Pope Francis Blesses Daughter Fighting to End Her Father’s Deportation

September 2015 was a historic moment not just for Philadelphia but for the Immigrant Rights movement. In his six days in the U.S. , Pope Francis made justice for immigrants a central point of his visit. He implored to the U.S. Congress that,

“Our world is facing a refugee crisis of a magnitude not seen since the second World War…”thousands of persons (who) are led to travel north in search of a better life. We must not be taken aback by their numbers, but rather view them as persons, seeing their faces and listening to their stories, trying to respond as best we can to their situation…To respond in a way which is always humane, just and fraternal…We, the people of this continent, are not fearful of foreigners, because most of us once were foreigners.”

During his visit in Philadelphia over 100 Juntos members held a vigil and sunrise procession to Independence Hall from our office in South Philadelphia. One Juntos family was especially touched by his grace. Adamaris, oldest daughter of Alma Sanchez, is fighting with her family for the release of her father and an end  to his deportation. While waiting for the Pope this 11 year old created a sign asking for the Pope’s help. While arriving the Pope paused to read her sign and give Adamaris a blessing.

We know that this family will be reunited again, and with a blessing from the Pontifex and with support from community and allies we will have Adamaris’ father released.

Congratulations to our DACA scholarship winners!

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DACA applications can be a long and difficult process, especially when going about it alone. So this past Sunday at Juntos we held a legal clinic to help young people complete their applications. With the support of the Philadelphia Federation of Teachers (PFT), we had trained volunteers and pro-bono attorneys available to help people get screened for DACA, start their applications, and complete them.

DACA, Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, is a way for undocumented young people who came into the United States before June 15, 2007 and were under 16 when they came to get a temporary work permit and protection from deportation. Applications cost $465.

The PFT also donated three full scholarships for the young people who participated in the clinics, which were raffled out after the clinic. Below are the three lucky winners:

Annaline Cerón

Ricardo Alejandro Perez
María Teodoro

Felicidades!

If you or someone you know needs help on their DACA application, contact us at 215-218-9079.

Philadelphia Stands United, Rejects Hate Mongering That Results In Broken Families

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Community Based Healing not Unconstitutional Rollbacks

By the Philadelphia Family Unity Network

The recent killing of Kathryn Steinle in San Francisco by Francisco Sanchez is a terrible and senseless tragedy. The pain her family must be experiencing is unimaginable, and they should be afforded the respect and decency of mourning in their own chosen way.

As a coalition of organizations with over a decade of experience working with survivors of violence, we had no intention of inserting our voices into such a heartbreaking and private moment. After repeated requests from the press and local politicians who have been misinformed by those who choose to exploit this moment for political gain, we felt the need to briefly address some misconceptions.

The Philadelphia Family Unity Network (PFUN) is a coalition that worked with the Mayor’s administration and local advocates to successfully end all Philadelphia Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) holds in April 2014. We are immigrant community leaders and young people, documented and undocumented, allies, grassroots immigrant organizations, advocates for the needs of victims and witnesses to crimes, people of faith, leaders focused on the intersection between incarceration and deportation, and policy advocates.

We hold a community-based vision of safety, healing, and justice. We are called by a shared belief that our community’s healing comes from addressing root causes of violence, that we need to end the criminalization of our communities and that all people, regardless of immigration status or criminal conviction should remain with their chosen communities. While we hold people accountable to their actions and crimes, we recognize that violence stems from trauma, from poverty caused by devastating economic policies, war, forced migration, systematically segregated and underfunded communities and racist immigration policies and a criminal justice system that separates and destroy families and communities.

Secure Communities and the ICE holds program are failed policies. ICE holds have been repeatedly found to be unconstitutional, and to be a driving force behind the breakdown in trust between immigrant residents and local government. Communities organized to fight these policies across the country, and they succeeded. To go back and repeat these destructive policies only opens up possibilities for more abuses against our communities while avoiding the deeper causes of violence, as well as leaving our city vulnerable to lawsuits for violations of people’s rights. We need policies that reflect our values as a society, that honor our community’s dignity, that respects the diversity of our lives and are grounded in the belief of redemption.

 

The tragedy of Kathryn Steinle’s death should not be manipulated by those who see this as an opportunity to push a political agenda. Creating safer communities is a goal shared across the divisions some seek to exploit. PFUN will continue to push for meaningful reform and dialogue toward this end.

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The Philadelphia Family Unity Network (PFUN) is a grassroots coalition that ended all ICE holds in Philadelphia in April 2014. PFUN is 1 Love Movement, Juntos, New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Immigration and Citizenship Coalition, and Victim/Witness Services of South Philadelphia.

 

Juntos Is Moving To A New Location!

We're moving!

Juntos is moving! 

After 10 years, a small office and a basement later, we are moving to our very own space. Located on 6th and Tasker, we are expanding to a larger office to accommodate the growth the organization has experienced in the last few years.

We look forward to continue to provide the community a space for leadership development and activism, to build campaigns that fight for our community’s dignity and freedom, to host cultural and educational workshops for our young people, our LGBTQ committee art project, and foster a safe space for our women’s committee and win the fight against detention and deportation.
In the historic step in expansion we want to thank all the community and allies who have made this happen. We can’t do it without you! Please take a moment to consider financially supporting the organization to ensure this work lasts for years to come.
And come visit us at our new address, 1537 S. 6th Street in Philadelphia. We appreciate your continued support and hope that you will come out to see us in our new location!