Our Work in the Inland Empire

Amidst a militarized border region, rife with vigilante justice, white supremacists and anti-sanctuary action, our role is to organize faith communities to defend the dignity and human rights of immigrants.

  • We work with nine congregations and dozens of volunteers to raise awareness of the plight of immigrants in the region.
  • Visitation volunteers accompany immigrants detained in Adelanto. They provide moral, physical, logistical and sometimes financial support as families face court appointments, detention and deportation.
  • We mobilize congregations to help sponsor and support people seeking asylum from human rights violations in their home countries.
  • We host quarterly prayer vigils at the notorious Adelanto detention facility, to shine a light on the abuses and give voice to the stories of those who are imprisoned there.
  • We educate the community on immigration root causes and alternatives to detention.
  • We engage college students to work with us and lift up the stories of those impacted by detention.

Inland Valleys faith Organizer Hilda Cruz (middle) and Cecilia Vasquez (left) with delegation from Riverside at the San Diego border action.

Recent successes

Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity organizes and trains accompaniment teams of community and congregational volunteers to offer hope and support, and so we call these teams Nueva Esperanza. This is what they offer:

1) Practical accompaniment to help newcomers adjust, survive, and settle themselves in a sustainable way.

2) Provide community support in partnership with their attorneys as they navigate the legal process to seek asylum, special immigrant juvenile status, or some form of deportation relief.

3) Collectively advocate for fair treatment, protection and expanded resources for recently arrived individuals.

June 2019 update:

Rony and Derwin, two young Honduran men seeking asylum who were bonded out of detention have been hosted and accompanied for the last six months. They are now receiving English classes and continue to thrive with the support of the congregation and the larger community that has embraced them both.

We helped find a host congregation for a recently reunified 14 year old and his dad.  They traveled to the U.S. from Honduras together and sought asylum. Trump’s  zero tolerance separated them and dad was placed in a detention center for 10 months while the child was placed in a resettlement foster care program.  We are happy to announce they will be making their home in Southern CA and a group of church leaders will be accompanying them to help them adjust as they settle themselves.

The Justice for Immigrants Seeking Asylum  and the Fe y Justicia groups continue to visit the men and women in the Adelanto detention center.  They have been able to help nine women and two men who, after being detained for months, were granted asylum.  When these persons were released they were welcomed by familiar faces that hosted them overnight and helped them with their travel arrangements to their final destination, where they are now living with loved ones.

Justice for Immigrants Seeking Asylum visitation volunteers and Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity interns

We are responding to asylum seekers that are being dropped off by ICE.  These occurrences have been happening since last November (2018) in San Diego, the city of Mecca and Coachella and now San Bernardino. Several churches have stepped up to the plate to support and welcomed these immigrants. There are shelters that offer them a safe place to rest, shower, clean clothes in a welcoming atmosphere till they are able to travel to their final destination with either friends or loved ones. Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity has been recruiting volunteers for these shelters and asking for much needed donations from various congregations.

We continue to visit detainees in Adelanto.

The main purpose of visiting immigrants in detention is to help end their isolation and let them know they are not forgotten. This calling requires pastoral work of presence where you are invited to show up, pay attention and listen deeply.  It is humbling work where prayers and stories are shared, connections made and decisions taken by those impacted, to achieve the best possible outcome for the detainee and the family.The mission of visitation is to walk with the detained person and connect them to resources that will contribute to their release.

Fe y Justicia visitation volunteers


Be Part of our Immigrant Faith Accompaniment Collaborative

Join our organizing meetings that support immigrant justice in the Inland Valleys!

Interfaith Movement for Human Integrity  organizes to engage faith leaders and congregations to be true to their faith traditions which call us to love our neighbors and to welcome the immigrant.

Riverside clergy and faith leaders

Accompaniment

  • Create an immigrant support team in your congregation that responds to unique immigration family crisis
  • Form an accompaniment team for a specific family that has a loved one in detention and provide immigrant support and accompaniment
  • Form a visitations team that will visit immigrant detainees to help end their isolation and let them know they are not forgotten.

Public Witness

  • Lead and or participate in quarterly prayer vigils that bring public presence to the detention center while uplifting immigrant stories that advocate for pro- immigrant policies.
  • One-Day Accompaniment to support on individual cases to “pack the court” at Adelanto Immigration Court Hearings.

Prayer vigil in Adelanto


Advocacy and Action for Immigrant Justice

Our Immigrant Justice work takes place in the Inland Valleys, San Bernardino and Riverside Counties.  We conduct our immigration work in partnership with the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice and together we advocate on pro immigrant policies and legislation at the local, state and federal level.

Community members meeting with Senator Leyva

Education and Leadership Development:

We are available to conduct presentations and foster the leadership development of Spanish-speaking immigrant congregations on the following topics:

  • Immigration and how we can put our faith in action
  • Know Your Rights
  • Medical and Health Access
  • Driver license preparation
  • Worker’s rights
  • DACA
  • Immigration processes
  • Citizenship, Voting and the Democratic Process

We are also available to conduct educational presentations for a wide variety of congregations that help build understanding, partnership, solidarity and action between immigrants and non-immigrants, addressing the following topics:

  • Root Causes of Migration
  • Sanctuary Movement Today
  • Faith Communities Supporting Migrants Today

Across Bars and Borders Conference – impacted persons panel