Fall Update on Immigrants

Dear Community Members,

September is always an extremely busy month in Bloomington, and this year is no different. The BRSN has had the honor and happiness of helping numerous immigrant families in the community with attorney fees, rides to Indy for govt. appointments and attorney sessions, application fees,  job connections along with resume building, and consultations on resources and other opportunities.

We’ve also learned of many additional opportunities, which we list below.

UNIQUE OPPORTUNITY FOR ADULT EDUCATION: If you’re working with an adult who needs a high school credential, the MCCSC Adult Education is doing New Student Orientation. They can help adults study for the high school equivalency tests. Last year, they had over 150 adults do just that!

Morning, afternoon, and evening classes are available in several locations. They can help find resource for childcare, transportation, and other barriers participants may have been facing.

Interested adults should call (812) 330-7731 and see what a difference this can make in someone’s life! Please feel free to share with others!

Robert D. Moore Director of Adult Education
Monroe County Community School Corporation
Broadview Learning Center

SALE OF AFRICAN-INSPIRED ARTWORK:  This year there will be another fall holiday sale of Kenyan and African-inspired handblown glass, jewelry, cloth items, basketry, etc.  Due to increasing costs of selling at the IM Union, this year the sale will be held at the Unitarian Universalist Church at Fee Lane and the Bypass on Friday, Nov. 15th between 11 and 7pm in Room 208, a spacious sunny location.  And parking is free, so you loyalists who braved the expensive Union lot will be particularly happy about that!  The prices are very reasonable, the selection excellent after the Oct. Kenyan trip.  We’ll also be selling at the UU Bazaar in early Dec. at our booth, but the display is limited by space.  We hope to see everyone there–have fun while doing good!  For questions, call Claire Robertson at 812-336-3696 before Oct. 15. 

SPECIAL THANKS TO BLOOM MAGAZINE AND TO ART RE-SALE:  We are very grateful to Bloom Magazine for their beautiful and exciting gala in August. The BRSN was the special recipient of all donations, which helped us immensely in serving the needs of local immigrants. We wish to thank University Baptist Church, St. Thomas Lutheran Church, and Beth Shalom Congregation for their amazing Art Re-Sale event in August. They were kind enough to include BRSN as a recipient of the proceeds from their generous members’ donations of artwork, sold to the community.

OPPOSE THE EXPANSION OF FAST-TRACK REMOVALS: The Trump administration recently announced a policy that would fast-track the deportation of thousands of immigrants by massively expanding “expedited removal”, which allows the Department of Homeland Security to quickly deport individuals without a chance to speak with an attorney or have a fair day in court. The public has until September 23 to submit comments to the government opposing this policy. We invite you to personalize and submit a comment to help us halt this unnecessary policy that will threaten due process and sow fear in communities throughout the nation. Also, please let us know if you need another copy of the Contact Information for Elected Officials.


(This is a message from: Immigration Justice Campaign, an initiative of:
American Immigration Council
American Immigration Lawyers’ Association
American Immigrant Representation Project)

HUGE SELECTION OF GENTLY USED CLOTHES AND TOYS: A friend has cleaned out her girls’ gently used clothes and toys (she says “there’s enough for a village!”), and would like to offer them to refugee or immigrant families in need, if possible. 
Contact: Sarah Phillips


·         El Centro Comunal Latino’s Tutoring Program for Latino children and youths in grades K-12 is being offered at the El Centro office on the second floor of the public library on Mondays, Wednesdays, & Thursdays 5:00-7:00 pm.  Volunteer tutors work with the children on their homework.  Latino parents can contact El Centro about what day/time their student is able to come for tutoring by contacting El Centro at 812-355-7513 or elcentrocomunal@gmail.com, or by texting Juanita. 

·         -Live-in Caregiver Sought to assist elderly woman with early-stage dementia, to prepare meals, do house chores, and assist with the activities of daily living.  Spanish is not needed, but Latinas with limited English are invited to apply as well as others with interest in this position.  Benefits: free rent with a private bedroom, all meals, and $1000 per month stipend.  

·         The Mexican Consular in Indianapolis is able to cover the renovation processing fees for DACA renewals when this is needed — though ONLY for Mexican nationals — in its jurisdiction which covers the southern part of Indiana, Ohio, and Illinois, and all of Kentucky.  For more information individuals can contact the Mexican Consulate in Indianapolis, Daniel Carrera at ext. 114, proteccionini2@sre.gob.mx, or Mariana Torres Sojo, ext. 121, marianat@sre.gob.mx

JOHN OLIVER ON “LEGAL IMMIGRATION: For humor and reality check. (Thanks for forwarding this, Christie!)

ADDITIONAL ENGLISH COURSES: The Bloomington Reformed Presbyterian Church  is offering English classes for immigrants at no charge. Pastor Philip McCollum is directing the program. It is an excellent course, and highly recommended. To enroll, contact the Church Web: bloomingtonrpchurch.org Address: 302 E 1st St, Bloomington, IN 47401. Phone: (812) 339-1922

We thank you again for all your dedicated help, news, resources, and compassion – together we can help the vulnerable immigrant families in our community. They need so much, but ask for so little. We wish we could fulfill every need, but of course must disperse our financial and volunteer resources as equitably as possible.  We will be sure to keep you informed!

If you’d like to reach us, please contact us at: bloomingtonrefugees@gmail.com. Note: we also have PayPal on our website, if you wish to make a tax-deductible contribution.

Thank you again, and take care,
Diane Legomsky, Chair,
Bloomington Refugee Support Network (BRSN)