Mission statement: The Immigration Issues Committee of Herndon-Reston Indivisible seeks the establishment of just and informed immigration policies and their just and humane enforcement, to protect and support immigrants and vulnerable communities, and to inform the broader community by sharing the stories of immigrants and the contributions they make to our community and country and dispelling myths about immigrants and immigration.
Actions: We consider issues and advocate for policies in keeping with our mission statement at the federal, state, and local levels, including Fairfax County and the Town of Herndon. Our committee also partners with other organizations and participates in projects and events to welcome and support immigrants in our community. [Check back or attend our meetings to learn about new and additional calls to action.]
- Virginia General Election
11/7/17, your regular polling place (or vote in-person absentee by November 4)
- Attend the TPS Announcement Action
TPS Announcement Action
11/7/17, 10-11 AM, The White House (on the north side, near Lafayette Park)
- Contact your Fairfax County officials in support of the demands of Fairfax For All. (Click here to learn about the actions you can take.)
- Advocate for the redesignation of Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and a legislative solution to provide a permanent status. (Click here to learn about the actions you can take.)
- Support a clean Dream Act to provide legal status to DACA recipients. (Click here to learn about the actions you can take.)
- Information for contacting government officials
Upcoming meetings: We welcome you to join us at our next committee meeting on November 8, at 6:30 PM; please contact the committee coordinator to request the meeting location.
Contact: For additional information, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or 571-354-0673.
Resources for learning more about:
Fairfax County policies
Immigrants in Fairfax County
The process to become a lawful permanent resident
Migration Policy Institute, Going to the Back of the Line: A Primer on Lines, Visa Categories, and Wait Times
Contact your Fairfax County officials in support of the demands of Fairfax For All: Fairfax for All, a coalition of diverse organizations that work with different communities of Fairfax County – including civil rights, grassroots, and immigrant defense institutions – is urging Fairfax County to stop its ongoing and unnecessary collaboration and coordination with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Fairfax for All has conducted an exhaustive analysis of federal, state, and local laws and how they impact the immigrant community. As a result of these efforts, the coalition has developed a series of proposals that were delivered to the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors at its October 24, 2017 meeting to stop the County’s ongoing collaboration and coordination with ICE. This collaboration and coordination is not only unnecessary but violates community member´s constitutional rights and civil law.
More about Fairfax County’s current policies and their effect on the community:
Public comments presented by Fairfax For All, October 24, 2017 (video of comments begins at 08:17:00)
Declaration of the Residents of Fairfax County, written by Fairfax For All
The Fairfax-Ice Enforcement Pipeline, presentation by Diane Alejandro
“Words Not Enough,” Connection Newspapers (coverage of October 24, 2017 Board of Supervisors meeting)
Fairfax For All press conference, October 24, 2017
Statement at October 24 press conference
1. Call, email, or meet with our Fairfax County officials (Chairman Bulova, your Supervisor, Sheriff Kincaid, and Police Chief Roessler) to tell them you support the Declaration and policy revisions (revisions to Fairfax County Police Department’s General Orders and Sheriff’s Standard Operating Procedures) presented by Fairfax For All. (Contact information for our government officials is available here.)
• The time for resolutions and aspirations has passed. Fairfax County needs to act now to protect immigrant families and our community.
• Current practices create extreme fear and mistrust of law enforcement and make us all less safe.
• We need equal justice and community safety for all residents of Fairfax County. To achieve this, it’s imperative to separate the enforcement of civil immigration law from our local criminal justice system.
• Immediately terminate the intergovernmental service agreement between ICE and Fairfax County. [The Sheriff’s office is the service provider; agreement is available here.]
• Update the Fairfax County Police Department’s general orders so these protect our community rather than attack it.
• End all stops and detentions by the based on actual or suspected immigration status. (This includes Fairfax County Police Department public safety traffic policing no longer leading to the detention and deportation of members of our immigrant community; the Sheriff’s Office committing not to honor ICE requests to unconstitutionally detain immigrants; and the Juvenile Detention Facility and the Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court committing not to honor ICE requests to unconstitutionally detain immigrants.)
• Stop voluntary and unnecessary collection and sharing of immigrants’ personal information with the federal government and other law enforcement agencies.
• Guarantee that Fairfax County public school facilities, courts, and other County buildings will continue to be safe spaces and prohibit entry to ICE officers. Local authorities (in the schools, courts, social service agencies, etc.) must not offer any support or information to federal immigration authorities about students, clients, witnesses, litigants, or any other County residents.
2. Ask people you know to take action.
Call and/or email your friends, family, neighbors, and other members of your community and network. Educate them about current Fairfax County policies, ask organizations to which you belong to sign on to the Declaration, and ask people to contact our county officials. Share this information on social media using the hashtags #FairfaxForAll, #EqualJustice, #EqualSafety. (You can also share this call to action at http://herndonrestonindivisible.com/issue-immigration/#Fairfax.)
Advocate for the redesignation of TPS and a legislative solution to provide a permanent status: Temporary Protected Status (TPS) was established by Congress in 1990. It provides temporary authorization for eligible nationals of a specific country (designated by the State Department in response to humanitarian crises, such as war, famine, natural disasters, and other humanitarian crises) in their country of origin) to remain in the US and obtain authorization to work. When the status for a country expires, the State Department may redesignate or terminate the country’s status. (Read more here.)
The countries listed below are currently designated for TPS. The status will expire on the date listed below unless redesignated by the State Department.
Honduras – expires January 5, 2018
Nicaragua – expires January 5, 2018
Haiti – expires January 22, 2018
El Salvador – expires March 9, 2018
Syria – expires March 31, 2018
Nepal – expires June 24, 2018
Yemen – expires September 3, 2018
Somalia – expires September 17, 2018
Sudan – expires November 2, 2018 (terminated as of that date, announced September 2017)
South Sudan – expires May 2, 2019
The administration is required to announce its decision to redesignate or terminate TPS for a country at least two months prior to its expiration date.
On November 6, the federal administration made two announcements about TPS: TPS has been terminated for Nicaragua; for Honduras, it has been extended for 6 months. (A decision will be announced later this month on TPS for Haiti.) Read more about the announcement here. Nicaragua received its TPS designation in 1998, following Hurricane Mitch, and it has been redesignated ever since. This means that Nicaraguans with TPS have lived here for almost two decades: they have put down roots, gotten jobs, married, had children. This decision will upend their lives and devastate families and communities.
Advocacy related to TPS is two-pronged: 1) urge the administration to redesignate TPS for countries with expiration dates and coming up; and 2) ask our members of Congress to pass legislation to provide permanent status for people with TPS, many of whom have lived here for 15 or more years. (For some countries, TPS has been repeatedly renewed for more than a decade, meaning there are people who have established their lives and put down roots here and deserve the stability that comes with a permanent status). This first prong is especially urgent. (If the administration fails to redesignate a country, it would make advocacy at the local level even more pressing, as more people would be at risk of detention and deportation.)
TPS to Residency Campaign
Letter from Senators Kaine and Cardin, with 20 additional Senators signing on, to the administration to urge the extension of TPS for Central American countries
Temporary Protected Status in the United States: The Experiences of Honduran and Salvadoran Immigrants
Moving Forward: Reflections and Strategies Following Six-Month Haitian TPS Extension
Justice for Immigrants
1. Participate in and/or organize meetings with and calls to our members of Congress to urge them to do all they can to lobby the State Department and White House to redesignate TPS and to enact legislation to create permanent status for people with TPS.
2. Call and write to the State Department (Secretary Rex Tillerson) and White House to urge them to redesignate TPS for each country as its expiration date approaches. Additional outreach could be made to the Department of Homeland Security and to specific embassies. (Contact information for the State Department, White House, and Department of Homeland Security can be found here.)
3. Participate in events to draw attention to TPS.
- PLEASE make time to attend the protest that CASA has organized for tomorrow and read below for other actions YOU can take.
TPS Announcement Action – November 7, 10-11 AM, The White House (on the north side, near Lafayette Park), details on Facebook
DACA & TPS action – December 6, 12 PM, additional details TBA, Washington DC, details on Facebook
4. Support litigation brought by immigrant rights organizations.
5. Share information about TPS and related actions.
Call and/or email your friends, family, neighbors, and other members of your community and network. Tell them why you support TPS beneficiaries, what actions you have taken to #SaveTPS, and ask them to call their elected officials. Share this information on social media using the hashtags #SaveTPS and #ProtectTPS. Reach out to traditional media with letters to the editor and op-eds and to obtain coverage of events and actions supporting TPS. (You can also share this call to action at http://herndonrestonindivisible.com/issue-immigration/#TPS.)
Support legislation that will provide legal protections for people with DACA: A first vote on the DREAM Act (S. 1615, H.R. 3440) may occur soon. Please contact your members of Congress by phone in addition to reaching out to them on social media and/or by email. Read below for 2 actions you can take now to stand with our immigrant neighbors.
1. Call our members of Congress to demand they make it their top priority to pass legislation to provide legal protections for people with DACA.
• Ask them: what is the Representative/Senator currently doing to support DACA recipients?
They may mention the DREAM Act of 2017 (S. 1615, H.R. 3440), the American Hope Act of 2017 (H.R. 3591), the Bridge Act (S. 128, H.R. 496), the Recognizing America’s Children (RAC) Act (H.R. 1468), or the SUCCEED Act (S. 1852).
• Ask them to support legislation (such as the DREAM Act or American Hope Act), that will a) provide legal status and a path to citizenship for people with DACA, b) without providing for tougher enforcement for immigrants who aren’t eligible for DACA, and c) without providing funding for the President’s border wall or expanded detention and deportation of immigrants. You may have heard this referred to as a “clean DREAM Act,” but it’s best to be specific about what you mean.
• Express your concern and support for DACA recipients.
• Ask them to speak out publicly in support of legislation that will provide legal protections for people with DACA without vilifying, criminalizing, scapegoating, or penalizing other immigrants.
**If you live in Rep. Comstock’s district, please add these to the talking points above:
• Request a meeting with her to discuss the DREAM Act.
• Ask her to sign off on the discharge petition for the DREAM Act. [A discharge petition would bring the bill from committee to the House floor for a vote.] [Click here for additional information and suggestions.]
2. Ask people you know to take action.
Call and/or email your friends, family, neighbors, and other members of your community and network. Tell them why you support DACA recipients, what actions you have taken to #DefendDACA, and ask them to call their elected officials. Share this information on social media using the hashtags #DACA, #DreamAct, and #DefundHate. (You can also share this call to action at http://herndonrestonindivisible.com/issue-immigration/#DACA.)
More about DACA:
DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) is a program, established in 2012, that provides temporary lawful presence and relief from deportation for people who arrived in the US as children. About 800,000 people currently have this status (are “DACAmented”). People with DACA are going to school, working (DACA provides legal authorization to work), and living in and contributing to our communities.
On September 5, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the termination of the program. For people who currently have DACA, as their status expires, they will be at risk of being deported, being ripped from their families and communities, and deported to countries that are not their homes, as well as not being able to work, continue their studies, and pursue their dreams. It would be devastating to them, to their families, and our communities. This would affect millions of people, including the 800,000 DACA recipients and the millions of people who love and care about them and depend on them. Congress must act NOW to ensure to provide legal protections to people with DACA.
While DACA is at immediate risk, making the future uncertain for about 800,000 people, many DACA recipients are also expressing concern for and solidarity with the larger immigrant community, including those with TPS (Temporary Protected Status), refugees, and those without legal authorization. Protection for DACA should not come at the expense of tougher enforcement for immigrants who aren’t eligible for DACA and should not be used as a bargaining chip by the President or his administration to get funding for his border wall and expanded detention and deportation of immigrants.