News You May Have Missed: December 27, 2020

Claremont United Methodist Church, 2019. Photo credit Tom Marshall.

As the Claremont United Methodist Church wrote when this display appeared last year, “In a time in our country when refugee families seek asylum at our borders and are unwillingly separated from one another, we consider the most well-known refugee family in the world. Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, the Holy Family. Shortly after the birth of Jesus, Joseph and Mary were forced to flee with their young son from Nazareth to Egypt to escape King Herod, a tyrant. They feared persecution and death. What if this family sought refuge in our country today?
“Imagine Joseph and Mary separated at the border and Jesus no older than two taken from his mother and placed behind the fences of a Border Patrol detention center as more than 5,500 children have been the past three years…In the Claremont United Methodist Church nativity scene this Christmas, the Holy Family takes the place of the thousands of nameless families separated at our borders.”

News You May Have Missed is taking the week off–but the news is not. To keep up efficiently, we recommend the indefatigable Heather Cox Richardson, whose nightly letters guided us over the last year. On December 23, she had some plausible theories on why Trump refused to sign the relief bill until December 27.

If you are planning some end-of-year donations, here are some possibilities:

The Al Otro Lado bail fund (scroll down) makes it possible for asylum-seekers in detention to be released to sponsors. The fund revolves, so that when the asylum-seeker has met all their obligations, the funds become available to someone else.

The Florence Immigrant & Refugee Rights Project in Arizona provides free legal and social services to detained men, women, and children under threat of deportation.

ALDEA–the People’s Justice Center, represents families in detention in Pennsylvania, including the 28 families who refused to relinquish their children.

RAICES believes that “no child should go to court alone,” and so represents children and families pro bono on immigration issues in Texas–over 37,000 of them in 2018.

In Canada, the Migrant Rights Network organizes against immigrant detention and for the rights of migrant workers who work in the fields and in care settings. Many have fallen ill with COVID but are deprived of access to governmental relief funds.

The Innocence Project works to free people who are wrongfully convicted and to reform the justice system. Take a look at the cases and notice how long people served before they were exonerated.

If you want to make sure that the Biden agenda has a chance of succeeding, Fair Fight is a good place to donate; they are working on the Georgia runoff elections and for electoral justice in Georgia in general.

As you know, millions of people in the U.S. will be missing a week of unemployment payments and several weeks delay in receiving subsequent checks because of Trump’s refusal to sign the COVID relief bill on time–so if you are in a position to assist, your local food banks will need your help right away.

We join everyone here in hoping for a much better 2021, especially for those hit hardest by 2020.