One week after the long, often nasty and divisive, presidential campaign came to a close, Just Neighbors staff, volunteers and clients are still in a bit of shock. The campaign rhetoric against immigrants has manifested itself in confusion and uncertainty among immigrants, regardless of status,
Now that the election is over, we are preparing for a new reality in terms of immigration law. Since it appears that Mr. Trump seems to be changing some of his statements around the Affordable Care Act, we can hope that some of his “promises” around immigration will be tempered as well. In the meantime, we all must work to heal the wounds and take action against fear and hate.
An immediate result of the election has been an influx of volunteers to Just Neighbors. One new volunteer offered the following: “The election results have left me feeling sad, angry, and deeply concerned. I want to channel these emotions in a positive way and serve a community that Trump has targeted for marginalization. [As a recent first-time homebuyer] I want to connect to my community through service.” Another donor found Just Neighbors through Facebook and remarked that she was dedicating her donation “to fighting President-Elect Trump’s horrible policies on immigration.”
Just Neighbors continues our mission of justice for our immigrant neighbors who have a legal pathway. While we fully anticipate the executive order for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) to be vacated shortly after the inauguration, many of our clients are still eligible for documentation under legislatively-enacted programs such as the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). While there is no long-term certainty, we don’t anticipate any quick changes to these laws.
Meanwhile, like the volunteer above, we hope you can also channel your feelings about the election into positive actions. We hope you too can help all of our neighbors recognize the richness of diversity, speak out against hatred, and show compassion to all. “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”
In direct response, our staff has made the decision to increase our regular caseload to add more DACA renewal appointments. This will allow is to complete as many cases as possible before the end of January. As a result, we are in need of more temporary volunteers to help us sustain this through January. Click here: To volunteer
In the next several weeks, our end-of-year campaign letter will be arriving in your mailbox. Please consider how your donation can make a difference in our helping immigrants in Northern Virginia. The need for our services is expected to increase and our capacity to do more is limited by funding. You can make a direct difference for our immigrant brothers and sisters.
[One family of Refugees from the Egypt attended our clinic on Tuesday for assistance in adjusting status]