Category Archives: Touchpoint

From the Desk of KIAC’s Executive Director

Dear Friends of KIAC,

The words by Dr. Farmer in our quote of the month, “We want to be on the winning team, but at the risk of turning our backs on the losers, no, it is not worth it. So we fight the long defeat,” resonate with us at KIAC and with the work we do each day towards equity and justice for our immigrant neighbors. We are very concerned about the negative impact of the potential pending repeal of Roe v Wade, leading to state criminalization of abortion which can transform healthcare into a prison pipeline. Such an outcome would disproportionately affect women of color, thereby heavily impacting immigrants.  

The war in Ukraine rages on while there is a shaky, two month ceasefire for the war in Yemen. Although the individual circumstances and politics that have led to these moments are different, a common theme runs through many of these situations — the prevalence of misinformation. We at KIAC want to do our part in helping our readers (You) understand the more complex immigration topics that we hear about everyday. In this May Touchpoint, Althea Paulson, KIAC Board member and Pro Bono Attorney, will help us understand Title 42.  

Continue reading From the Desk of KIAC’s Executive Director

From the Desk of KIAC’s Executive Director

Dear Friends,

Like you, we are heartbroken by the images of the destruction of Ukranian cities, the deaths of civilians, and the millions of people — mostly women and children (and often, their pets) — fleeing for their lives. We are inspired by Ukrainian courage and the leadership of President Zelenskyy. Along with the horror and cruelty, there are so many acts of generosity and love, as people around the world mobilize to help Ukraine. 

This month’s quote from the book “Nonviolent Soldier of Islam” is by Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, often referred to as Frontier Gandhi. Our mission at KIAC is to offer assistance to those from anywhere in the world who come to the United States seeking safety. This past month, we “sowed our seeds” in the following ways.

Continue reading From the Desk of KIAC’s Executive Director

FROM THE DESK OF KIAC’S EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

Dear Friends,

February may have been a shorter month, but it was certainly filled with more than its share of heartbreaking news. Between the wars unfolding in Ukraine and continuing in Yemen, and the release of the Sixth Assessment Report by the IPCC regarding the climate crisis, we at KIAC have grappled with finding our place in it all.

One of our staff members came upon our quote of the month by Ursula Wolfe-Rocca, a writer for the Zinn Education Project.

It can be overwhelming to witness/experience/take in all the injustices of the moment; the good news is that “they’re all connected.” So if your little corner of work involves pulling at one of the threads, you’re helping to unravel the whole cloth.

It seems particularly fitting, as we steadfastly continue KIAC’s work for our immigrant neighbors. 

Throughout the month of February, KIACcontinued to “pull at our thread” through our work.

  • KIAC assisted our partner Peninsula Community Health Services in a second Covid-19 vaccine event in late February.  Between the two vaccine events in January and February, 191 community members were vaccinated — 135 adults and 56 children.
  • Our Immigration Legal Services team successfully negotiated a bond hearing for a client held at the Northwest ICE Processing Center. This client and their spouse fled their native country after receiving threats and harassment from the government. After turning themselves into immigration agents on arrival in the United States, one spouse was sent to Tacoma and the other was released to family in another state. Thanks to the work of our Legal team, our client was released from the Northwest ICE Processing Center on a bond the family could afford, and was reunited with their spouse the next day!
  • KIAC was one of the 100+ organizations to sign a letter pushing for a $30 million state fund for refugee resettlement in Washington State.

March is underway, and with it comes new opportunities.

  • KIAC needs tax preparation volunteers! Interested in getting involved or know someone who is? Email Graciela to find out more.
  • We are getting back into the community and look forward to sharing information about KIAC and what we do in an informational session at Kol Shalom Jewish Congregation on March 22.
  • Mark your calendars! Kitsap’s biggest day of giving — Kitsap Great Give — is Tuesday, April 19. We will be in touch in the coming weeks with information about how to get involved. 

When reflecting upon the past month, I continue to feel gratitude for the partnerships that make our work at KIAC possible. Thank you for your support.

In gratitude,

Thangam Chandrasekaran, Executive Director