Election Day is coming. In a year marked by cascading disruptions of “normal life” and the health and well-being of millions, we are now just days away from an event that will undoubtedly bring more unforeseeable change.
At UIDN, we are pushing ahead with efforts to help our immigrant neighbors. No matter who wins the coming elections, our friends will still be struggling with loss of jobs and income, unpayable rent and utilities bills, excessive vulnerability to COVID, disrupted schooling for their children, and the not-so-tender mercies of ICE and the federal immigration bureaucracy.
Let’s take a few moments to see, issue by issue, what we have done so far, what we are likely to confront in the months ahead, and what we will need to do as a network for immigrant defense.
UIDN began as Donald Trump was ramping up his war on immigrants. We focused on “know your rights” campaigns to counter the excesses of ICE, and created a telephone “Helpline” for our friends to let us know the kinds of support they needed.
We joined with other advocacy and organizing groups like Nobody Leaves Mid-Hudson and the Worker Justice Center to reestablish the right of undocumented people to get NYS driver licenses, to keep ICE out of court houses, and to advocate for the creation of local municipal ID cards in Kingston and Woodstock.
UIDN raised funds to help Ulster County asylum seekers from Central America get back and forth to New York City for periodic check-ins and hearings with immigration officials.