We are saddened and frustrated by the Biden Administration decision to expand the use of Title 42. This recent announcement places limits on the number of people who can seek asylum in the United States, and prohibits some immigrants from seeking their right to asylum at the U.S. border. The changes outlined in this policy will disproportionately affect low-income individuals and people of color. Asylum is a legal right, and this decision violates our obligations under U.S. and international law to protect people from persecution. We at KIAC will continue to fight to support our immigrant neighbors from all communities and countries. The United States government needs to do better.
What a FUN, FAMILY, HOLIDAY EVENT we had here at KIAC on Saturday, December 10! You, our supporters, donated slippers, craft items, blankets, books, jackets, toys and MORE to fill over 200 holiday bundles!
We had 86 families come through KIAC on Saturday, December 10. There were homemade cookies, champurrado, balloon animals, face painting, story reading, and festivities for all! Six hours of activities went by way too quickly, and even the tired volunteers were sad when it was over. In addition to the gift bundles distributed at the event, KIAC volunteers delivered 126 bundles to immigrant families throughout our county.
THIS PROJECT IS ONLY POSSIBLE BECAUSE OF OUR AMAZING COMMUNITY!
- Over 150 people donated items or funds for the bundles!
- 67 people volunteered their time, including 15 immigrant youth, totaling over 360 hours!!
- 36 dozen cookies and 18 gallons of champurrado were made with love!
- 490 immigrant children in Kitsap county received holiday gifts!
Shout out to OESD and Connection Credit Union staff members for volunteering at the event, to Evergreen Home Loans for putting together 250 traditional treat bags, to Refuge Church and Project Linus for gifting so many beautiful blankets, and to the staff and customers at Ballast, Eagle Harbor and Liberty Bay bookstores for collecting hundreds of children’s books in Spanish. We are immensely, endlessly grateful for the solidarity of our neighbors.
The team here at KIAC wishes YOU the same feelings of love, excitement, and welcome that you have shown to our neighbors. We appreciate the generosity and support you show KIAC and those we serve. Happiest of holidays to you and yours!
Missed the event but still want to donate to KIAC’s mission?
Over the last 8 weeks, KIAC team members assisted 1,093 individuals with applications for the WA Immigrant Relief Fund. This is a fund for immigrants in Washington state who were adversely affected by COVID-19 but who did not qualify for any pandemic relief funding due to their immigration status.
1,093 applications translates to roughly $2.9 million going into the pockets of our most vulnerable neighbors because of KIAC’s work, mostly in Kitsap and Mason counties.
In total, the Fund received 116,690 applications from across our state, and will distribute a total of $306 million to approved applicants!!!
This Fund is the result of relentless and united organizing efforts led by immigrant community members over the past several years. The statewide coalition WAISN, of which KIAC is a member, carried the message to our state government that leaving thousands of our neighbors out of pandemic relief was unjust and unacceptable. Many of the workers who were growing and harvesting our food, caring for our elders and children, cleaning our medical facilities, and performing other roles essential to the continued functioning of our economy were completely left out of the financial aid programs that the rest of us benefited from when we had our worlds rocked in 2020. This Fund was a response to that, and will provide enormous relief to families who are still struggling to regain stability.
KIAC hired additional temporary team members to ensure we would reach everyone in our area, especially our indigenous Guatemalan community members who speak Mayan languages and have limited literacy. Check out the picture of our team below!
Here are a few project stats:
- Over 900 hours put in by KIAC application team members
- 24 evening application events, hosted in Bremerton, Belfair and Shelton
- 4 languages spoken by our team: Spanish, Mam, Q’anjob’al and English
- 22 counties reached by KIAC’s team
- $2.9 million going into the pockets of our immigrant neighbors
We are grateful to WAISN for making this Fund a reality, to Producciones Pablo360 radio for broadcasting interviews in Mam, to North Mason School District for providing us a space in Belfair, to Iglesia Ebenezer for a space in Shelton, to CIELO and Circulo de Mujeres para la Justica for partnering on events, to Kitsap Mesa Redonda for sharing information, and to so many of you who got the word out about the Fund. THANK YOU!
We will keep doing our part to pursue our Vision: a community where everyone, regardless of where they were born, has fair and equitable access to justice, respect and opportunity.