CONTINUE OUR ADVOCACY PARTY!
“Do not get lost in a sea of despair. Be hopeful, be optimistic. Our struggle is not the struggle of a day, a week, a month, or a year, it is the struggle of a lifetime. Never, ever be afraid to make some noise and get in good trouble, necessary trouble.” —Representative John Lewis
This week’s actions come from, or build on, Sunday’s TWWSJ VIP (Virtual/In-person) Advocacy Party. Pick any or all to start this week off right!
Today’s issue: Stand up for immigrants
What you can do:
1. Call your Senators and Member of Congress and urge them to stop funding abuse. You can use this script from Americans of Conscience and 5 Calls:
“With nearly 200 detention-related deaths and no accountability for safety and medical violations, ICE does not deserve further government funding. ICE perpetuates the lie that undocumented immigrants are dangerous criminals rather than vulnerable people seeking a better life. As a taxpayer, I don’t want another dollar spent on ICE or construction of more prison camps. Congress must advocate for an immigration enforcement structure that preserves immigrants’ due process rights and basic human dignity. [When talking to your MoC] I especially ask the Representative to support Rep. Pocan’s bill abolishing ICE.”
- Sen. Dianne Feinstein: (202) 224-3841 or (415) 393-0707
- Sen. Kamala Harris: (202) 224-3553 or (415) 355-9041
- Rep. Zoe Lofgren: (202) 225-3072 or (408) 271-8700
- Rep. Ro Khanna: (202) 225-2631 or (408) 436-2720
- Rep. Anna Eshoo: (202) 225-8104 or (408) 245-2339
- 1-844-USA-0234 to find your MoCs)
2. Already called about defunding ICE? Then call your Senators and Member of Congress and urge them to advocate for lowering immigration bond amounts. Currently those bond fees are higher than under previous administrations, up to $25,000 per person, which keeps people in detention longer and families separated.
While you’re at it, if you haven’t already donated to RAICES, that organization is focused on paying immigrants’ bonds to hasten family reunification.
3. Use Resistbot or the website comment form to contact Governor Jerry Brown and demand that California resources be used to bring families together under the process of asylum, not separate them. You can use this sample text:
“Please do everything in your power to push for the reunification of immigrant families and the protection of children being held in our state. California resources should be used to bring families together under the shelter of asylum, not to wrench them apart. Separating families creates lasting trauma and violence, which will affect all of us.”
4. Call the Dept. of Justice comment line (202-353-1555) to tell Attorney General Jeff Sessions not to restrict access to asylum for vulnerable people fleeing domestic and gang violence. And, more importantly, not to enact even more sweeping regulations that have apparently been proposed. Reportedly these new regulations would mean that anyone convicted of entering the US illegally would become ineligible for asylum (this is not currently the case), would penalize Central Americans who did not seek asylum in Mexico, and otherwise dramatically tighten the standards for asylum, making it impossible for most people to qualify.
5. Call your bank (or the bank issuing your credit card) and demand that they end their investments in U.S. immigration detention. A report last week names six main banks that have played the largest role in financing debt issued by CoreCivic and The GEO Group, the two largest private prison contractors in the U.S, whose stocks, unsurprisingly, are soaring. The six banks are: Wells Fargo, Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, BNP Paribas (parent company of Bank of the West), SunTrust, and U.S. Bancorp (U.S. Bank).
You can use this script to email or write to urge divestment:
“I’m a ___ customer and am concerned about this bank’s continued investment in CoreCivic and Geo Group. These companies ignore federal regulations, leading to abuse, neglect, and death for people in their facilities. They are ruthlessly profiting off victims of our anti-immigrant policies. I urge you to cut financial ties immediately and end your investment in immigration detention. History will remember the decision you make.”
Here’s the contact information I was able to dig up:
- JP Morgan/Chase:
CEO Jamie Dimon
270 Park Avenue
New York, N.Y 10005
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Wells Fargo:
CEO Timothy J. Sloan
420 Montgomery St.
San Francisco, CA 94104
Email: email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org (not verified)
- US Bank / US Bancorp:
CEO Andy Cecere
800 Nicollet Mall
Minneapolis, MN 55402-4302
- Bank of America:
CEO Brian T. Moynihan
Bank of America Corporate Center, 00 North Tryon Street
Charlotte, NC 28255
- Bank of the West (via parent company BNP Paribas)
CEO Jean-Laurent Bonnafe
* CEO of the Bank of the West is Nandita Bakhshi, for whom I couldn’t find an email address
BNP Paribas U.S. office:
787 Seventh Avenue – The Equitable Tower
New York, NY 10019
Bank of the West Corporate Headquarters:
180 Montgomery Street
San Francisco, CA 94104
6. If you’re a teacher, please check out this Facebook post about your retirement funds being invested in mass incarceration.
Stay tuned! Tomorrow’s actions will be about the Supreme Court and the need for a fair, unbiased, moderate judiciary.