Just happened to be reading this item about trying to combat gangs in our local newspaper, the Alexandria Gazette Packet:

Carr said one of the biggest challenges facing the police department’s anti-gang work is backlash from the national level rhetoric on immigration. “Whenever we show up in Arlandria, people worry we’re there to enforce immigration law,” said Carr. “Having difficulty building up that trust. We’re a local police department looking for people breaking local law.”

Seldom, if ever, do I read or see a TV report on gang violence where the victim is Anglo or Black. No, virtually 100% of the victims of gang violence in this area are Hispanic.

It wouldn’t take a “rocket scientist” — just somebody other than a 70-or-so-year-old Anglo White Nationalist with a history of anti-Hispanic racism — to understand that you can’t effectively combat or prevent gang violence without the trust of the local Hispanic community — in Alexandria, VA or anywhere else. It also doesn’t take much “smarts” to recognize that combatting gang violence with threats to arrest law-abiding, productive members of the community who happen to be without documents is going to discourage victims and witnesses from cooperating, destroy trust between the local community and the local police, and make enforcement ineffective.

No wonder gang leaders, particularly recruiters, literally “jump for joy” every time Gonzo opens his mouth to utter another anti-Hispanic , anti-immigrant rant. Not only does that give the gangsters “a free shot” at their victims in the Hispanic community, but it’s also is a prime recruiting tool. It demonstrates that Sessions and his restrictionist cronies in the Anglo community aren’t going to give any respect to “Dreamers” or any other law-abiding undocumented individuals. So, why not join up with the folks who wield some power and demand respect  — and who obviously have been able to create a climate of fear in the Anglo community just by victimizing Hispanics?

Here’s a copy of the Gazette article:

State of Gangs




ATTN: “NEW DUE PROCESS ARMY” & ALL INTERESTED ATTORNEYS: Pro Bono Immigration Lawyers Needed In NOVA — Training Will Be Provided By Catholic Charities Legal Services!

Our minister, Pastor Deborah Porras of Beverley Hills Community Methodist Church in Alexandria, VA sent me the following:

———- Forwarded message ———
From: NOVASanctuaryCongregationsNetwork <novasanctuarycongregationsnetwork@googlegroups.com>
Date: Wed, Sep 13, 2017 at 1:16 PM
Subject: Seeking attorneys for pro bono immigration cases
To: NOVASanctuaryCongregationsNetwork <novasanctuarycongregationsnetwork@googlegroups.com>


Please pass the following on to attorneys who may want to help with pro bono immigration cases:



Are you a lawyer? Would you like to use your legal skills to help keep our immigrant neighbors safe? One of the most pressing needs we hear from immigrant organizations in the DC area is “more lawyers” – and with DACA recipients now needing to look at what other options they may have to remain in the country, the need for legal services is especially great right now.


The All Souls (Unitarian) Church Sanctuary Movement Support Committee is sponsoring a training for lawyers who are interested in volunteering on a pro bono immigration case. Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services will provide the training, coordinate case assignments, and support volunteers who are handling cases.

Immigration Legal Services Training
Wednesday, September 27, 2017
6:30-8:45 p.m.
All Souls Church Unitarian
1500 Harvard Street, NW
Washington, DC 20009
The training will include a general overview of immigration law as well as specific information on U visas for immigrants who have been the victim of a crime. Volunteers will be initially assigned to cases involving U visas.
Volunteers must be lawyers who are currently licensed to practice and may not be federal employees. If you’re interested in volunteering, click here to register for the required training, or contact Maya Hermann at hermann.maya@icloud.com.

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Sent from Pastor Deborah with blessings!


There is no greater due process need in America today than the need for pro bono lawyers to represent migrants appearing before the USCIS and in the U.S. Immigration Courts. Unlike criminal cases, Government appointed counsel is not available to those facing removal from the US, even if they have been here for decades or have green cards.

Lawyers make a difference!  In Immigration Court represented migrants are 5 to 17 times more likely to “win”  their cases than are those who are forced to appear without counsel. I’m sure the same is true before USCIS in the area of “U” visas for victims of crime. The “U” visa process is complicated and requires meticulous documentation and effective presentation. I personally can’t imagine how anyone could successfully navagate this process without a highly competent lawyer!

Sign up now to make a difference in someone’s life and to make America and the world a better place.

Note: In my “cut and paste” I wasn’t able to reproduce the “live” links in the original e-mail. So those interested should contact Maya Hermann at her e-mail address in bold above!




WashPost EDUCATION: Alexandria, VA School PTA Helps Families Deal With ICE Fears — Alexandrians Stand With Their Immigrant Community Neighbors!


Moriah Balingit reports:

“In a school cafeteria adorned with whimsical children’s artwork, the men and women hunched over thick packets of paper one recent night, fiddling with pen caps and rubbing their foreheads as they confronted a challenge: preparing for what happens if immigration agents show up at the door.

Some at this clinic in Northern Virginia were undocumented, and others had relatives in that situation. Some had legal status but were not permanent residents, and they wondered what shifts in federal immigration policy would mean for them and their relatives.

Juan Torres, a carpenter from Honduras and father of four, has temporary protected status, but he has family members who are undocumented.

“Of course, I was very worried, because the majority of my family doesn’t have documents, and at any moment they could be arrested or detained,” Torres said.

He was one of about two dozen people who came to William Ramsay Elementary School in Alexandria to learn about their rights while President Trump moves to tighten immigration enforcement and speed up deportations.

Recent arrests in Alexandria and elsewhere have heightened stress. A U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement “sensitive location” policy restricts enforcement actions at schools and churches. But agents last month arrested homeless men who had just left a church warming shelter in nearby Fairfax County and a father in Los Angeles who had just dropped his daughter off at school.

With anxiety rising in immigrant communities, educators and parents are taking steps to allay fears. The PTA at Ramsay Elementary sponsored the March 22 clinic, supplying pizza and providing volunteers to care for children of those who came to hear from immigration lawyers and other experts.

About a quarter of Alexandria’s residents in 2010 were foreign-born, census data shows. Hundreds of unaccompanied minors, many of whom fled violence in Central America, have entered the United States in recent years without parents and landed in the city’s schools. Students in Alexandria hail from more than 130 countries. Hallways at Ramsay Elementary display dozens of flags to show international spirit.”


Try as they might, The Trump Administration is not going to be able to dislodge migrants from communities throughout the US. They will, however, succeed in generating massive resistance to their unrealistic, unneeded, and xenophobic policies. Sooner or later, either Congress must pass needed reforms giving some status and protection to migrants, or the resistance will eventually tie the already dysfunctional system into knots.



Alexandria Churches Walk In Solidarity With Hispanic Neighbors In Arlandria!

Led by Father Robert Malm of Grace Episcopal Church and Pastor Deborah Porras of Beverley Hills Community United Methodist Church, members of both Alexandria, VA congregations joined together for a walk through the Arlandria Area of Alexandria to show solidarity and support with neighbors from the Hispanic migrant community. The walk took place on Sunday Morning, February 26, 2018.  As noted by Father Malm, God sent a perfect day for a walk.  Pictures below.