We want to state clearly the position of YWCA USA: YWCA is committed to ensuring that those seeking safety and opportunity in the U.S. can arrive and live without fear, harm, or discrimination. Current immigration policies have re-traumatized survivors of violence, heightened fears, and exacerbated discrimination against immigrant communities. [We] must prioritize the safety of immigrant women, children, and families.
YWCA Evanston/North Shore is a safe and welcoming space for all those in our communities. And while Evanston is a “safe” city, with policies in place to support our immigrant sisters and brothers, we are concerned by the announcement of deportations and ICE raids this weekend. YWCA Evanston/North Shore wants to ensure all of our families that we will not allow access by ICE/Homeland Security Officials to our facilities. We do not support the current policies and reject the maltreatment of families and children. The family separations that are taking place and the inhumane conditions at the border detention facilities are simply unacceptable. We are specifically concerned and outraged about the trauma that is being inflicted on our youngest children and the impact to their development, well-being and safety.
Know your rights
We hope the families in our communities are aware of their rights, particularly that they do NOT have to open the door to ICE agents, and if agents say they have a warrant, it can be slipped under the door. Unless the warrant has the person’s name and address AND IS SIGNED BY A JUDGE, the person does not have to respond. The American Immigration Lawyers Association has prepared helpful flyers available in English, Spanish, Chinese, Portuguese, Arabic, Punjabi, and Haitian Creole, all of which can be found on their website. The Illinois Commission for Immigrant and Refugee Rights also has many valuable resources.
Please share this widely via social media and through your business, civic, and faith-based networks. We want to support those who have already been marginalized and traumatized and prevent further harm to them and their families.
In addition, if you are looking for a way to express your concern about the current immigration policies, join the rally this Saturday at 11:00 am in the Daley Civic Center. A number of us are leaving the Davis Street El station in Evanston at 9:45, and are meeting others at the northwest corner of Dearborn and Washington at 10:45. Info about the event is at: www.facebook.com/events/693145914482339/