The ITF meeting time is now changing from Wednesday to Thursday evenings starting at 6:30 at UUFE. Our next meeting date will be May 25 and we plan to meet every other week. All are welcome to attend.
The second Immigration Task Force meeting was held on Wednesday evening, May 6. During the meeting Don Barker briefly discussed the ACLU’s Freedom Cities Action Plan that includes guidelines for engaging local law enforcement on immigration.
An invited guest speaker, Carlos Loria, spoke to the group, first about his own fourteen-year often difficult and frustrating journey towards citizenship that cost him over $50,000 in immigration and lawyer fees. He then described the recent trouble of a close friend living in Easton with the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) . This undocumented immigrant is now facing stiff fines and possible deportation after committing several traffic violations.
Dialogue continued over the next several days after the meeting via email.
Don Barker suggested that we can build on the experience and expertise of our area’s social, health care, legal aid, and religious ministry workers to help us understand the challenges and engage with the issues faced by our immigrant neighbors day by day. He shared an article about how farmworkers in Caroline County have been denied access to legal aid and health care by farm owners (VOA 2012)
Related to this topic, Rev Sue shared article about CATA – Farmworkers Support Committee. It listed several local agencies with expertise in immigrant farmworker issues:
- Delmarva Rural Ministries
- Maryland Legal Aid (referenced above)
- Catholic Charities (Diocese of Wilmington Immigration and Refugee Program)
Don will contact CATA and these other agencies to find out what specific activities they carry out on the Upper Shore, and where immigrant farmworker needs are greatest.
Rev. Sue asked if there is interest in arranging for Leila Borrero-Krouse (author of the CATA article) to come to Easton sometime in the next few months for a presentation where we would invite a wider community group. This may put on the agenda for consideration at the next meeting.