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The Boston Immigration Justice Accompaniment Network

As ICE incarcerates more and more people, often for overstaying their visas or minor infractions, the Boston Immigration Accompaniment Network (BIJAN) needs additional lawyers to assist in two major ways:

  1. We need lawyers without immigration experience to do intake interviews at the Plymouth and the Bristol County (in North Dartmouth) jails. Interviews typically involve travel to the center, a 20-minute check-in process, and an hour with each respondent.   BIJAN has a detailed questionnaire prepared by immigration lawyers to fill out.  If needed, we can supply a language interpreter. Lawyers are not representing respondents but only take down information so that an immigration lawyer can evaluate the case. No immigration experience is necessary to complete these interviews. All lawyers must have a bar card in order to enter the jail.
  2. We need lawyers with immigration experience to take on cases of people whose intake interviews are completed at Plymouth and Bristol. These lawyers must also have a bar card. If needed, we can supply a language interpreter. We are seeking pro bono or low bono lawyers. Since court outcomes are greatly improved when a person is represented by a lawyer, engaging an attorney is a high priority.  The Network has some funds to pay lawyers and pay for bond. Those funds are often combined with any money family members are able to provide.   
BIJAN has raised over $600,000 to date, bonded out well over 100 people who would otherwise spend long periods in detention awaiting an immigration court hearing, and help hundreds more held by ICE. Many of us who volunteer with the Immigration Justice Network are comforted to know that we are able to help some immigrants despite today’s negative atmosphere for individuals born in other countries and newcomers at risk. We are hoping that some people reading this flyer will want to be part of these efforts to bring some relief to fellow human beings who are in a tough situation. 

For more information or to indicate that you would like to help, please feel free to contact either of us. We look forward to hearing from you. 

Miriam Stein, miriam.stein@comcast.net, (781) 648-0255
Janet Penn, janetpenn559@gmail.com, (508) 269-1494‬
Pandemic Church Webinar

If you missed the Pandemic Church Webinar with Bruce Reyes-Chow, here's the link to the video recording!

Building Stamina for Anti Racism Work

On November 7 and 14, from 10 am to 12 pm, join the Rev. Denise Anderson for two concurrent workshops on "Building Stamina for Anti Racism Work." More information and the link to register will be available soon!

Resilience and Renewal Retreat

We have set a date for a team from Presbyterian Disaster Assistance to run a virtual Resilience and Renewal Retreat on Wednesday, November 18, from 1:30-4:30 pm. This is how the retreat is described:

Resilience & Renewal: A Three-Hour Virtual Retreat

 

This three-hour virtual retreat is designed to give faith leaders a chance to take a breath and a break in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic. Participants will experience essential healing and resilience-building tools, including storytelling, strengthening positive connections with others and spiritual practices. This retreat, grounded in relaxation and self-care techniques, will provide an opportunity to experience respite and offers opportunities for small group sharing in breakout rooms in addition to plenary sessions. Each retreat will be limited to 20 participants and will be led by PDA staff and National Response Team volunteers. The content of this retreat differs from the virtual programs we have offered in recent months (Building Resilience Webinar and Faith Leader Support Meetings), which remain available to all who are interested: pda.pcusa.org/page/esc-webinar/.

 

Registration will open soon!

Advent and Christmas Resources

Join Cindy on Wednesday, October 28 at 1 pm for an opportunity to brainstorm and share ideas for celebrating Advent and Christmas during the pandemic.

Click here for the Zoom link!

 

On Thursday, October 29 at 7 pm, Jennifer Bastien, music director for the Clinton Presbyterian Church, will lead a tutorial on how to create a virtual choir. Here's how she describes the evening:

Making communal music during times of social distancing is a difficult task. As we head into the Advent and Christmas season singing Christmas Carols in the traditional way will not be possible. Until we can all sing together in person again safely, there are ways to create a sense of community using technology. I will show you a way that I have discovered that will allow members of the congregation to sing a hymn together giving back a snippet of that feeling. I will be using the programs Musescore and Soundtrap (both have free versions). Come listen to my ideas, share your own ideas, and get inspired. 

Click here for the Zoom link!