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Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Deferred Action Clinic at Norristown on November 27, 2012

The Philadelphia Deferred Action Network (P-DAN) is organizing a free information session and legal clinic to help eligible immigrants apply for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA).

Tuesday, November 27, 2012
5.30 PM to 8.00 PM
Norristown Public Library
1001 Powell Street, Norristown, PA 19401

Click here for more details.

After the information session, attorneys and BIA Accredited Representatives will be available for individual legal advice. Eligible applicants will be scheduled to return for a second day to have an attorney review and complete their application at no cost.

DACA is a procedure that allows certain non-U.S. citizens to stay in the U.S. and work legally, without fear of deportation, for a period of two years. Those granted DACA will be eligible for a work permit, social security card and certain state IDs, such as a driver's license.

Eligibility requirements include:
•must have entered the U.S. before 16 years old
•must have lived in the U.S. continuously since June 15 2007
•must be 30 years old and under

For more information, please contact the Deferred Action Coordinator, Michele Contreras, at the Pennsylvania Immigration & Citizenship Coalition at 215-832-3482 or

Monday, November 5, 2012

Five Days Left to Support New Leaders

Effective movements are lead by people closest to the issues. But leaders aren't born overnight; they need training, support, and time to build their skills and confidence.  On the eve of election day, despite it's great importance- at NSM we know that community organizing is what will help us make the real lasting changes we are fighting for.  We have five days left to double your donation for the New Leadership School.  Double your donation by clicking here to support these emerging leaders.  

The New Leadership School is where leaders and organizers learn new skills and strengthen old ones. It is a complete course on how to organize for change.   In partnership with Training for Change, The New Leadership School brings people together to cultivate skills, identify personal strengths and step boldly into leadership within their community, faith groups and campaigns.

Twenty students attended the first session of New Leadership School yesterday- Sunday November 4th.   These students participated in a physical group challenge (similar to the photo to the right).  When reflecting about the exercise students commented on building a lot of trust, and how the activity showed them the importance of solidarity and community.  Help these students continue to build and grow!  The course must continue, not only for these students, but for the movement.      

We must build on this success. We have raised two thirds of the money for the course, but still need $4,000. A very generous donor has agreed to match up to $2,000 raised by November 9th! We need your help to meet that goal.  We are a quarter of the way there.  We have five days to raise $1,500.  
Can you invest $15 today in the leadership of our movement?  Click here to help us reach our goal so we can host another year of The New Leadership School.

Last year, The New Leadership School supported 15 leaders to learn new skills, strengthen skills they already had and build self confidence. Since graduation in March of 2012 those graduates, including Gerardo, have taken prominent roles in the work of promoting immigrant's rights, not just here in Philadelphia, but across the state of Pennsylvania.

What your gift makes possible:
$5: Copies of our handouts for one workshop.
$25: One-hour of simultaneous interpretation.
$50: Newsprint and markers for the whole series.
$100: Sponsor one class for one organizer.
$500: A full scholarship for one organizer!

One graduate explains, "being part of The New Leadership School opened my mind to new learning experiences. It made me discover a new part of me I did not know existed. Each class pushed my insecurities and self-doubt out of my head. It did not just teach me the tools to increase my skills to get the job done; it also gave me the empowerment skills to grow as a person."

This is powerful. This is the birth of new leaders. This is the work that will bring long lasting and real change. We need your help to continue this critical work.  

Can you invest $15 today in the leadership of our movement?  If 100 more people give $15 by November 9th, we will be sure to meet our goal of $2,000.  Click here  and whatever you give will be doubled by our matching donor! 

Thank you for your support!

In Peace and Solidarity,
Peter, Blanca and Jen

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

The Electric Dad/ El Papá Electrico

(En español abajo)

The Electric Dad….
“If humans aren’t electric, why does dad have to charge himself with electricity?”
“It broke my heart when my 4 year old girl asked me that question.  After having a car accident, the police showed up and asked my husband for his papers, but he had none. He was arrested and held in jail for 20 days. I went to pay his bail of $5000, but the person in charged told me to not waste my money because my husband will be transferred to immigration custody and deported any way.  After 20 days he was finally released by ICE with an ankle bracelet tracker; that is why he has to be charged every day, to charge the tracker.  How can one explain this to their child? After this encounter, I am afraid of the police; if something happens at my business I will not call the police because it will only damage my family.”
Sad. Angry. Powerless. Hopeless.  This mother of 3, said that she could hardly speak when her youngest daughter asked this question.  Her middle daughter can’t understand why they can’t just cut the cable.  The oldest daughter is doing all she can to stay strong and help her mother.  Two days before her dad was released, she cried for the first time.  She held back her tears until that point in an effort to be strong for her mom.  She is only 11 years old.   This mom is doing all she can to keep her family together and we are going to fight with her and many others to make sure more families are not in this same position. 

El Papá Eléctrico….
“Si los humanos no somos eléctricos, porque mi papi se tiene que cargar con electricidad?”
“Me rompió el corazón cuando mi hija de 4 añitos me hizo esta pregunta. Después que mi esposo tuvo un accidente automovilístico, la policía vino a la escena y le pidió sus documentos, mi esposo no los tenía, así fue como termino arrestado y trasladado a la cárcel donde permaneció por 20 días. Fui a pagar la fianza de $5000, pero la persona que estaba a cargo me dijo que no desperdiciara mi dinero, que de todas maneras mi esposo sería transferido a inmigración y finalmente  deportado. Después de 20 días en prisión, finalmente ICE (la migra) lo libero con un brazalete de vigilancia en su tobillo; es por eso que él tiene que conectarse a la electricidad para cargar el brazalete diariamente. Como puede uno explicarle algo así a una niña? Después de este encuentro, yo tengo miedo de la policía. Si algo pasara en mi negocio, yo no llamaría a la policía porque esto solamente dañaría a mi familia.
Tristeza. Enojo. Impotencia. Sin Esperanzas. Esta madre de 3, conto que se le hizo un nudo en la garganta y le era casi imposible responder cuando su hija menor le hizo esta pregunta. Su hija intermedia no puede entender porque no se puede simplemente cortar el brazalete. Su hija mayor hace todo lo posible para estar fuerte y a poyar a su madre. Dos días antes de que su papa fuera liberado se echo a los brazos de su madre y lloro por primera vez. Ella contuvo sus lágrimas con la mayor fuerza posible para apoyar a su madre. Ella solamente tiene 11 años de edad. Esta madre está haciendo todo lo posible para mantener a su familia unida, y nosotros lucharemos con ella y otros para asegurarnos que otras familias no tengan que pasar por lo mismo.

Wednesday, May 30, 2012

New Sanctuary Movement is Hiring a Community Organizer

We are currently working on two campaigns to build a more welcoming and just city and state: to stop the collaboration between the Philadelphia Police Department and Immigration, and to fight a package of anti-immigrant bills in the PA State Legislature. You can find out more about us at

We are hiring a Full Time Community Organizer to join our dynamic and upbeat team working to build a faith-based grassroots movement for immigrant rights. The organizer will develop leaders in the community, build a network of congregations and oversee campaigns. 

  • Excellent interpersonal skills - ability to build and maintain relationships with congregation members and clergy of different ethnicities and faith
  • Comfortable in the language and life of faith, openness to a variety of religious experiences and aware of one's own faith journey
  • Bi-lingual - English and Spanish
  • Passionate about social justice and immigrant rights
  • Highly motivated and independent worker
  • Desire to learn, grow and be challenged
  • Basic computer skills including internet and social media like Facebook and blog
  • Good communication skills - both verbal and written
  • Problem solving skills
  • Ability to work as part of team in a growing organization
  • Experience with recruitment and outreach
  • Experience with group facilitation
  • Experience in planning and running events, workshops and actions
  • Ability to work flexible hours - significant evenings and weekends
A Plus:
  • Bi-cultural and/or immigrant background
  • Understanding of direct action organizing
  • Campaign-based organizing experience
  • Experience building leadership
  • Experience in multiracial coalition building
 Responsibilities Include:
  • Work with congregations of different religions and ethnicities
  • Develop relationships with new congregations
  • Build teams/groups in congregations, spending time each week in congregations and home visits
  • Storytelling - lead small groups in immigrant communities in a popular education storytelling model
  • Leadership Development - identify potential leaders and develop skills
  • Build and guide campaigns - lead groups to identify campaigns, oversee the development and implementation of a faith based organizing campaign
  • Build and maintain relationships with other organizations and coalitions in city, state and country
  • Represent faith voice in these issues
  • Help with administrative work in NSM office
  • Regular communication with director and other staff and participate in decision making of organization
Please send cover letter, resume and three references to

New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia is an equal opportunity employer. Candidates for employment will be considered without regard to race or ethnicity, gender, age, national origin, marital status or sexual orientation. Women and persons of color are encouraged to apply.

Friday, June 24, 2011

Philadelphia City Council Condemns City Cooperation with ICE

Philadelphia, PA – On the afternoon of Thursday June 23, 2011, Philadelphia City Council passed a non-binding resolution “condemning the City of Philadelphia’s agreement with the United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to allow immediate access to arrest information,” which has led to the deportation of hundreds of Philadelphia residents. With Councilman Jim Kenny and Councilwoman Maria Quinones-Sanchez taking the lead, Council urged, “the City to discontinue that agreement with ICE when it expires August 31, 2011 as well as any other involvement in the Secure Communities program or additional data-sharing agreements with ICE”.

To read more check out the One Love Movement Blog

Monday, April 11, 2011

Criticism of the mis-named "Secure Communities" Confirmed on WHYY

Click this link to hear Susan Phillips explain the terrifying statistics of Secure Communities deportations here in Philadelphia.

"Sixty-one percent of those deported due to Philadelphia's role in the program are listed as non-criminals. That's much higher than the national average -- which is 27 percent."

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Save the Date: April 12th Immigration Debate and Panel Discussion

On April 12th, the eve of the Philadelphia City Council primaries, “Voices for Safe and Diverse Neighborhoods”, a coalition composed of the New Sanctuary Movement, JUNTOS, Nationalities Services Center, Friends of Farmworkers and others immigrant rights advocacy groups, will hold a public debate on community safety in diverse communities.

The public debate will be held within the 1st City Council District, one of the most immigrant-rich districts in the City. Two well known public figures with differing view points will participate: Stu Bykofsky, a columnist with the Daily News, and Sarah Paoletti, a professor of law at University of Pennsylvania. Debaters will discuss the impact of local policies on the relationships between immigrant communities, citizen communities and the city government. Topics will include (but will not be limited to): city security policies that encourage or prevent racial profiling; police response to domestic violence situations; language access in linguistically diverse neighborhoods; and, especially, the pros and cons of the current information-sharing agreement between the Philadelphia Police Department and the Department of Homeland Security's office of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

We will also invite at-large and 1st District candidates in the City Council elections to participate as panelists who will respond to the debate once it has concluded. Each panelist will be given a set amount of time to share her reflections and positions regarding the debated issues. We expect a large voter/resident turn-out from the 1st District and beyond as well as noted City leaders from government and the private sector with an interest in the topic and policies at stake.

For more information about how to become a Co-Sponsor or get more involved, email Jen Rock at

The event will take place at Broad St Ministries, at 315 S. Broad St, from 7 pm to 9 pm.

Philadelphia NSM and related immigration events