“I was a stranger and you made me welcome” (Matt. 25)
My wife, Ronnie, has taught in Redwood City’s public elementary schools for the past 20 years. This January, children in the 3rd, 4th and 5th grades came to school crying because they were terrified that their mommy and dad might get deported. Many parents draft wills and trusts designating an uncle, aunt or close friend to care for their small children in case both parents suddenly die. Imagine being undocumented parents with small or high school age children who are U.S. citizens. Imagine worrying about an immigration raid (ICE) that quickly leads to losing your mother and father. Your children are at pre-school and no one comes to pick them up or your teenage child comes home to an empty house – these are very very real fears today for many of our neighbors. One family (Ronnie taught their 3rd grader nine years ago) has filled out the papers designating Ronnie and I as the guardian of their three children if they are deported. What a worry!!!!
Two other families who lived at the Catholic Worker for free for 2 years and 1 year respectively saved $23,000 and $14,000 each. These two very poor families used all of the money they saved to purchase homes in Mexico in case they lose everything here by being deported. This is their plan “B”.
Susan Crane has been a live-in Catholic Worker with us for 5 years. Her compassion is legendary. She has been going to meetings of Faith in Action to help develop a network of volunteers who would agree to arrive at nearby locations as ICE conducts a raid. “RAPID RESPONSE” hopes to get volunteer supporters (citizens) to help undocumented sisters and brothers by arriving within 7 minutes of an immigration raid. Packets of information have been developed to help immigrants respond safely and legally to a knock at their door from ICE. These same packets contain forms for parents to designate who will care for their little ones in case of an emergency as well as a page of “Know Your Rights.” If you wish to be part of “Rapid Response” or if you know someone who needs a packet of information, call Susan or Larry (650) 366-4415.
REFUGEES: by Brian Bilston
(READ FROM TOP TO BOTTOM AND THEN FROM BOTTOM TO TOP)
They have no need of our help
So do not tell me
These haggard faces could belong to you or me
Should life have dealt a different hand
We need to see them for who they really are
Chancers and scroungers
Layabouts and loungers
With bombs up their sleeves
Cut-throats and thieves
They are not
We should make them
Go back to where they came from
Share our food
Share our homes
Share our countries
Instead let us
Build a wall to keep them out
It is not okay to say
These are people just like us
A place should only belong to those who are born there
Do not be so stupid to think that
The world can be looked at another way. (NOW READ BOTTOM TO TOP)
- FOOD in any amount.
- Household needs: laptop computers and electronic stuff for teens, firewood (split), a vacuum cleaner for Aida, carts and re-useable bags for the elderly who line up for food every Friday at the Catholic Worker, musical instruments, tools, paper towels, an electric fan, hand soap, Comet, etc.
- Transportation: After housing and jobs the next priority is “getting there.” We need bikes, cars, trucks and R.V’s. By the way, San Bruno Catholic Worker is building a second “Tiny House” on wheels and we need a church, business, or home to park it with a sewer hook up.
- Teacher Assistants for our English Language School–one night a week, Spanish is not necessary. Our
School is growing and now has 120 plus students. Call Pam (650-365-6019).
- A House or money to buy a house for a new Catholic Worker center. Call Larry for a free cup of coffee.
- Work for day laborers. Call Cesar at (650) 339-2794.
- Your ongoing love and support and don’t forget to check out our website: http://www.rwdcw.wordpress.com
Larry Purcell, Ronnie Georges, Sr. Mary Jane Floyd, Jan Johanson, Aida Figueroa,
J. Arthur White, Susan Crane and Doug Herbek