During my most recent visit to Radio KDNA for the taping of my monthly commentary, I had the chance to talk with Mirta Laura Gonzalez from the Northwest Immigrant Rights Program (NWIRP). As a pastor in Seattle, I once served on the board of directors for this program and prior to my entry into seminary, I served on the board of its predecessor, the Salvador-Guatemalan Refugee Program. As we begin to welcome migrant workers, I am providing you with links to documents you may wish to print out and have available to your parishioners that are of practical value. The first is a booklet that informs parishioners in Spanish of their rights.
The first is the “Know Your Rights/Conozca Sus Derechos ” brochure originally prepared by the ACLU. You may wish to print some of these out for your office staff, key leadership and parishioners. It outlines the basic civil rights for our immigrant community both documented and undocumented. It’s in an easy to use “question-and-answer” format covering the basic rights of immigrants when they are detained as well as their right to an attorney when being questioned. To review this document see:
The second link regards information in Spanish about what to do in case of a raid by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It provides useful information which might be especially helpful for you, your staff and key pastoral workers to know and review in case you find yourselves working with parishioners facing these challenges. To review this document see:
The third document is what the Northwest Immigrants Rights Program provides its attorney for distribution to those already in detention outlining the rights of those incarcerated after a raid and in detention by ICE. Click here to review this document.
Finally, I would remind you of our own educational materials from the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops and its special website on immigration reform. That site is www.justiceforimmgirants.org.
In advance I thank you for your attention and care to all of our parishioners both documented and undocumented.