IMPACT 2011 — Refugee and Immigration Issues Track
Personal Experiences, Public Issues Immigrants, Refugees, and You
In this workshop, we’ll discuss:connecting our personal experiences withrelevant public and political issues;identifying the challenges and opportunities forimmigrants, refugees, volunteers, and supportagencies; andcreating a knowledge base to support our service,advocacy, and impact.
Video: Echando Raices/Taking Root Central Valley, California - indigenous latino groups ﬂeeing persecution, economic and political disenfranchisement for agricultural work Houston, Texas - urban [im]migrant groups confront each other in an unfamiliar place Central Iowa - latino groups work in the meat packing industry, clashing strongly with the white population
Challenges & Opportunities For: The Affected Population (immigrants & refugees) Volunteers Support Agencies, Service Sites
What is our impact?Thinking about these challenges and opportunities... What is our role in supporting immigrants and refugees? How can we support each other as volunteers? Our sites and agencies? What skills, tools, or knowledge do you need in order to enhance your impact?
Uncovering [Im]migrant Voices Exploring the narratives of the uprooted
In this workshop, we’ll discuss:the various types of [im]migrant populations;the experiences and narratives of immigrantsand refugees;the importance of the inclusion of the[im]migrant voice in society.
What is an immigrant?A person who comes to a country to permanently settle from another country.
What is an refugee? A person outside of the United States who seeks protection on the grounds that he or she fears persecution in his or her homeland. To attain refugee status, the person must prove that he or she has a “well-founded fear of persecution” on the basis of at least one of ﬁve internationally-recognized grounds: race, religion, membership in a social group, political opinion, or national origin.
Journey of the Refugee Allocation to Field Ofﬁce Hampton, Richmond or Roanoke Refugee Notiﬁed of Resettlement Site in the U.S.They prepare to enter last stage of processing before they arrive: medical examination,processing, other clearance checks. If there are medical complications, they are put on medical hold. Processing CompletedFlight booked. CCC is notiﬁed of the date of arrival. Usually given 1-2 weeks notice. CCC Refugee Resettlement Prepares for Arrival Resettlement Coordinator assigns staff to the case. Volunteer coordinator assigns mentors to the family.Arrangements are made for apartment, furniture, and food (for 1week) for the family. Refugee Family Arrives in Virginia Caseworker/Interpreter and Mentor greet new refugee family at airport. Bring them to their new home.
Journey of the Refugee Refugee Flees Homeland Africa – Somalia, Liberia, Nigeria, Sudan, Congo Asia- Vietnam, Bhutan, Burma (Myanmar) Iraq, Iran, Afghanistan Former Soviet Union, Bosnia United Nations High Commissioner of Refugees Repatriation (to be sent to mother country) Nationalization (stay in the country they ﬂed to) Third Country Asylum or Resettlement (less than 1% of refugee population) U.S. Department of State/DHS/CISConducts interview at Migration Processing Center with refugee to determine resettlement eligibility Allocation to Domestic Resettlement AgencyMigration and Refugee Services, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops Allocation to Resettlement Site Commonwealth Catholic Charities
What is exile? A person who is voluntarily absent from theirhome country, or a person who has been expelled from their home country.
What is an asylee?A person in the United States or at a port of entry who seeks protection on the grounds of persecution or a “well-founded fear of persecution.”
What is an internally displaced person (IDP)? A person who has been forced to ﬂee his/her home because of war or fear of persecution, but remains in their home country.
Understanding through ArtAs you analyze the art in small groups, create a skit that addresses: The experience of the artist’s intentions and your interpretations The events, beliefs, or people that may have been affected by or are related to the work The artistic choices used and why The historical, political, social, cultural, or spiritual contexts of the work
DiscussionConsidering these pieces of art and your own experiences, let’s think aboutsome of these questions: How did your depictions of the characters in your skits with the history and experiences of refugees and immigrants? Which characteristics of the art inﬂuenced your skit most strongly? What are some of the misconceptions of [im]migrant community that could be challenged with what you learned today? What role does art play in movements for refugee or immigrant rights?
“To Legalize or Not to Legalize?”Tracing the political history of refugee and immigrant issues
In this workshop, we’ll discuss:personal and public perceptions of refugees andimmigrants;the history of relevant immigrant and refugeepolicy; andthe responsibility and opportunity to beinformed on the issues as a service provider.
Perceptions on [Im]migrationShould immigrants/refugees be allowed to cometo this country? Under what conditions?Should the number of immigrants/refugeesentering the country be limited? By whatmeasures?Should Americans have concerns about newimmigrants/refugees coming to America? Whatmight those be?
[Im]Migration Myths and Facts MYTH FACT “They don’t pay All pay taxes (income, property, sales, or other). This taxes.” amounts to between $90-$140 billion annually. “They take They pay $20-$30 billion more than the amount of welfare.” government services they actually use.“They send all their Their purchases, households, and businesses bring money back home” $162 billion in tax revenue to the US government.
[Im]Migration Myths and Facts MYTH FACT “They take jobs and Many American “big businesses” create jobs opportunities away speciﬁcally for migrant workers. from Americans.” “They are a drain They typically ﬁll low-skill and high-skill gaps and on the US arrive in “prime working time” (contributing labor and tax revenue). economy.” “They don’t want to Over 75% speak English “well” within 10 years.learn English or become Over 33% become naturalized citizens, which Americans.” includes being ﬂuent in English “They come here Over 75% of immigrants are legal permanent illegally.” residents in the US.
[Im]migration LegislationWhile reviewing a section of this timeline in your small group,consider... The key policies established in that timeframe What the policies were addressing and why What other international or national inﬂuences (events, belief systems) that could have affected the creation of that policy The actual or likely impact of that policy on
Informing Our ServiceLet’s discuss how this information can inform our services: Which policies stood out to you and why? How does policy affect [im]migrant communities? Which policies are you most passionate about? What are the policy opportunities today?
Your Service ToolkitA roundtable discussion on essentialskills for working with immigrants and refugees
In this workshop, we’ll discuss:the organizational structure of a typical refugee/immigrant support agency;the skills sets necessary to build organizationalcapacity and enhance community impact;our shared experiences, best practices, programmodels, and ideas for building individual andcollective capacity.
Guest Presenter: Kurt Crays Director for Grants Development, Immigrant and Refugee Services (LIRS)For over 70 years Lutheran Immigration and Refugee Service has led a ministry ofwelcome to America’s most vulnerable newcomers. We live out our mission ofwelcome in the bold hope that our vision will become reality and the values wehold most dear will be embraced by all.VisionAll migrants and refugees are protected, embraced and empowered in a world ofjust and welcoming communities.
Roundtable Discussion:Building Skills to Work with [Im]migrants Cultural competency ESL Teaching Knowledge about other social services/access to them Psychosocial counseling Working with youth Reversing stigmas & stereotypes etc.
Now What?: Making anIMPACT for Refugees and Immigrants A career and advocacy panel
PresentersGiuseppe Cespedes, Citizenship Now!Kurt Crays, Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee ServicesOmekongo Dibinka, Motivational speaker & refugeeactivistDr. Robert Sitler, Latin American Studies professor