Dear Editor: The current national climate targeting immigrants and refugees is completely unacceptable. Families belong together, growing and thriving, no matter their background or immigration status. Opting to leave your home country is no easy decision. It is often the only one left to escape violence and turmoil. The chance to seek refuge is not a crime — it is the foundation of this country and of the American Dream.

Our immigration system is broken. A system that favors some over others is unjust, and manipulating families as a means of discouraging immigration is immoral. Let it be clear that Centro Hispano of Dane County (Centro) stands in opposition to current immigration policies that affect the most vulnerable members of our community. These policies are based on political power plays and offer no humane solution to immigration reform — they are exclusionary, tear apart families, leave our DREAMers in limbo, and scar and traumatize generations to come.

What can community members do to take action?

1. Get informed! Get educated!

a. Engage with Centro — follow us and sign up for our quarterly newsletter and alerts

• Twitter: @micentro

• Facebook: @centro.hispano.5

• Newsletter: www.micentro.org/newsletter.html

b. Connect with national and statewide organizations working on these issues:

www.unidosus.org/

https://supportkind.org/

www.cair.com/

http://vdlf.org

2. Contact your state representatives. Call them incessantly. Share your discontent with current policies affecting immigrants and refugees. www.house.gov/representatives/find-your-representative

3. Raise your voice! Engage in action(s) that make clear your discontent. Write an op-ed. Attend a day of action event. Share this official statement with others!

a. June 30 is a national day of action. Find out more: https://act.moveon.org/event/families-belong-together/search/

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b. Buy a limited edition Centro Accion 2018 T-shirt and wear it to show your support for our community. Contact Nina Gehan, nina@Micentro.org.

4. Support local efforts to defend our community! Support the Dane County Immigrant Assistance Fund , which provides legal support to immigrant and refugee families in Dane County. 

5. Give locally — invest in and sustain efforts committed to a thriving, vibrant, Latino community in Dane County!

a. Find out the many ways you can support Latino youth and families in Dane County. www.micentro.org/give.html

b. Give to our youth, who are fighting to thrive, dream and aspire a chance at education! Especially our DREAMers, who are faced with paying out-of-state tuition in a place they grew up in, by making a gift to the BECA Scholarship Fund: www.micentro.org/centro-beca-program.html

Karen Menendez Coller, executive director

Centro Hispano of Dane County

Madison

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