On April 26, 1896, in Chihuahua, Mexico, Marcelino Serna was born into a very poor family. He left home at the age of twenty, and crossed the border into the United States, traveling to El Paso, Texas to find a job and improve his life. Since he didn’t speak English, he had to take low-paying jobs and was soon working in Denver, Colorado on a sugar beet farm.
When the United States declared war on Germany in April 1917, Serna was in Denver working with a group of men who were picked up by federal officers checking the draft status of potential soldiers. To prevent his deportation to Mexico, Serna volunteered to join the Army.
Just a few months ago, not many knew about these five fourth-graders from a low-income community in Indianapolis.
But now, the Panther Bots, a thriving robotics team at Pleasant Run Elementary School, have become the face of a success story about a group of kids who were taunted with racial slurs but were too determined to let that affect their confidence. Earlier this month, they found themselves being honored on the Senate floor of the Indiana Statehouse. The group travels to Louisville on Sunday to compete in a worldwide robotics contest.
Dear People of Good Will,
A new group called Immigration Witnesses is working on a plan to help support immigrants at risk for deportation at this time of acute anti-immigrant rhetoric & action at the federal level which reaches into each state, county, and town. We are inviting local community members to become involved.
There are three ways community members can help:
1. Accompaniment of a person or family
This means that the accompanier will be given the names of 5 immigrant people, and the 5 immigrant people will receive the accompanier’s phone number. The immigrant will call when afraid of being detained and if and when Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officers arrive for that purpose. Accompaniers will be trained by lawyers about what they can do and say when they are with the immigrant and ICE.
2. Holding important documents
This means that the support person will keep copies of Power of Attorney and Guardianship papers so that if the immigrant is detained, the papers can be taken to the person who has the POA and/or Guardian.
3. Documenting and communicating with the media
Individuals who are doing accompaniment will be making videos of interactions on the street or when ICE comes. The people who take on this role will be witnesses about what has happened. They will be asked to write letters to the editor and/or post the videos online.
Contact “El Centro” or “City of Bloomington Latino Outreach”
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