Update on Refugees. 400-700 a Day Being Released by ICE in El Paso. Pipeline to an Overwhelmed Las Cruces

Quick blog today to announce that drop offs at New Energy Economy will continue until further notice. We have drivers to bring goods to ABQ. Nice work team. Local action needed on a terrible water treatment plan here in Santa Fe. Also info on three coming events including GND planning meeting and a webinar on predatory lending & Trump. A very short, informative blog today.

Today, we provide a very brief blog entirely comprised of actions that you could take living in ABQ, Las Cruces, Santa Fe or El Paso to directly support refugees who are suddenly being released en mass by ICE, a very good thing, but also one that requires our support. We have been reporting on options for cash donations, donations of used goods and clothing and for volunteering, but today we have consolidated the information into one place. We have been sharing these posts on Next Door, Santa Fe Community Bulletin Board and asking others to share broadly. In doing so, we have encountered a very few objections, mostly people who object saying that we should take care of “our own” first before using resources on “undocumented” people or other more disparaging terms. Some of those who have been disparaging are driven by myths about refugees and so here, we provide some facts about refugees from the Refugee Council of the US.  Click here for more, but for those who worry about expending resources on refugees.

  • The average workforce participation rate of refugees is 81.8%, well above the national rate of 62%.
  • Refugees are more than twice as likely as U.S.-born workers to hold jobs in general or “other services”—a sector that includes a variety of service roles such as dry cleaning, housekeeping, and machine repair.
  • Several industries rely heavily on refugee workers to support their economic stability. Refugees revitalize industries, and low rates of refugee arrivals of refugees significantly impairs economic growth.
  • Refugees contributed $21 billion in in taxes in 2015 alone. Over a 20-year period, refugees contributed $21,000 more in taxes than the initial investment to resettle them.
  • Public benefits usage declines with the length of residence, and after ten years only 3% of refugee households received cash welfare benefits, compared with 21.3% of the general population.
  • A report in Tennessee found that refugees contribute more than they consume in benefits, paying almost twice as much in tax revenues – including for schooling and health care – in the past two decades alone.
  • Home ownership rates among refugees who have lived in the U.S. for more than 10 years are comparable to U.S.-born families and increases total housing values by millions of dollars.

It is also well worth noting that most refugees are fleeing political oppression, climate change driven changes that prevent their historic food production, and other factors where most often the US, the International Money Fund, the World Bank and the corporatocracy have been factors in creating those conditions. These people are victims coming here for relief and they deserve our welcome and support, an ‘investment,’ that the list above demonstrates will be repaid over and over. So, let’s do our part.

Refugee Support Across the State

For a list of what is needed click here to review yesterday’s blog which also includes how to make a financial contribution. This list of needed goods has been updated.  We also have local heroes here in Santa Fe And in a breaking development, I was told that Las Cruces has had 1300 asylum seekers from Central America released to them by ICE. I am guessing this is at least part of Trump’s ‘retaliation’ for states with sanctuary policies.  Well, the folks in LC are bearing the brunt of this and could really use financial support. Volunteers and donated used goods and clothing can only go so far.   Of course, what is needed most is a government with compassion and for that we have work to do.

  • Drop off for Santa Fe.  M-F 9-5pm at New Energy Economy, 343 E Alameda, Santa Fe.  The list of goods needed is reprinted at the bottom of this post.  We have plenty of drivers, so now we need plenty of goods to ship to ABQ and Las Cruces.
  • Nob Hill Indivisible has also organized volunteers and online donations that go to ABQ Interfaith and Catholic Charities.  Donations for Asylum seekers can be made at indivisiblenobhill.com. If you live in and around ABQ, this site also has information about how you can volunteer as part of a medical team or volunteer in other capacities.
  • Catholic Charities. St. Francis Xavier, at 820 Broadway SE, ABQ is accepting donations listed below and when you are dropping off those supplies, you can also drop off a check as they are managing the shelter system for these refugees.
  • Annunciation House in El Paso. Yesterday I did some research and found that while Las Cruces is the most impacted NM city, it is in El Paso where the biggest crisis exists.  As ICE detention facilities filled, the number of refugees being released by ICE has increased. Annunciatino House is the organization that pays for the hotel rooms in the hotel shelters, including Las Cruces. They operate solely on donations—no state or federal monies.  As of the end of February 2019, 400-700+ refugees per day are being sent to Annunciation House in El Paso, from there Annunciation House coordinates with shelters in Las Cruces, ABQ and elsewhere so refugees can stabilize and await transportation to sponsor families.  So, Annunciation House needs financial contributions very badly. Click here to donate.  UPDATE.  Please use the new link to donate. Their donate button is on the right of the home page.  Let’s Do It.
  • Somos Un Pueblo Unido and Santa Fe Dreamers. Click those links to make a contribution to them. I am sure that as SF moves toward accepting refugees, they will need financial support. And for more on their role and their perspective, see the panel discussion slated for Saturday in Santa Fe.

April 27, 2-4pm. Asylum Seeker Panel Discussion at Unitarian Church of Santa Fe, 107 W. Barcelona Road sponsored by The League of Women Voters of Santa Fe County . Panelists include Marcela Diaz, Somos Un Pueblo Unido; Allegra Love, Santa Fe Dreamers Project; Rebekah Wolf, New Mexico Immigrant Law Center; and Mayor Alan Webber.  This should be an excellent way to find out about looming Santa Fe plans for accepting refugees.

Other Coming Events and Actions

April 27,  10am-1pm.  TEWA Women’s United, Garden Planting, Seed Sharing, and Forming Community.  Join us at the Española Healing Foods Oasis as we begin a new season in the garden and honor our Earth Mother…

– opening blessings and welcome
– honoring community partners and sponsors
– garden planting and maintenance
– introducing the Española Seed Library Project!
– sharing food
Please bring: Sun hat, sturdy shoes for working on the earth, water bottle, sack lunch and an open heart!  TEWA will provide: water, snacks, gardening tools. This is a free event… everyone is welcome!  I participated last year along with a busload of Earth Care volunteers. It was great to get outside, get the hands dirty and help.  RSVP on the Facebook event page

 

April 27, 3pm. Rufina Taproom, 2920 Rufina St., Santa Fe. Kickoff of Santa Fe for Bernie.  Retake will post information about candidate forums, meet ups and other meetings for all credible candidates until our we meet with our leadership team to sort out who and how we support local, state and national candidates.. So, for now while we are just publishing purely informational announcements, you will recall Roxanne and I coordinated SantaFe4Bernie in 2016 and our SF4B bumper stickers are still proudly adhered to our bumpers. Regardless of how the primaries turn out, our nation owes a HUGE debt of gratitude to Bernie. He electrified and activated millions and his policies, once viewed as far too extreme, are now firmly ensconced in the public dialog. Go Bernie!

Thursday May 2nd, 2 PM EDT.  Webinar: Why We Should Oppose Repealing Payday and Other Loan Protections: Join the Coalition on Human Needs and Americans for Financial Reform for a webinar that will tell you all about rules that protect consumers from payday loans and other forms of predatory financing – and how the Trump Administration is trying to repeal those protections.  And you’ll learn how to slow down the Administration’s efforts by commenting on the dangers of their proposal.  Register at this link here.

In October 2017, the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a final national rule that protected borrowers from appallingly high interest rates on payday and car title loans. For years, civil rights organizations, consumer advocates, faith groups, working families, and others across the country have pushed for a rule to protect their communities from the payday lending debt trap. But now the CFPB is looking to gut crucial protections against predatory payday lenders.

Join us to learn why payday and car title lending protections work, and how we can protect them. This webinar will feature expert speakers on the rule change and why it matters, as well as examples of why protections against payday lending work at the state level. You’ll also learn about how you can take action to stop the Trump Administration by commenting against the CFPB rule change.  Deborah Weinstein, Executive Director of the Coalition on Human Needs, will moderate.  The webinar will be captioned.  Register at this link here. 

Thursday, May 2, Time TBD, but evening. Green New Deal-Santa Fe Planning Meeting, Center for Progress & Justice, 1420 Cerrillos, Santa Fe. The intent is to move from listening passively at a Town Hall to talking together about how we take the momentum and actually develop a GND for NM and for Santa Fe. Retake is happy to promote this meeting and this effort, but our role is to promote, listen and support youth who have earned the right to lead. Or rather, we have forfeited that right.  Details in future posts.

Creativity for Peace project, Tearing Down Walls: Voices from Israel, Palestine and New Mexico, May 3, 7:00 pm at Institute of American Indian Arts, Santa Fe, and May 5, 6pm at The Swan Theater, Santa Fe, New Mexico. This is a multi-media theater production that weaves together diary excerpts from Israeli and Palestinian young women peacemakers with original writing by local youth. The one-hour performance will be followed by an extended talkback with the cast on the themes of the play: borders, identity, racism, conflict and reconciliation. May 3 is the multimedia performance. There is also an immersive theater workshop happening at Meow Wolf on May 5, where participants work with the same materials that were catalysts for the play.. The workshop, is being led by an incredible facilitator, Nandita Dinesh, who specializes in immersive theater in conflict zones. She has worked in Rwanda and Kashmir, among many other places. Click here for more information and to purchase tickets.For further information on the workshop, contact Kirsten Szykitka.

List of Goods and Supplies Needed by Our Most Welcome Refugees

Clothing:

  • children’s clothing
  • children’s shoes
  • children’s jackets
  • women’s shoes size 5 to 8
  • women’s jackets
  • women’s belts
  • women’s pants & tops
  • women’s underwear
  • sports bras and camisoles
  • men’s shoes size 5 to 8
  • men’s jackets
  • men’s belts
  • men’s pants and briefs, waist sizes 29 to 34
  • lightweight gloves, caps and hats

Kids’ Stuff:

  • small toys
  • coloring books and crayons
  • stuffed animals

Personal Stuff:

  • Backpacks
  • lightweight lap blankets
  • reusable flat grocery bags
  • hygiene supplies – tampons, diapers
  • travel sized hygiene items
  • lip balm
  • small jars of Vaseline
  • Pepto Bismol tabs
  • individually wrapped allergy and pain medication
  • cough drops with eucalyptus
  • children’s cough medicine

 Food:

  • individually wrapped travel size snacks
  • fresh fruit
  • Bottles of water & juice

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