Delegation for Individuals and Small Groups

Taryn Kearns participated in BorderLinks’ August 2017 Delegation for Individuals and Small Groups.  Normally BorderLinks works with pre-existing groups, but twice a year we offer an opportunity for individuals and groups of less than five to participate in a delegation.  Taryn  had heard about BorderLinks through a friend and believed it to be a great way to learn about issues she cares about.
 
“Being able to connect with people that were willing to express their stories, that is something I would have been able to do without BorderLinks,” she said.
 
Taryn reports her experience as “being challenging in a good way”. She met a variety of people with different personalities and perspectives and said that BorderLinks’ practice of creating brave spaces allowed people in the group to be vulnerable with each other. What Taryn liked most about her experience was being introduced to new perspectives on social justice issues, allowing her to further her own personal, academic, and professional goals.
 
In the half-year since her delegation experience, Taryn has maintained contact with people she met in a detention center visit, drawn on her BorderLinks experience in her graduate school studies, and led a BorderLinks peer-to-peer fundraising drive.
 
Taryn recommends that interested people participate in a Delegation for Individuals and Small Groups. “What BorderLinks experiential learning does is very powerful. There is no better way of learning something then putting yourself in the environment.”
 
Upcoming Delegations for Individuals and Small Groups take place August 6-10, 2018, and February 4-8, 2019. More information can be found here or by emailing info@borderlinks.org.

BorderLinks Community Fund

Community partners are essential to the BorderLinks experience, and BorderLinks has developed one more way to give back to those who give so much to us: the BorderLinks Community Fund.

Representatives of our community partners meet with BorderLinks delegations, taking time and energy from their regular duties. We give back to them in many ways, including this new Fund, which we expect will continue in future years. The Fund is available from the beginning of the fiscal year until funds run out and provides grants in two amounts, $500 and $200. We started the fiscal year (July 1st) with $4,000 in the Fund; at this point, $900 remains.

Among this year’s grants: 

  • Derechos Humanos: $500 for their Abuse Clinic, where undocumented people can receive advice about wage theft, landlord maltreatment, and other problems.
  • Indivisible Tohono and the Emerge! Center for Domestic Violence: $500 to help pay for meals during a 2-day workshop called “A Call to Men,” addressing domestic violence on the Tohono reservation.

More information about the BorderLinks community fund can be found here

Help Derik remove his monitoring bracelet

Derik Alvarez, who has told many BorderLinks delegations about his migration experience, can have his ankle monitoring bracelet removed if he pays 80% of his $12,000 bond.

BorderLinks invites your financial support for Derik, who left Honduras when gangs threatened his life and who was detained by the Border Patrol when he crossed into the U.S. to seek asylum.  He was released from detention on the condition that he wear the bracelet. He is required to pay a monthly fee of $420 for the bracelet, but if he raises $10,000, he can have the bracelet removed. A community member has pledged $4,600 towards that cost, and Derik is now attempting to raise the additional funds.

You can make a donation -- and read some of the harrowing events that transpired in his journey to seek safety in the US -- on his fundraising page.

BorderLinks summer internship

BorderLinks seeks a talented and energetic person who is interested in migrant justice to intern with us in the summer of 2018.

The primary duties of the summer intern will be to maintain the delegation follow-up program. In the course of that work, the intern will learn a great deal about BorderLinks, migration justice issues, and other Tucson-based organizations led by or working as allies with people directly impacted by border enforcement or immigration policies.
 
The internship is unpaid, but BorderLinks will provide housing and food or prepared meals at no cost in the BorderLinks dormitory.
 
The internship lasts a minimum of six weeks but can be longer if the intern wishes. Those weeks can take place at any point between the end of May and the middle of August. Read more about the internship on our jobs page.

Application deadline is March 1. To apply, send a cover letter and resume to employment@borderlinks.org.

BorderLinks delegation for individuals and small groups

Normally BorderLinks delegations are pre-existing groups of five or more people. But what about individuals or smaller groups? How can they take part in what BorderLinks offers? By joining our August delegation! 

The Delegation for Individuals and Small Groups will begin on Monday, August 6 and end on Friday, August 10. Participants will likely want to arrive the Sunday before and depart the Saturday after. 

The cost is $900 per person ($750 for delegates who sleep elsewhere – but we don’t recommend that option), not including travel to and from Tucson. Reduced rates are available. 

For more information, see our delegation information page. To reserve a space in the delegation, send an email to info@borderlinks.org.

Trump Administration ends protections for thousands

The decision this week to end Temporary Protected Status for 200,000 Salvadoran immigrants who have lived in the United States for many years -- even decades -- would leave them with no legal status.

This decision comes following the Trump administration's decisions to end TPS for Haitians and Nicaraguans and may indicate similar decisions lie in store for Hondurans and for others.  

Temporary Protected Status is a protection from deportation and authorization to live and work legally for nationals of countries that have suffered from war, epidemics, or natural disasters. TPS typically includes two-year protections, but it was extended by previous administrations due to conditions in those countries. But now the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) claims that TPS depends on the original reason for designation, not current conditions. 

In the case of El Salvador, a serious of earthquakes led to the TPS designation in 2001. The administration says earthquake-related problems have been sufficiently resolved to terminate the protections. This view does not take into consideration current violence and economic conditions in El Salvador nor how ingrained in U.S. culture and society these Salvadorans have become. TPS protectees have until September 9, 2019 to find a different way to stay in the United States or prepare to leave, unless Congress acts to extend deportation protection.

Please call your congressional representative and senators (202 - 224 - 3121) and ask them to sign onto H.R.4253 - American Promise Act of 2017, introduced by Nydia Velasquez of New York, and S.2144 - SECURE Act introduced by Senators Van Hollen and Cardin of Maryland. Both pieces of legislation would grant further protection to the hundreds of thousands of people at risk of deportation due to the termination of TPS.

BorderLinks Fall Fundraising Campaign

Friends,

I arrived in Tucson a year and a half ago and immediately jumped into migrant justice work. I volunteer with Keep Tucson Together, helping people fill out citizenship applications. I volunteer with the Tucson Samaritans in efforts to prevent more people from dying in the treacherous journey across the Sonoran desert and am currently tracing a trail that appears to be heavily used and does not have water or food drops. But those efforts don't address the injustices that cause so many people to migrate in the first place. As Executive Director of BorderLinks, I am directing more of our resources towards efforts to building a national migrant justice movement, strengthening efforts to change the policies driving migration in the first place.

BorderLinks has been a vital part of migrant justice efforts since its conception in 1988. Since then, we have held fast to our mission of raising consciousness and inspiring action in the borderlands. Now we want to increase and improve our communication with delegates once they've returned home. To do this, we need to raise more revenue from individual donations. You can make a difference by donating to my fundraising campaign right now.

Help our campaign succeed. Your money goes to BorderLinks' unrestricted fund, which means the money can be used in a variety of ways. Our fundraiser this year is dedicated to strengthening the local and national migrant justice movement. We need to strengthen our relationships with local community migrant justice organizations like Mariposas Sin Fronteras and ScholarshipsA-Z, and we need to dedicate staff time and resources to see what has come of the actions delegations planned, and to connect delegations with migrant justice activists across the country.

I've made a donation to this campaign, and I invite you to do so as well. Click here to donate today. My fundraiser runs through November 10, with a goal of $10,000. While we need large donations, small ones are important too. Can you give $500? $100? $25? Give what you can and help strengthen the national migrant justice movement today.

Mil gracias,

Brian Best
Executive Director
brian@borderlinks.org

BorderLinks welcomes new staff member Josue Saldivar

Josue is an undocuqueer Mexican immigrant directly impacted by the risk of being detained and/or deported. His activism started in 2009 when he was employed by ScholarshipsA-Z, one of BorderLinks’ community partners. ScholarshipsA-Z provides resources and scholarshipsto make higher education accessible to all regardless of immigration status. In 2014, he was introduced to another BorderLinks community partner, Mariposas Sin Fronteras, and has been a member since then. Josue’s first involvement with BorderLinks was as a presenter for ScholarshipsA-Z in 2011. He became a BorderLinks delegation leader in 2015 and has led a half-dozen delegations.  Josue's position is a temporary one, funded through the end of June 2018, when the number of delegations drops significantly.

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Staff Update: Patricia Hohl returns!

Long-time Program Organizer Patricia Hohl is back on the staff of BorderLinks.

Patricia left employment at BorderLinks in March. Her return, along with her fellow program organizer and now Education Director Cathie Pacheco, is very good news for BorderLinks.   

Patricia is originally from upstate New York but has called Arizona home for the past seven years.  For nearly a decade, Patricia's studies and community organizing have centered on raising consciousness and building power to change unjust U.S. immigration policies. She has volunteered and organized with a number of grassroots community organizations, including  No More Deaths, the Southside Workers' Center, the Protection Network Action Fund, and Tucson Showing Up for Racial Justice.  

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