We will not let innocent people suffer because of the color of their skin or the country where they were born
We are mobilizing to educate and protect the members of the Haitian communities in SWFL. With the partnership of the the NAACP, ACLU and Legal Aid Service of Collier County, we have developed a program in which volunteers can use a one-page tool to coach residents in the TPS papers they must have. Additionally, we will offer the Haitian Churches of Collier a dropbox (cloud storage) of their own for copies of the required documents, in case ICE arrests a legal community member.
We launched a small program with the Haitian pastors of many of the churches in Collier and a few in Lee County. Starting with Pastor Paul of the Naples Haitian Church of the Nazarene, and his wonderful son John K Paul (CFO), who has become my working partner on this effort, we have pulled together great resources for the community.
Why It Matters
Our website says it all. WTF Action means we see it and we need to change it. Babies separated from mothers, immigrants in “dog pound” or “freezer,” all innocent people seeking a better life for their kids.
Today some are criticizing Representative Alexandria Ocasio Cortez for calling the cages of kids and separated parents “concentration camps.” But that’s exactly what they are: holding cells meant for 15-30 inmates that are concentrating large groups (as many as 200) with no facilities, no soap, toothbrush, not even a mattress, and being held in these diaper-less conditions for many more days than the law allows. That’s exactly what happened in Germany: hundreds of residents and detainees put into concentrated railroad cars where they had to stand for hundreds of miles (and where some died standing up), then into small barracks meant for 10-15, but stuffed with 75-100 or more.
I remember the first time I saw a grownup with numbers on his arm, the dad of one of my friends. The explanation was he “got it in the war.” My dad was a decorated war hero, so I’d heard many funny stories about the war… I started reading books, grabbing any Leon Uris book from the library and asking a lot of questions. My friends and I shared what we learned, and none of it was pretty. We never forgot.
On Our Partner List
The Haitian Community Alliance, a new organization that is the co-host of our event, has been instrumental in our development of the project. The president and treasurer of the Alliance and will be at the event to welcome folks and describe the Alliance.
Legal Aid Service of Collier County, providing legal and paralegal appointments to the community. Representatives will be at the community event on June 29, and sporadically through the coming days as we visit churches.
NAACP of Collier County is a partner who, through the national organization, initiated one of the court filings to prevent the removal of asylum residents. Our local chapter will be providing forms and handouts to the attendees. Several members of the Youth Council have been great help to our planning team and we expect they will share the stories of their families’ experiences leaving Haiti to find safety in America.
Collier ACLU members will also be in attendance, providing Know Your Rights information. The ACLU filed the court case that resulted in an injunction to halt the deportations.
Pastors of Haitian Churches in Collier and Lee have been invited.
We are also translating documents into Creole and Spanish for our guests. We will be launching into the Latinx community beginning the week of July 1.
Volunteers are needed to schedule for 2-hour shifts on days that fit their schedules. Please send a comment to women4action.org and we will respond as soon as we can.