It Takes All of Us shares a story about the power of interfaith organizing and the successes that are possible when hundreds of volunteers join together in a moment of crisis. This month, we follow the story of Navneet Kaur, who took action in support of asylum seekers in rural Yamhill County with her Sikh community, Innovation Law Lab and ICE Out of Sheridan. Navneet speaks about the community mobilization that successfully pressured ICE to release people from detention.
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When she found out that people seeking asylum from across the world had been separated from their children at the US-Mexico border and sent by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to Federal Correctional Institute (FCI) Sheridan Navneet drove directly to the prison. While showing up alone didn’t work so well, she quickly began doing interfaith organizing with her temple, Dasmesh Darbar Sikh Temple and coordinating with lawyers from Innovation Law Lab to support people in winning their right to asylum, and forcing ICE to release everyone within six months.
Their work did not end with the release of those detained in FCI Sheridan though. Navneet helped form the Respite Network with ICE Out of Sheridan and communities of faith across the Willamette Valley and organized over 60 volunteers into the Welcome Team. Together they picked people up when they were released from detention and drove them to temples and churches to stay for the night and supported folks as they continued on their journeys and reunited with family and friends across the United States.
Rural Roots Rising is a production of the Rural Organizing Project. Thank you for listening!