Deep Dive: Immigration in Rhode Island

Over at the White House, they’re talking about how dangerous immigrants are, how the election was rigged because of millions of undocumented people casting votes, and how we need to bar refugees and immigrants from our country. The NYT reports that President Trump’s proposed budget doubles down on these themes, targeting undocumented immigrants.

Here in Rhode Island, undocumented folks, immigrants and refugees are just trying to go to work and take care of their families. Instead, they are facing daily fear on a multitude of fronts: fear of deportation, fear of losing their jobs, fear of being separated from their families. The fears are multiplying.

Just last week at the “What does it really mean to be a Sanctuary City?” panel, Raul Figueroa of Fuerza Laboral (and a Resist Hate RI steering committee member) reported that some employees are going without pay after their bosses refused to pay them, reminding them instead how easy it would be to report them to ICE. Another man decided not to file a police report after being beat up in front of their family, for fear that ICE would be able to find them more easily. Many are scared to drive to work, for fear of being pulled over and then deported. Others are choosing to forego health care appointments, instead staying in their homes, where they can refuse to open the door to ICE officials.

There is real fear out there, and there is reason for it. The rules of who to deport have been expanded: the priority is no longer to only focus on criminals. The situation is dire.

But, here in RI there are several bills and campaigns in the works that will directly impact and help the 30,000 undocumented immigrants living in our state. If this issue matters to you, step up and plug in where you can help: at the state level or in your city or town.


Statewide

There are three main issues that are currently in the state legislature:

  • Licenses and Permits: Would provide driving privilege licenses and permits to undocumented immigrants (House Bill 5686/Senate Bill 183)
  • Trust Act: Would affect how Rhode Island police officers handle detainers and holds (House BIll 5515)
  • Tuition Equity: Would give a way for undocumented immigrants to get in-state college tuition (House Bill 5237/Senate Bill 446)

Take STATEWIDE Action:

  • Call your senators: Call your senators and tell them you expect their support for Senate Bill 446 (Tuition) and Senate Bill 183 (Driving Privileges). Not sure who your senator is? Check here.
  • Call your reps: Call your reps and tell them you expect their support for House Bill 5686 (Driving Privileges), House Bill 5515 (Trust Act) and House Bill 5237 (Tuition). Not sure who your rep is? Check here.

City-by-City

It’s not known whether the Trust Act will pass (especially if the 8,000 of you throw your weight around at the state house!), but while the Trust Act works through the State House, another initiative is underway: turning Rhode Island into a “sanctuary state,” city by city.

In late March, the Rhode Island chapter of the ACLU created a model ordinance concerning immigration, which they sent to every municipality in the state. The draft ordinance sent by the ACLU today to Rhode Island’s mayors, police chiefs and city councils includes such provisions as requiring judicial warrants before honoring ICE detainers; assisting crime victims who may be eligible for special immigration status; rejecting participation in a program, known as 287(g), that essentially deputizes local police to serve as immigration agents; and avoiding other forms of engagement in immigration enforcement that can adversely affect public safety and undermine good police-community relations.

Since then, people and organizations have mobilized. Near the center of these efforts is the Unitarian church network here in Rhode Island. They are starting to work to connect with people in each municipality to raise awareness of and support for this ordinance.

Take Action:

If you want to push your city toward passing this ordinance, contact your mayor and chief of police and tell them you want this ordinance adopted.

This handy website includes letters you can print and mail. Also on the website you’ll find the contact information (address and phone number) for all the mayors and police chiefs in the state.


Providence

In Providence, the STEP UP Coalition continues to work on passing the Community Safety Act, which includes provisions related to immigration (as well as a swath of much-needed fair policing and anti-racial profiling provisions):

  1. Police may not inquire about an individual’s immigration status, and any identification issued by a government outside the U.S. like a consular ID, foreign driver’s license, or passport, will be accepted the same as an ID from a U.S. government agency.
  2. The Providence Police Department will not honor requests by ICE to arrest or detain any individual.

In Providence, the City Council needs to vote in favor of an ordinance twice for it to pass. The CSA passed the first vote in April unanimously, but in May, the CSA was tabled for further study. The second vote is now said to be scheduled for Thursday, June 1 (however, an agenda has not yet been posted confirming this).

Take Action:

  • Thursday, June 1 at Providence City Hall, Third Floor City Council Chambers at 7 p.m.: This is when city councilors have said there will be a vote, though an agenda has not yet been posted confirming the vote. The meeting starts at 7 p.m. Show up early if you want to ensure you have a seat. Bring a sign that shows your support.
  • Every day until June 1: If you live in Providence, you can express your support and insist on the June 1 vote for the CSA by visiting (best!), calling (great!) or emailing (still good!) your city councilor. Not sure who your city councilor is or how to get ahold of them? Find out here by entering your address or check the Community Safety Act website for contact info and messaging tips.
  • Canvassing: There may be an opportunity to canvass this weekend and next weekend, knocking on doors to tell people about the CSA and garner their support and action. Keep an eye on the Resist Hate RI events page for updates!

What organizations in RI are working on immigration issues?

There are a multitude of organizations who work with immigrants and refugees and who would love your support and assistance:


Do you know of immigration-relation work being done in your town that wasn’t described here? Do you know of an organization helping immigrants that was not listed here? Let us know at resisthateri@gmail.com. If you know of an event related to immigration (or other progressive actions), post them to our Facebook page!

Rally Friday: End This Lunacy!

Emergency Rally to Demand an Independent Investigation

Friday May 12th - 5:00pm - Friday May 12th - 6:00pm

Emergency Rally to Demand an Independent Investigation

Burnside Park AKA The People's Park
2 Kennedy Plaza
Providence, RI  02903 Map

Stop the lunacy!

Join us at 5 p.m. on Friday to demand that our Rhode Island Senators refuse to give unanimous consent on any Senate business until there's an independent investigation of the Trump Campaign's ties to Russia.

Meet at 5 pm at Burnside Park and stay to make your voice heard!

Do you want clear answers and a real investigation into what happened during the 2016 presidential election? Join us on Friday to demand it!

199 interested  ·  69 going

Update from first Steering Committee meeting

5 months ago

Aaron Regunberg

Hi all, I wanted to share a quick update on the Resist Hate Steering/Organizing Committee's first meeting this Saturday.

It's a phenomenal group of Rhode Islanders, from folks like Duane Clinker who've been fighting the good fight since decades before I was born, to folks like Kate Vander Wiede who are newer to activism and bring in fresh energy; from talented professional organizers like Raul Figueroa to people with totally different sets of skills, like tech guru Cris Potter.

On Saturday they discussed the responsibilities and roles of this body, set up next steps, and then engaged in a very meaningful conversation on the role of the Facebook group, which they will post a longer summary of soon. For now, I wanted to do two things. First, share the notes from the meeting, which you can take a look at here: docs.google.com/document/d/1w-t9fh-9vweFLcrgouSjAJ2aMx58Ro0pzPivOr0TUew/edit

And second, I wanted let everyone know that I served as facilitator for Saturday's meeting for the first and last time. I am not on the Steering/Organizing Committee, so I won't be joining in the meetings going forward. A number of people have suggested that having an elected official helping to lead a political organizing effort raises flags, and I respect that. I'm proud to leave decision-making to Resist Hate's super awesome new leadership team, and really excited to continue engaging in every other way as an active member! Thanks, all. See you soon.
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Hi all, I wanted to share a quick update on the Resist Hate Steering/Organizing Committees first meeting this Saturday.

Its a phenomenal group of Rhode Islanders, from folks like Duane Clinker whove been fighting the good fight since decades before I was born, to folks like Kate Vander Wiede who are newer to activism and bring in fresh energy; from talented professional organizers like Raul Figueroa to people with totally different sets of skills, like tech guru Cris Potter.

On Saturday they discussed the responsibilities and roles of this body, set up next steps, and then engaged in a very meaningful conversation on the role of the Facebook group, which they will post a longer summary of soon. For now, I wanted to do two things. First, share the notes from the meeting, which you can take a look at here: https://docs.google.com/document/d/1w-t9fh-9vweFLcrgouSjAJ2aMx58Ro0pzPivOr0TUew/edit

And second, I wanted let everyone know that I served as facilitator for Saturdays meeting for the first and last time. I am not on the Steering/Organizing Committee, so I wont be joining in the meetings going forward. A number of people have suggested that having an elected official helping to lead a political organizing effort raises flags, and I respect that. Im proud to leave decision-making to Resist Hates super awesome new leadership team, and really excited to continue engaging in every other way as an active member! Thanks, all. See you soon.

Announcing our new steering committee

5 months ago

Aaron Regunberg

Introducing...the new Resist Hate RI Steering Committee!

As announced last month, Resist Hate RI has formed a steering committee to make leadership and decision-making more transparent. We received over 30 applications for this committee — thank you to all who applied! We reviewed the applications carefully, taking input from group members who came to our open review sessions, and chose a committee of 15 Rhode Islanders with diverse backgrounds but a shared passion for organizing effective political and social change. Check out the full list below.

The committee’s initial meeting will be this weekend; expect a meeting report early next week. Thanks to everyone who participates in this group and is keeping the resistance strong in RI!

-- Laufton, Georgia, and Aaron
―――――――――――

The committee:

Bethany Sousa Foster is a finance professional in Bristol. She advocates primarily for reproductive rights, gun control, immigrant rights and voting reform.

Carlos Torres does civil rights enforcement work in his professional life and wants to bring true progressive politics into the Rhode Island mainstream.

Christine Rayner is a physician who lives in the Elmwood neighborhood in Providence. She is particularly interested in how pollution and climate change affect people and the planet, and fighting to change this.

Cris Potter loves RI, loves Providence and loves data. He wants to promote progressive policies through direct action and organization.

Duane Clinker is a retired liberationist pastor, labor and community organizer, worker and educator who lives in Cranston. He seeks deep and fundamental systemic change.

Gabrielle Godino is a lifelong Rhode Islander residing in Cranston with a background in strategic research, labor and electoral organizing.

Georgia Hollister Isman, state director for RI Working Families, brings over a decade of experience in organizing for progressive candidates and causes.

Jane Tucker, of Pawtucket, co-founded Indivisible RI. She sees RHRI as a way to bring groups together to have a stronger impact as a single force.

Justin Boyan, a computer scientist, wants our movement to grow strong enough to overcome corporate power, create social justice, and prevent climate apocalypse.

Kate Vander Wiede is a technical writer by trade. Lately, she's been working on the People Power Providence campaign to pass an ordinance that would make Providence more immigrant-friendly.

Kyle Stumpe is a lifelong Rhode Islander, currently living in Providence’s West End, who is inspired and motivated by the hard work and passion he sees among activists on a daily basis.

Laufton Ascencao is an electoral organizer with a passion for economic justice and Portuguese sweetbread.

Nirva Rebecca LaFortune, a university administrator, born in Haiti, emigrated to the South Side of Providence at the age of three. She is an advocate for education reform and equity.

Raul Figueroa, community organizer with Fuerza Laboral in Central Falls, fights for immigrants’ and workers’ rights on the front lines.

Walter Anthony Jr., a retired Academic Dean (Brandeis) and professor (JWU), aims to help us grow beyond resistance into an uplifting loving revolution.
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Welcome to the Week of Resistance!

5 months ago

Justin Boyan

Welcome to the Week of Resistance!

Today we join Providence's May Day March, 3pm at Burnside Park downtown, or 6pm at Dexter Park if you can only make the rally at the end. Unite for workers' rights, immigrant rights, and climate justice.

From tomorrow through Thursday, we'll converge on the State House from 3-5pm each day, to demand that the law protect LGBTQ+ rights, voting rights, and the right to health care, respectively. Tuesday afternoon will also feature the Senate hearing on Single Payer health care.

And on Saturday at noon, join Working Families to canvass for earned sick days and a $15 minimum wage. Canvassing works!

More activities, including letter-writing and social media campaigns that you can participate in even if you can't make it to Providence all these afternoons, will also be happening. Stay tuned to the FB group and RHRI email list for updates.
... See MoreSee Less

Welcome to the Week of Resistance!

Today we join Providences May Day March, 3pm at Burnside Park downtown, or 6pm at Dexter Park if you can only make the rally at the end. Unite for workers rights, immigrant rights, and climate justice.

From tomorrow through Thursday, well converge on the State House from 3-5pm each day, to demand that the law protect LGBTQ+ rights, voting rights, and the right to health care, respectively. Tuesday afternoon will also feature the Senate hearing on Single Payer health care.

And on Saturday at noon, join Working Families to canvass for earned sick days and a $15 minimum wage. Canvassing works!

More activities, including letter-writing and social media campaigns that you can participate in even if you cant make it to Providence all these afternoons, will also be happening. Stay tuned to the FB group and RHRI email list for updates.

Comment on Facebook

Correction — Sunday's reproductive rights canvass in Cranston will start at noon, not 11am.

April 2017 Community Fundraising Drive — Donate Now!

This month, Resist Hate RI begins a new effort to raise funds for local organizations that do vital work defending Rhode Island communities from the Trump agenda.

RHRI believes that it is especially important to support the work of groups that empower and protect communities here in Rhode Island. The community organizations we are supporting in April are:

  • Fuerza Laboral / Power of Workers
  • DARE – Direct Action for Rights and Equality
  • Dorcas International Institute of RI

We’ve set a modest initial goal of $750 and are already 75% of our way to the goal. To put us over the top, please visit the campaign page at crowdrise.com/ResistHateRI, or just click the link in the sidebar of this website. Your support makes a difference!

 

Update 4/25/2017: We have reached our goal! But that’s no reason to refrain from donating if you haven’t already — help us blow past the goal by clicking here.

Saturday’s Action-Packed Agenda

 

We’re excited to announce our program for Saturday afternoon’s Resist Hate RI Community Meeting at Juanita Sanchez Education Complex!

The Extraordinary Rendition Band will kick things off to get our blood running. Our general session will feature the kickoff of two new initiatives from the RHRI Outreach Team, followed by a presentation from the Step Up Network on the Community Safety Act. We’ll then divide into issue-focused subgroups, with a goal of creating and planning a concrete action on each issue. Each subgroup will include an expert on the topic, but they’re not responsible for the action ideas — you are! So bring your best and craziest ideas on whichever of the following topics you’d like to see progress on:

  • Immigration: Trust Act
  • Immigration: Sanctuary Cities
  • Single Payer Health Care
  • Defending the Affordable Care Act
  • Environment: Climate Change and Carbon Pricing
  • Environment: Fighting Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
  • Providence Community Safety Act
  • Gun Violence Prevention
  • Reproductive Rights
  • Conversion Therapy Ban
  • Earned Sick Days
  • $15/hour Minimum Wage
  • Free College Tuition
  • Voting Rights
  • General Strike Preparation
  • Resistance Choir

Please RSVP and share our Facebook event…. See you Saturday at 3!

Resist Hate RI Community Meeting: Week of Resistance

Saturday April 8th - 3:00pm - Saturday April 8th - 5:00pm

Resist Hate RI Community Meeting: Week of Resistance

Juanita Sanchez Education Complex
182 Thurbers Ave.
Providence, RI  02905 Map

Join Resist Hate RI for our next community gathering - the most hands on meeting yet!

We're calling for a Week of Resistance to start off the month of May. On April 8th, we will come together to plan a host of resistance actions for that week. Work with your fellow resisters to plan and execute the creative and powerful resistance work we need to keep our movement going strong.

New location - JSEC, a Providence public high school at 182 Thurbers Avenue. Can't wait to see you there!

Update... Here's our agenda for Saturday:

The Extraordinary Rendition Band will kick things off to get our blood running. Our general session will feature the kickoff of two new initiatives from the RHRI Outreach Team, followed by a presentation from the Step Up Network on the Community Safety Act. We’ll then divide into issue-focused subgroups, with a goal of creating and planning a concrete action on each issue. Each subgroup will include an expert on the topic, but they’re not responsible for the action ideas — you are! So bring your best and craziest ideas on whichever of the following topics you’d like to see progress on:

• Immigration: Trust Act
• Immigration: Sanctuary Cities
• Single Payer Health Care
• Defending the Affordable Care Act
• Environment: Climate Change and Carbon Pricing
• Environment: Fighting Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
• Providence Community Safety Act
• Gun Violence Prevention
• Reproductive Rights
• Conversion Therapy Ban
• Earned Sick Days
• $15/hour Minimum Wage
• Free College Tuition
• Voting Rights
• General Strike Preparation
• Resistance Choir

Please RSVP and share this event…. See you Saturday at 3!
... See MoreSee Less

430 interested  ·  201 going

Leadership Announcement!

Five months since our first meeting, we continue to be inspired by the way so many Rhode Islanders have come together in Resist Hate RI. This community’s early successes have been recognized by Robert ReichMSNBC, the Associated Press, the Washington Post, and others. And there’s a lot more work to do.

RHRI has developed on the fly, without organizational infrastructure in mind. But the group is now five months old, and it may be time to bring some decision-making organization to the community. We have been reflecting on the March 25 anti-MAGA actions and the controversy before and afterwards — in particular, how there was no real channel (beyond a Facebook post) to request the endorsement or support of RHRI, and how a clearer leadership structure might have allowed Resist Hate to more effectively support all the actions organized for that day.

With this in mind, and with the aim of increasing transparency and accountability, we want to encourage the formation of a steering committee for RHRI — a group of Resist Hate community members that can serve as an official decision-making board. Would you like to have a say in the group’s operation and direction? Please apply to join the steering committee: https://goo.gl/forms/2yvZQVrvknw2aVZK2

This online application form will be open until midnight April 12 April 19.

We look forward to hearing from lots of participants about where RHRI is, and should be, going.  We hope to announce members of the newly-formed committee before the end of April.

Thank you so much for your commitment. This is what hope and resistance looks like. Let’s keep working.

Sincerely,

Georgia Hollister Isman
Laufton Ascencao-Longo
Aaron Regunberg

Want to Plan Your Own Resistance Action?

On Saturday, April 8, you have the chance to take the resistance to Donald Trump into your own hands.

Come to our Fifth Community Meeting and try something new: you’ll work side by side with fellow Rhode Islanders to invent and plan a creative action on issues such as:

  • immigration
  • single payer health care
  • fighting fossil fuels
  • gun violence
  • minimum wage
  • free college tuition
  • Providence Community Safety Act
  • reproductive rights
  • … and many more!

The actions you create will be knitted together into a “Week of Resistance” in May that shows the world that the Rhode Island resistance is going strong.

Note our new meeting location: Juanita Sanchez Education Complex, a Providence high school at 182 Thurbers Avenue. Can’t wait to see you there! Please share and invite friends!

Resist Hate RI Community Meeting: Week of Resistance

Saturday April 8th - 3:00pm - Saturday April 8th - 5:00pm

Resist Hate RI Community Meeting: Week of Resistance

Juanita Sanchez Education Complex
182 Thurbers Ave.
Providence, RI  02905 Map

Join Resist Hate RI for our next community gathering - the most hands on meeting yet!

We're calling for a Week of Resistance to start off the month of May. On April 8th, we will come together to plan a host of resistance actions for that week. Work with your fellow resisters to plan and execute the creative and powerful resistance work we need to keep our movement going strong.

New location - JSEC, a Providence public high school at 182 Thurbers Avenue. Can't wait to see you there!

Update... Here's our agenda for Saturday:

The Extraordinary Rendition Band will kick things off to get our blood running. Our general session will feature the kickoff of two new initiatives from the RHRI Outreach Team, followed by a presentation from the Step Up Network on the Community Safety Act. We’ll then divide into issue-focused subgroups, with a goal of creating and planning a concrete action on each issue. Each subgroup will include an expert on the topic, but they’re not responsible for the action ideas — you are! So bring your best and craziest ideas on whichever of the following topics you’d like to see progress on:

• Immigration: Trust Act
• Immigration: Sanctuary Cities
• Single Payer Health Care
• Defending the Affordable Care Act
• Environment: Climate Change and Carbon Pricing
• Environment: Fighting Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
• Providence Community Safety Act
• Gun Violence Prevention
• Reproductive Rights
• Conversion Therapy Ban
• Earned Sick Days
• $15/hour Minimum Wage
• Free College Tuition
• Voting Rights
• General Strike Preparation
• Resistance Choir

Please RSVP and share this event…. See you Saturday at 3!
... See MoreSee Less

430 interested  ·  201 going

Community Meeting set for JSEC, April 8

Details for our next community meeting on April 8th!

We’re calling for a Week of Resistance to start off the month of May, and we need to come together to plan a host of resistance actions for that week. Work with your fellow resisters to plan and execute the creative and powerful resistance work we need to keep our movement going strong.

New location – JSEC, a Providence public high school at 182 Thurbers Avenue. Can’t wait to see you there! Please share and invite friends!

Resist Hate RI Community Meeting: Week of Resistance

Saturday April 8th - 3:00pm - Saturday April 8th - 5:00pm

Resist Hate RI Community Meeting: Week of Resistance

Juanita Sanchez Education Complex
182 Thurbers Ave.
Providence, RI  02905 Map

Join Resist Hate RI for our next community gathering - the most hands on meeting yet!

We're calling for a Week of Resistance to start off the month of May. On April 8th, we will come together to plan a host of resistance actions for that week. Work with your fellow resisters to plan and execute the creative and powerful resistance work we need to keep our movement going strong.

New location - JSEC, a Providence public high school at 182 Thurbers Avenue. Can't wait to see you there!

Update... Here's our agenda for Saturday:

The Extraordinary Rendition Band will kick things off to get our blood running. Our general session will feature the kickoff of two new initiatives from the RHRI Outreach Team, followed by a presentation from the Step Up Network on the Community Safety Act. We’ll then divide into issue-focused subgroups, with a goal of creating and planning a concrete action on each issue. Each subgroup will include an expert on the topic, but they’re not responsible for the action ideas — you are! So bring your best and craziest ideas on whichever of the following topics you’d like to see progress on:

• Immigration: Trust Act
• Immigration: Sanctuary Cities
• Single Payer Health Care
• Defending the Affordable Care Act
• Environment: Climate Change and Carbon Pricing
• Environment: Fighting Fossil Fuel Infrastructure
• Providence Community Safety Act
• Gun Violence Prevention
• Reproductive Rights
• Conversion Therapy Ban
• Earned Sick Days
• $15/hour Minimum Wage
• Free College Tuition
• Voting Rights
• General Strike Preparation
• Resistance Choir

Please RSVP and share this event…. See you Saturday at 3!
... See MoreSee Less

430 interested  ·  201 going