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5 Ways You Can Support the Immigrant and Refugee Communities in the District

Posted on September 20, 2018

Many of the people we serve are very entrenched and deeply affected by current policies.

We stand in support of our client community as we labor to provide effective continuum of care services for vulnerable men, women, and children.

1. Educate yourself on policy & organizations that are providing direct aid for those affected

An asylum seeker is someone who has fled persecution in their home country and has applied for protection, but has not yet received any legal recognition or status. An asylum seeker, like a refugee, faces well-founded fears of persecution based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion, and membership in a particular social group.

Asylum seekers begin the asylum process once they arrive in the United States, whereas refugees are resettled by the U.S. government and arrive in the U.S. with already established refugee status.

An estimated 465,000 U.S. asylum applications are currently pending.  The unprecedented backlog means asylum seekers can wait more than six years before their immigration legal case is resolved.

It is not illegal to seek asylum.

Policies have been shifting and changing fast, current policies can be found here: Key facts about US Immigration Policy and Proposed Changes from the Pew Research Center.

2. Show up & Speak out

Call your members of Congress every day to let them know you support immigrants and refugees, there is power in numbers so be persistent and share with friends and family about how they can contact their elected officials.

3. Interrupt ICE, attend a rapid response to ICE training

Interactive map of all ICE Detention Centers in the United States

Sanctuary DMV has a toolkit of resources in the DC, Maryland, and Virginia area for those who are looking to take action in the community. Sanctuary DMV is a solidarity group that pledges to resist policy proposals to target and deport millions of undocumented immigrants and discriminate against marginalized communities including those who are black, indigenous, Muslim, latinx, and LGBTQ+.

4. Get involved locally

Sustainable change starts at a grassroots level—in your community, at your place of worship, at your school, in your workplace, at your neighborhood association, and even on public transit. There is power in numbers and strength in community.

Bring information and resource guides to your neighborhood association meetings, make it a point to help neighbors get registered to vote, make sure you’re properly registered to vote and know where your precinct is and how to get there, and look for community events and protests near you to get involved.

5. Share your skills & Respect other privacy

Going beyond sharing posts on social media comes with donating money to local causes that need support. Knowing when to respect someone’s privacy while advocating is important, do not share someone’s story or name unless they give you explicit permission to do so. Sharing someone's story without permission makes for more trouble and is exploitative of their experiences. The best storyteller is the person with lived experience so know when to step back.


1525 Newton St NW
Washington, DC 20010
(202) 737-9311

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