Last updated July 16, 2019

All of us are deeply concerned about the recent escalation of anti-immigrant policies and rhetoric by the Trump Administration. That includes everything from the inhumane detention camps, to threats of ICE raids, to new regulations that would effectively ban asylum for Central Americans and many others. At this time, we find it critical to reaffirm our commitment to supporting our students, who bear the brunt of these policies.

RT works with refugees, asylees, and immigrants, both documented and undocumented. (We don't ask the status of our immigrant students.) Our students who came here as refugees (i.e. from Burma, Bhutan, Eritrea, Somalia...) or Special Immigrant Visa recipients (from Afghanistan), or who have gotten asylum (from Guatemala, Eritrea...) are not targets of ICE raids, but many of our immigrant neighbors are. All should know their rights when dealing with immigration authorities. It's important to affirm that they have the right to remain silent, and should not open their door to anyone.

We've compiled some of the ways you could support your students and immigrant communities in general.

1. #KnowYourRights

Just sharing what to do in the event of ICE raids has proven effective. There are many useful materials online, including these handouts by United We Dream and these videos by the ACLU.

Please consider teaching a Know Your Rights lesson to your student, even if you know that they're not undocumented (these resources might prove useful for their community). Here is a letter you could share (in English and Spanish) to introduce this topic.

2. Advocate

Urge your elected Senators and Representatives to fight for our immigrant and refugee neighbors in Congress. Some useful scripts and social media posts:

-#NoAsylumBan: Stop the Administration from banning asylum-seekers

-#DefundHate: No more taxpayer funds for ICE and Border Patrol

Click here to find your Senator and Representative.

3. Call Rapid Response if you witness ICE activity

-415 200 1548: San Francisco

-510 241 4011: Alameda County

-408 290 1144: Santa Clara County

4. Learn about legal resources

-Find free or low-cost immigration lawyers

-Volunteer your services if you are a lawyer

5. Attend a rally

Check out Bay Resistance to find upcoming local events.

Most importantly--keep on supporting your students and making them feel welcome in their new home. Thank you for all you do!

AuthorAndrew Bogrand