Wednesday, May 11, 2016

April 2016 Working Group Summaries

APRIL 2016 Working Group Summaries
Secure Communities 2.0 Working Group On April 26, 2016, S.Comms 2.0 had a meeting with ICE representatives to officially record straight from the source what ICE procedures look like, to learn some of the organizational workings of ICE and on sharing grievances of community members. Where do you go to pick people up? Do you pick up unaccompanied minors? How do we report abuses? These are some of the questions we asked.  At the May 2016 Forum, a member of the working group will talk with the public about the local ICE meeting and present about facts about ICE, nationally and locally.  
Immigrant Friendly Communities Working Group
Several members of the Friendlies working group attended the Welcoming America’s Welcoming Interactive Conference from April 19 through the 21st. We made some great connections and are looking forward to convening soon to talk about what we took away from the conference and start thinking about a timeline for planning Welcoming Week. We will also receive an invitation to attend an interagency retreat slated for June 11, 2016, which is organized by Latino Partnership of Champaign County in partnership with CU Immigration Forum. We plan to meet at the beginning of the summer to continue the work that we would like to be funded next year by the Gateways for Growth grant. We will plan to meet at the beginning of the summer to move forward with building and implementing welcoming strategies locally.
Unaccompanied Minors Working Group
Challenges continue with difficulty in gathering information and coordinating social services for unaccompanied minors to get health care, receive food during school breaks and concern expressed with summer approaching. We have recently decided to start setting aside a time that works for the students to meet during school lunch and study hall once a month to assist students with ongoing casework. We still need volunteers to assist with driving students to Chicago. We also need to find reliable and honest Q'anjob'al translators. We have verified that immigration court does not provide translators for Asylum court/interviews so all of the students applying for asylum will need to hire a translator for their interview.
IF Student & Volunteer Group
The IF Student & Volunteer group is planning another KYR workshop to take place in Champaign at the end of June 2016. The Children's Orpheum is willing to provide private space at that time. Once we have the date set we will start outreach activities. We will be building upon the workshop by following up with the families at the two workshops to provide an opportunity to survey and outline patterns of issues that families discuss. We will also identify and reach out to gatekeepers to build relationships and identify issues. This will lay the groundwork to organize communities in fighting ICE raids and mapping out concerns that will greatly inform establishing and implementing welcoming strategies locally.

If you are interested in joining a working group of the CU Immigration Forum, please contact us at or send us a message on Facebook. The CU Immigration Forum also hosts monthly forums on the second Tuesday of every month at 5:00pm at the University YMCA. ALL are welcome to attend.