BRSN Summer Update on Immigrants

Dear Community Members,

First, a quick note: We sent this out a few days ago, but somehow the entire mailing was blocked, due to changes in g-mail’s mass “bcc” mailings. So we were unable to notify you in time for the Nagasaki Remembrance Vigil (last night), and of the excellent radio play at the MCPL, sponsored by The Writer’s Guild, by Antonia Matthew. It will be available on CATS in the near future, and we will give you plenty of advance notice.

HELP FOR IMMIGRANTS: As you can see, in the current climate the problems and horrors never stop for immigrants. We are grateful for your advocacy letters to Senator’s Braun’s staff in Ellettsville this past week. Also in this past week there has been another attack on Mexicans in El Paso, with 22 people murdered and 24 injured.

We also are dealing with worsening federal policies for immigrants. While we all are working hard to help the immigrants, who are seeking, simply, a safe life and a home for themselves and their children, we clearly are not done. Advocacy, and fundraising to help immigrants stay here safely, is still needed. And BRSN will continue to supplement the fees and expenses for as many immigrant households as possible, to provide their households with drivers and interpreters and friendship, and to find affordable legal and medical services, as well as housing and trasnsportation. 

ART RESALE EVENT: This event will be held tomorrow (Sunday, August 18) at St. Thomas Lutheran Church. It will sell all kinds of (gently used) artwork, including paintings, art books, and pottery. The proceeds will benefit St. Thomas Lutheran Church, Beth Shalom Synagogue, and University Baptist Church. And the organizers have just invited BRSN as an additional beneficiary, for which we are very grateful! (See Events of Interest).

ADVOCACY: We have an important note from FCNL (Friends Committee on National Legislation):

Time and time again, the administration has demanded more money for harmful immigration enforcement policies and Congress has funded them. The spending bills coming out of Congress continue to provide money with no guarantee that it will be spent to protect children, rather than further militarize our border. 

We hope you will write a short letter requesting greater investment in true humanitarian assistance, and mail or bring it to your elected officials. If you don’t have the contact information for elected officials that we had sent out, just let us know, and we’ll be happy to re-send it to you.


ICE raids are nothing new. But for over two years now, the Trump administration has been terrorizing our communities at a new level – tearing thousands of families apart, spreading fear and hate. If this isn’t the kind of country we want to live in, then we must keep fighting to defend our communities. The best way to fight back? KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. And help your family, friends, and neighbors to know theirs. Go to:

Spread the word on Facebook and Twitter so we all know what to do if ICE shows up.

PENNSYLVANIA IMMIGRATION RESOURCE CENTER (PIRC): The PIRC provides access to justice for vulnerable immigrants in detention and in the community through legal services, education and advocacy: They also are looking for volunteers to translate Russian documents into English, and their website lists reputable agencies providing immigrant support at the border (

IMPORTANT NAGASAKI REMEMBRANCE VIGIL HELD: A well-attended and peaceful vigil was held on Friday, August 9, at the Monroe County Courthouse, to mark the anniversary of the U.S. atomic bombing of Nagasaki.  With the U.S. military budget — including funding for a new generation of first strike nuclear weapons approaching $1 trillion — urgent human needs go unmet. Our congratulations to the Bloomington Peace Action Coalition for organizing this successful and educational event.

LATINO HEALTH MEETING: These are held quarterly, and the next one will be later this year.   This regular meeting provides an opportunity for health, mental health, and other providers, specialists, and individuals who work with the Latino population in our area to share information about events, initiatives, and concerns and network with each other.  All are welcome! We will give you ample advance notice for its next quarterly meeting.

ESL/ENL CLASSES: There are now two locations/program for ESL/ENL:

The MCCSC will hold ESL and ENL classes at Broadview Learning Center
Phone: (812) 330-7731 Web: Facebook: Broadview Learning Center. Address:  705 W. Coolidge Dr., Bloomington.

Also, the Bloomington Reformed Presbyterian Church will offer ESL and ENL, for beginners and advanced  speakers. To enroll, contact the Church Web: Address: 302 E 1st St, Bloomington, IN 47401. Phone: (812) 339-1922

JOBS: VITAL’s OFFERINGS: Get help with basic computers activities at VITAL’s Step One.   Drop in assistance with completing forms, online job searches, resume and cover letter writing, and learning basic computer skills.

Step One is open every Monday 6-8pm and Wednesday 10am-noon.
For more information on this and on English language classes: 
Email to request fliers for specific programs or visit their website to learn more information about VITAL Address: 303 E Kirkwood Ave, Bloomington, IN 47408 Phone:(812) 349-3173

JOBS: SUMMER AND FALL: First, our thanks to Malcolm Abrams and Bloom Magazine for encouraging people to hire immigrants for work. Many of you have responded, with offerings of jobs for yard work, cleaning, and other types of employment. Whether or not the workers have higher skills and experience, the earnings are needed now, and our clients are most eager to find work. (As you may know, the cost of attorney fees are very high, but critical for successful asylum cases, and the application fees are rising higher than the cost of living. The BRSN is supplementing these fees as much as it can, but of course our funds are limited.) In addition to independent contractor jobs, there are also employee opportunities at area businesses. Please contact us at our website if you, or someone whom you know, is interested.

CELEBRATION OF PEACE AND DIVERSITY: Bloomington United will hold this celebration, an evening of solidarity, on August 27, at 5:30 at our Courthouse. (See Events of Interest). The theme is: “We are stronger than hate”.

ATTACHMENTS: Events of Interest, August and September 2019 and, for your reading pleasure, “Immigration Facts and Humor”  (you’ll love it).

In the meantime, enjoy the rest of your summer, and thank you so much for all you are doing!

Take care,
Diane Legomsky, Chair,
Bloomington Refugee Support Network