New Events and Information on Immigrants

Dear Community Members,

We have been fortunate to welcome into the community many new individuals from several South American and Arabic nations. Your financial and other volunteer help has been so needed, and so appreciated.

EVENTS OF INTEREST THIS WEEK: Please read the Events of Interest (attached) – there are several this week, including tomorrow evening.

CHRISTMAS PARTY: This year, a community member (Thanks, Linda H.!) has offered to host at her home a Christmas party (Dec. 15 at 1:30). Given the diversity of our group, including volunteers and new immigrants, you may wonder why we have chosen this holiday. The main reason is that it is such an established and traditional celebration that it will assist in our goal of introducing new arrivals to some of the customs here, and of course will be of interest to many immigrants here who have asked about this holiday. There will be popcorn stringing, to games, to gifts, to singing and dancing, to a gingerbread house, and to (lots of) food – needless to say, children are especially welcome! A special invitation will be sent out – please let those families with whom you’re volunteering know about this, and know that they are ESPECIALLY welcome.

INDUSTRY CERTIFICATIONS: Some of the MCCSC Adult Education English language classes offer industry-recognized certifications, such as Early Childhood Education, Microsoft Office, and Entrepreneurship & Small Business. For registration, see Events of Interest, attached.

FURNITURE AVAILABLE:  There is a stroller available, appropriate for a 1- to 3-year old. (Thanks Ann!) Also available is a good-condition sleeper-sofa, a floor lamp, and a table lamp (Thanks Kathryn!)

NEW LOCATION FOR EL CENTRO COMUNAL LATINO: The El Centro Comunal Latino will close on November 4 and will be located temporarily in the VITAL Collections (VITAL Resource Room) area, also at the MCPL. Tutoring sessions will take place there 5:00-7:00 pm on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  El Centro will reopen in its new office space located in Room 205 off the Indiana Room on November 15.

CONTINUED RESTRICTIONS FOR IMMIGRANTS: There are continued obstacles and restrictions (including obstacles and delays in obtaining work authorization) for immigrants, and a clear bias against entry of Muslim-majority nations, even though such cannot be formally stated. Families are still separated, children still traumatized, and immigrants hoping to work are unable to obtain authorization to do so. As a result, your help, including hosting individuals and families, as well as your financial and other volunteer assistance, is as needed now as much as ever. In addition, your advocacy is still needed. Writing and calling elected representatives is always helpful, reminding them that our nation, so strong and resourceful, can resume its leadership role by admitting and welcoming immigrants.

In the meantime, our deepest thanks for all you have done – and you have done a great deal! Let’s hope our officials will open up their hearts and their minds to the needs of the immigrants and to the benefits that the immigrants bring. And, if you’d like to see the words inscribed on the Statue of Liberty, they are: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door! The Statue of Liberty-Ellis Island Foundation, Inc.

BTW, if you would like to invite an immigrant or immigrant family to your Thanksgiving dinner, please let us know (bloomingtonrefugees@gmail.com).

Attachments: EVENTS OF INTEREST FOR NOVEMBER 2019

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