Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity coordinates the following programs in California to walk alongside people targeted by the immigration system:
- Friends Afuera – writing letters to immigrants in detention centers
- Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Teams (NEAT) – supporting newly arrived immigrants
Friends Afuera: Letter Writing & Commissary Donation
Friends Afuera is an IM4HI program that connects volunteers with immigrants in ICE detention facilities in California.
To sign up for the program, email the Friends Afuera Coordinator: email@example.com
Immigrants in detention are isolated from the community and their families. Through writing letters monthly, we hope you learn about the conditions within detention centers, make a friendship with an immigrant, and grow as an advocate to release them and close detention centers. Currently, we write letters to immigrants in Adelanto and Mesa Verde Detention Centers.
Watch Video Tutorial: Letter Writing
Each detained immigrant has an individual commissary account that family and friends can deposit money; they depend on this money to buy necessities such as phone calls, legal print documents, toiletries, and more. We ask that you send a monthly donation of the suggested amount of $30 – $60 a month (or whatever amount you can afford).
Watch Video Tutorial: Commissary Deposits
Additional Friends Afuera Resources:
- Read stories about friendships developed between volunteers and detained immigrants: Friends Afuera Stories
- View “Detention into Death Sentence” to hear about the experience of detained immigrants during the COVID-19 pandemic
- View “United in the Fight for Liberation” to hear a statement for Black Lives Matter from immigration inside detention.
- Article on the cost of necessities inside detention: CNBC News
Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Teams (NEAT)
Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity’s Nueva Esperanza Accompaniment Team (NEAT) program trains San Francisco Bay Area congregations to form a team to walk alongside recently arrived immigrants for six months to a year. The teams support the immigrants’ self-sufficiency by introducing them to local resources. By working toward families’ goals together, we create a sanctuary, safety, and friendship in the community. Deciding as a congregation to accompany a family is a discernment. We hope these materials are helpful in your decision-making progress.
- Review the team requirements to learn about forming an accompaniment team.
- To invite people from within your congregation to join the accompaniment team, adapt and share this sample
- Watch our introductory video tutorial (17 minutes) about the NEAT program structure. NEAT Model and Team Roles
- Register your accompaniment team for the training. We hold a training once in the Fall and Spring. Fill out our Training Interest Registration Form. An email will be sent out with updates confirming the date and details of the next training.
Additional NEAT Resources:
- Read stories about the connection that congregations have made with immigrants in their community: NEAT Stories.
- View video: “From Root Causes to Sanctuary” to learn about the accompaniment of a family and a congregation.
- Read a book written and published by a former NEAT participant: Caravaneros (Spanish only) by Douglas Oveido. Douglas shares his story of being part of the Central American migrant caravan and the migrant shelter he founded while waiting 11 months at the border due to the inhumane Remain in Mexico (MPP) Policy. For more information or to purchase the book, send an email to Douglas at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact our Nueva Esperanza Coordinator, Kelly Younger, at email@example.com with any questions or for more information.