What You Can Do to Address the Border Crisis
We urge you and all RPCVs to become involved in addressing the migrant crisis on the U.S. southern border, through direct aid or political advocacy with your elected leaders in Congress.
Our PCC4Refugees team will be sharing responses by RPCV affiliates to this ongoing challenge, as well as initiatives by human rights and other organizations that you can join.
Two ways you can help right now:
- Provide legal aid. The asylum process is opaque and arcane -- especially for those who don't speak English. Experts say asylum-seekers with lawyers are five times as likely to gain legal entry into the U.S.
- Help mobilize grassroots pressure to convince Congress to stand up for asylum-seekers. After helping so many of the newly-elected Democrats win their races, we need to be talking to them now to make sure they are ready to act when the new session starts next month.
For weeks, about 6,000 men, women, and children from Central America were stalled at a sports complex in Tijuana while the US administration refused to hear their asylum claims. The numbers doubled the facility's capacity, and officials finally closed it this week because the partially flooded complex was rife with lice and infections. More than 2,100 migrants have been diagnosed with respiratory infections.
This is a crisis of our president’s own making. He confined asylum seekers to a single point of entry, and his administration has slowed down the process. Many migrants have waited weeks or months to cross the border legally.
For more on what you can do, see recommendations from the Fellowship of Reconciliation, a human rights organization, at:
For background on the border crisis, see:
Pictures by Marty Goodman (left) at the Mexican border. (L) Marty, Bruce & Carol Lesnick help Cosecha volunteer Shannon (right) sort donated clothes for refugees.
(R) Cops tell immigrants they must leave the first camp at Benito Juarez Stadium. Cops would not let immigrants out of camp to get food we were told.
What We Do
As returned Peace Corps volunteers concerned about the refugee crisis, we engage the Peace Corps community in supporting refugees. We believe that RPCVs have the commitment, adaptability and cross-cultural skills to make a significant contribution to this global humanitarian effort.
Join Us in Supporting Mandy Manning, 2018 National Teacher of the Year
The Peace Corps Community for Refugees hosted a special event on October 9 in support of refugees and immigrants with the DC Forum at the New York University, Washington, D.C. Auditorium. Watch a recording of the live event here:
Mandy Manning, National Teacher of the Year, will be our keynote speaker. A Peace Corps Volunteer in Armenia and a veteran high school teacher in Spokane, WA, Mandy has become one of the nation's leading advocates in support of immigrant and refugee students in our public schools. Refugee and immigrant residents also will share their stories, and leaders from faith-based groups and other placement agencies will discuss successful ways all of us can mobilize local support for immigrants and refugees.
How You Can Help Spread RPCV’s Positive Message About Refugee and Immigrant Students
By Patricia Nyhan
We are unequivocally supporting 2018 National Teacher of the Year Mandy Manning, an RPCV from Armenia who teaches refugee and immigrant students in Spokane, WA.
Manning has been heavily featured in news stories across America, and her meeting with President Trump was covered by most of the major U.S. news outlets. Her Peace Corps background is mentioned in most of the coverage. You can help boost Manning’s positive message about refugee students in the following ways:
- Consider sending a short letter to the editor of your local paper about Manning. If the paper has failed to cover her, ask why they are not running this important story.
- Write a letter to the editor in response to a news story about an outstanding local refugee student who is graduating from high school.
- If you notice that Manning plans to make an appearance near you, help with turnout.
- Invite Manning to speak to an organization in your local area such as the Rotary Club, which partners with the National Peace Corps Association.
Please be aware that in many cases, organizations that invite her to speak will need to agree to help cover her expenses. Submit your scheduling request to CCSSO, the nonprofit that administers the National Teacher of the Year, using a request form on their website: https://fs17.formsite.com/
Get to know RPCV-Armenia Mandy Manning in this CBS interview on YouTube!