOIR Docket No. 18-0002 Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM)

  • This NPRM will gut the American asylum system which has been a foundation of our society, offering protection to those escaping danger in their home countries
  • The NPRM seeks to target the most vulnerable of individuals including women fleeing domestic violence and LGBTQ individuals fleeing oppressive and life-threatening situations
  • The new rule would impose barriers at every stage of the process making it nearly impossible to  obtain asylum
  • The vast majority of asylum seekers will be turned away and returned to harm’s way
  • Due process is denied under this rule
  • The regulation gives immigration judges and asylum officers great latitude in throwing out asylum requests as “frivolous” and to deny applications without a hearing.
  • The asylum system will likely become available only to those with substantial mean to obtain legal counsel

Sincerely,

SIGN YOUR NAME

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