When we ask, “Where is the pain in your community? What keeps you awake at night?” True North’s immigrant leaders share the pain of being targeted and harassed by police, neighbors throwing insults and objects at them from moving cars, being too afraid of ICE raids to send their children to school or go to the grocery store. Our vision for immigration work is creating a North Coast that is a safe and welcoming home for our immigrant neighbors. Immigration paperwork doesn’t define who is part of this community - we do. We stand together when it counts: with our families and neighbors, as co-workers and employers.

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September 11 Unity Action for Immigrant Community

True North Organizing Network Leaders will be hosting a community event in support of our immigrant community on Monday September 11, 2017 from 7:00 - 8:30pm at the Eureka First United Methodist Church to present a summary of months of research and host a dialogue with public officials to further the cause of building and supporting a safe and comfortable community with our immigrant loved ones, co-workers and neighbors. We have held countless hours of conversation and research study with community members as well as first responders, law enforcement, and elected officials.

In early 2017, members of the Latino/a Local Organizing Committee based in Eureka approached the Coastal Humboldt Local Organizing Committee to ask for their support in researching immigration in the local region. Their request came as newly elected United States leadership made public statements about increasing deportations and strengthening actions and legislation to support said deportations. Such statements have caused our immigrant communities to live in fear on a daily basis - fear of being out in the community together as families, fear of being pulled over for minor traffic violations, and fear of reaching out to local public service providers for help, especially including law enforcement.

True North Leaders and staff believe that when we stand up for the dignity and rights of a particular group of people, we stand up for the dignity and rights of all people. We also believe in order for everyone to feel and be safe we need community members, immigrant or not, to trust in calling on law enforcement and other public service leaders without the fear of being deported and separated from their families. Throughout research, True North Leaders have built relationships with local elected officials and first responders, and will ask our public leaders how they can commit to working together for the safety and dignity of our immigrant communities.

September 11, 2001 marks a historical tragic event when the nation watched as innocent lives were taken away by hateful actions. This pivotal day also marks a tragic spiral into furthering the fear of ‘othering’, as communities of the Muslim faith became associated as terrorists. Over time, other foreign born residents have been targeted as criminals for seeking a better life in the United States.

True North Leaders chose this day with intention, because as this tragedy struck the nation it unified communities across differences in a time of crisis. As we continue to feel the ripple effects of the September 11 tragedy from 16 years ago, True North Leaders want to create a public space where coming together for a common cause can be safe, no matter from where a person comes from.