1. UPDATE ON THE REFUGEE FAMILY
As you know, Yassir has a full-time job with the Coca-Cola Company on Riva Road. Anne E. was extremely helpful in getting him up-to-speed with applications in our country. He seems to be very happy with his job and grateful for his opportunity.
Their Green Card Applications are still in process and no news on them so far.
We just paid for their car insurance for the next full year ($1,026) and he asked me to tell everyone that his family is so grateful for the help we have given them, especially as he knows not every refugee family has been as lucky as they have been. I told him that we were glad to do it! He told me that his family would like to have another visit to our church so they can personally thank us.
We have set the date for October 15th following the worship service. We will have a potluck luncheon at this time with halal food (no pork or shellfish). Fruit, vegetable, couscous, rice dishes would be great.
Noor and the children are doing well and looking forward to the new school year. They were able to extend the lease on their home, so the kids are able to continue in the same school.
2. UPDATE ON GUILLERMO'S FAMILY
(We have to be somewhat vague with this information for obvious safety reasons). Guillermo was flown by ICE to his home country in handcuffs (!) which made the flight safety announcements rather a joke... He had to remain in hiding the whole time and after two weeks the gangs showed up demanding money or else. Our Annapolis network flew him to one of the islands for safety where he can remain for a few months. The Washington Lawyers Group in DC is helping Suzanne M. to see what can be done to help him either return to the US and apply for asylum, or to apply for asylum on the island or maybe Canada. He told us that all he wants is to be with his wife and the younger kids again.
Our Missions Committee is working on various ways we can do more for other folks in our area and have more of our people participate in this work. To start with: Monica has set up a Sign-In program for both Food and other needed items, as well as for helping to drive people to appointments with legal help, with ICE in Baltimore or the ICE detention center in Frederick. LOOK FOR LINKS ON MONICA'S UPDATE.
Tricia P. and I drove to Frederick to visit the ICE detention center and meet with Sheriff Jenkins and several of the guards in charge of the Undocumented Immigrants. We learned some interesting information provided by the Sheriff and his crew, and went on a tour of the jail. Unfortunately the ICE part was not allowed for us to visit. It was quite an eye opener to see the facilities and meet the people who run it for Montgomery County Jail part (not as I said the ICE part or ICE agents and guards, who are completely separated).
3. UPDATE ON "ANNAPOLIS IMMIGRATION JUSTICE BOARD"
As you can see we have removed the word Sanctuary from the title of our group helping immigrants and their families to better describe the breadth of our ecumenical ministry. We are proposing setting up a formal ministry under the auspices of our church, but in partnership with other area churches. All other member churches affiliated will be under this umbrella. There will be a separate financial arrangement for this Board to keep better track of incoming funds, also under the umbrella of the UCCA. Monica W. and I will be Co-Treasurers. We are planning on creating a Board of 9 to 11 members from the various churches and groups involved. All of this will be done after our UCCA Council formally votes on approving this arrangement.
Our Missions Committee is working on various ways we can do more for other folks in our area and have more of our people participate in this work. To start with: Monica has set up a Sign-In program for both Food and other needed items, as well as a list for helping to drive people to appointments for legal help with ICE in Baltimore or the ICE detention center in Frederick.
Tricia P. and I drove to Frederick to visit the ICE detention center and met with Sheriff Jenkins and several of the guards in charge of the Undocumented Immigrants. We learned some interesting information provided by the Sheriff and his crew, and went on a tour of the jail. Unfortunately we were not allowed to visit the ICE section. It was quite an eye opener to see the facilities and meet the people who run the jail for Montgomery County (The ICE detention has its own ICE agents and guards and is completely separate from the Montgomery County Jail.)
Thanks again for all your help for our neighbors in need of help in these very serious situations!! You have been marvelous !!
Hildy Cardaci, Missions Chair