Update on Refugees and Immigrants, 2020

Dear Community Members,   

First, a heartfelt congratulations and thank you for the truly wonderful help you have given to immigrants (asylum seekers, Dreamers …) in the Bloomington area, in Indy, and globally. In addition to the unimaginable desperation and danger to the immigrants at our southern border, there are individuals and groups from many populations seeking refuge and asylum here. Through your help, they have received  legal assistance, application and medical fees, transportation, interpreters, housing, food, clothing and other resources and, especially important, comfort and friendship. And, because of all the different ways in which you have given, many immigrants now have obtained certificates of naturalization /citizenship, and others are on a hopeful course toward asylum.  Laws, policies, and attitudes may change, but not the people who need help, and not the commitment of all of you.

The needs of refugees and immigrants do not stop in the winter. On the attached sheet, you will find descriptions of ways to help them. Below is a brief summary:        

WINTER CLOTHING DRIVE: .St. Thomas Lutheran Church (3800 E 3rd St.) and St. Paul’s Catholic Center (1413 E. 17th St.) will partner with BRSN to collect winter coats, gloves/mittens, scarves and hats, especially for MEN and CHILDREN, and also for women, through January.

MICA (Migrant and Immigrant Community Action Project), and
HIAS (Hebrew Immigration Aid Society):

ADVOCACY NEEDED NOW (our thanks to Christie Popp for the notice!) Our government is proposing ADDITIONAL bars to asylum. The attached five documents give you information on how to advocate (“comment”), the proposals, their background, and so forth. Each document is fairly long, so you might want to simply view them on your computer.

IF YOU WOULD LIKE TO HELP BRSN (donation, or other help such as hosting, driving immigrants around town to find resources (we would supply you with the locations), interpret, etc., please let us know.)

Thank you again for the wonderful work you are doing. More immigrants come each week, and it is so fulfilling to be working with you to help them however we can.

ATTACHMENTS (for those who wish to download them): Needs of Refugees and Immigrants; (the rest regard the advocacy movement to prevent the additional bars to asylum): Procedures for Public Comment, Asylum Eligibility, Background of Asylum Eligibility, PROPOSED REGULATORY CHANGES IN ASYLUM ELIGIBILITY, REGULATORY REQUIREMENTS OF PROPOSED ADDITIONAL BARS TO ASYLUM, Sample Comments on Proposal Asylum Rules.

Take good care, and let’s hope humanitarian immigration policies!

Diane Legomsky, Chair, Bloomington Refugee Support Network