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The SOMA Action Immigrant Rights Committee

The immigrant rights subgroup of SOMA Action advocates and organizes for social justice and civil and human rights for all immigrants, those documented and undocumented (including but not limited to refugees, undocumented, TPS, DACA, etc.), at the local, County, and State levels.  

Although the immigrant community has long been marginalized, there has been a recent rise in the targeting of specific religious and ethnic groups.  The Immigrant Rights Subgroup is focused on fighting against the rising tide of hate among those motivated by xenophobia and racism; unconstitutional policy-making on local, State and federal levels; and the profiling of black and brown immigrants by ICE and law enforcement.

As a group, we will conscientiously work towards being inclusive and open to all potential members and participants , especially those who are immigrants or who come from immigrant families themselves.  We value the voice of the community in all our work. 

We see our work as fourfold:

1) Education:
a. To help educate both immigrants and allies about the various concerns of, as well as rights and protections afforded to, immigrants in our community, county, and State.
b. To help educate allies as to how they might help protect and defend the rights of immigrants.
c. To educate our community about the personal, social, health, economic, and political realities faced by immigrants and immigrant families.
d. To continue to educate ourselves on the various issues and policies/protocols pertaining to immigrants through trainings and other sessions.

2) Programming:
a. To support and contribute to the work being done to protect and improve the lives of immigrants in our local SOMA community. 
b. To work in partnership with local government bodies as we implement the sanctuary policies in our communities.

3) Policy and Procedure: To advocate and mobilize support for initiatives (on a local, County, and State level) that align with a policy agenda that will help secure the rights of and protect immigrants in our community.  The following is our current agenda:
a. Adoption of strong Sanctuary legislation/resolutions in all branches of the government and law enforcement at local, County, and State levels, as well as other policies that might help to support and promote Sanctuary for all immigrants.  To strongly defend Sanctuary and protest against governmental policy/action against Sanctuary cities.
b. Better and dedicated government resources to immigrants – i.e. legal, language assistance, rights education, workforce development, integration services etc. 
c. Accountability of law enforcement and various government offices to regulations, policies and protocols that intend to protect immigrants (namely, black and brown immigrants).
d. Protection of LGBT immigrant community rights. 

4) Collaboration and Support: To be a link for members of SOMA Action to various immigrant rights-related activities/initiatives/groups that are happening in the community.  To ally and partner with existing efforts and amplify the voice (through mobilization) of existing efforts.  And to ally and partner with other SOMA Action subgroups in relevant work.

Contacts: Anita Gundanna, Nicole Pivnick Goldberg, Regan White

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Resources for Immigrants and Allies

Directories for NJ
*immigrant rights and services organizations in NJ
*Search for local legal service providers in 13 languages

Community Organizations in NJ
*American Friends Service Committee, Immigrant Rights Program
*Legal Services
*Tuesday hotline for Immigration Questions:  2-4 pm  973-643-1924
*The Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR), America’s largest Islamic civil liberties and advocacy group
*Centro Comunitario, Based in Union City, NJ, provides immigration legal services and organizes in the community to seek justice, legal status and fairness for immigrants.
*El Centro Hispanoamericano, helps meet the needs of immigrants and refugees in New Jersey through affordable legal services, advocacy, social service referral, community education and organizing, and cultural programs.
*Essex Rising, Supports Fair and Welcoming Policies for West Orange
908 965-0455
*First Friends, Visiting detainees to offer compassion and support, Post-detention support
*Make the Road NJ, based in Elizabeth, organizes in immigrant communities, legal and support services, transformative education and policy work.
*Support for immigrant youth, including help with college process
*New Jersey Advocates for Immigrant Detainees, Coalition of civic and religious organizations
*New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice, The Alliance works towards policies that support the dignity and human and civil rights of immigrants in NJ.
*Wind of the Spirit, Immigrant Resource Center
* supports immigrant communities in Morristown , Camden , New Brunswick , Newark , Newton,  Hackettstown , Dover , Paterson and Passaic.

Know Your Rights – Information and Community Resources
*Advocates for Children of NJ, Resources for undocumented families
*ACLU, Know Your Rights cards available in 14 languages
*ACLU, What to do when faced with anti-Muslim discrimination
*Printable cards
English | (Arabic) العَرَبِيَّة‎‎ | Español (Spanish) |فارسی (Farsi) | Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian) | (Urdu) اُردُو‎
American Friends Service Committee, Immigration Plan AFSC Creole
*CAIR, Know Your Rights American Muslim Civic Pocket Guide
*DRUM, Southeast Asian Organizing Center.  Resources for immigrant workers and youth
*Know Your Rights for Immigrant Workers in English and Bengali
*First Friends, Resources and support for immigrants in detention and their families
*Here to Stay, Know Your Rights Flyers in English, Chinese, Arabic, Spanish, Korean, Portuguese, Vietnamese, Hindi, Farsi, Marathi, Tagalog and Haitian-Creole
*Immigrant Defense Project – Know Your Rights Flyers in Haitian Creole, Bangla, Hindi, Korean, Tagalog,Urdu, Portuguese, Russian, English, Spanish, French, Punjabi, Arabic, Simplified Mandarin, Traditional Mandarin
*Immigrant Legal Resource Center – order free Know Your Rights Red cards
*Family Preparedness Plan in English, Spanish and Chinese
*Informed Immigrant, Important info for Immigrants and Allies
*National Immigrant Justice Center
*National Immigration Law Center Includes Rights Cards in Farsi, Arabic, Somali, and Spanish
*Community education materials to address issues of concern to low-income immigrants
*New Jersey Alliance for Immigrant Justice
*Know Your Rights Cards in 11 languages:  English, Spanish, Portuguese, Urdu, Hindi, Gujarati, Arabic, Tagalog, French, French Creole, Korean
*Report ICE sightings or interactions
*Power of Attorney forms
*Includes these webinars/videos:
The Role of Teachers and Educational Support Professionals in Supporting Undocumented Students
Real Talk Lecture Series “How To Support Undocumented Students”
Establishing Fair and Welcoming Communities – Sanctuary Policies in New Jersey
Planning Ahead: Power of Attorney and Delegation of Authority by Parent
Immigration in New Jersey: Background, Facts & How to Get Involved
*New York Immigration Coalition, Toolkits in English, Spanish and Chinese
*Know Your Rights Graphic in English and Spanish
*United We Dream, Know Your  Rights Flyers in English, Arabic, Spanish, Korean and Chinese
*NYU Law Immigration Clinic, Comprehensive resource links

Schools and Education
*Teaching Tolerance, Immigrant and Refugee children:  A Guide for Educators and School Support Staff
*Teach DREAM:  Making Schools Safer Places for Undocumented Students

English Classes

Maplewood Library ESOL Classes
Hilton Branch – Literacy Volunteers of America, Essex & Passaic Counties and the Hilton Branch are offering Adult ESOL Classes (English for Speakers of Other Languages).  Level 1 classes begin April 11th. For more information, or to schedule an appointment to register, please call 973-566-6200 x217. $25 Registration Fee.  Registration and classes held at Hilton Branch Library, 1688 Springfield Avenue, Maplewood.

East Orange Library ESOL Conversation Circles
Free.  No registration required.
Tuesdays (9-11 a.m. in East Orange Room):  Conversation, Reading and Basic Literacy
Fridays (10 am to 12 pm in 2nd Floor Conference Room):  Conversation only