Allies Safety Network
In January of 2017, a group of activists gathered at the Peace and Justice Center to discuss starting a hotline to support immigrants facing harassment. We called ourselves Friends Safety Network. We soon learned that many people in Sonoma County were meeting to consider such a hotline. We changed our name to Allies Safety Network and joined with the efforts of other groups brought together by North Bay Organizing Project and formed the North Bay Rapid Response Network hotline of Sonoma and Napa (and now Solano) Counties. After the Trump election this hotline model was being used to set up hotlines up and down the West Coast as well across the US. The RRN hotline model was formed by DACA individuals, other community immigrant activists and immigration support groups around the country and is intended to monitor immigration enforcement activities under the Trump administration and provide support to detained immigrants as well as to show support for the larger immigrant community.
In late 2017 Allies Safety Network stepped in to do continual monthly meetings/trainings for people who are doing or want to do "accompaniment" support work in conjunction with the hotline and also with immigrant individuals and families who did not make their needs known through the hotline. Accompaniment is the support work needed by individuals and families who are being threatened by immigration enforcement e.g. they have lost their Temporary Protective Status** or have been detained or deported and they or their families need support at courts or for basic survival needs. For families who are divided by being detained, accompaniers will gather resources needed by the family members left behind after a detention or a deportation, including legal referral, advocacy, court attendance, rides, connection to community services and more.
Allies Safety Network has had regular monthly meetings since August 2017 at the Peace & Justice Center on one Saturday morning each month for Accompaniers to talk about what they are doing in their communities for accompaniment work and what support or training they need.
Presenters and topics for our trainings have included:
Ronit Rubinoff, Legal Aid of Sonoma County on Immigrant Family Preparedness and Guardianship
Alexa Riner, Allies Safety Network on the NEAT Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Team model
Rick Coshnear, VIDAS/Vital Immigrant Defense Advocacy Services on legal processes immigrants face
Doris Reyes, Sonoma Valley La Luz on Employers Rights & Responsibilities in the Workplace under CA AB450
Claudia Robbins, Sonoma Valley Action Coalition on the Faith in Action model of accompaniment to immigration court hearings
Emilia Carbajal, Graton Labor Center on Social Media and Immigrant Deportation Defense
Jina Brooks, LMFT on how to accompany with respect for the immigrant family, "person-centered" accompaniment
Henry Kaku, Sonoma County Japanese American Citizens League Oral History Project on WW2 Japanese Internment
Stephen Zollman, Sebastopol family law attorney, former SF Public Defender on assisting immigrants at the border, building asylum claims, immigration & family law, accompanying defendants to court, LGBTQI/HIV asylum.
In August, Allies Safety Network will host Alejandra Torres, Catholic Charities Education Coordinator, who will address our monthly meeting/training and clarify the Catholic Charities services available for immigrants. Catholic Charities is the largest nonprofit immigration service in Northern California and helps the entire community with food assistance (emergency/immediate and assistance signing up for CalFresh), shelter and housing, supportive services such as employment, managing finances, repairing credit, mental health and stability services and senior services. Join us for this event on Saturday, August 11th from 10-12 noon at the Peace & Justice Center, 467 Sebastopol Ave, Santa Rosa. Attend our regular meetings/trainings at the Sonoma County Peace & Justice Center, often on the 2nd Saturday of the month, usually from 10 am-12 noon.
Temporary Protected Status or TPS has been rescinded by the Trump Administration for immigrants from El Salvador, Haiti, Nicaragua, Honduras, Sudan. Yemen, Somalia, Syria and South Sudan TPS holders face uncertain futures and the first 3 of these are included in the travel ban. TPS immigrants in the US include approximately 400,000 people who will now be designated as undocumented. Many of these asylum seekers have been in the US for up to 27 years after being granted TPS because they faced human rights abuses, violence and natural disasters in their home countries. Many still face human rights abuses or violent threats in their countries of origin if they return.