Across all faith traditions we share the values of caring for the vulnerable, welcoming the stranger and loving our neighbors.
Our Circles of Protection are formulated to embody these values in the different spheres of our lives. Everyone has an essential role to play and participation in a Circle is one way to put your faith into action.
This is also an invitation for community members without a faith affiliation to support the work of the Central VA Sanctuary Network.
Creating and promoting community funds to be distributed to families facing deportation, detained individuals in need of bail, and sponsorship of legal fees for the very expensive immigration process for those eligible for relief.
The Sanctuary Fund is for distribution to families facing detention or deportation to cover the cost of bail or legal defense.
Sanctuary network volunteers partnered to rapidly raise funds, posted bail for Omar in Chesterfield and drove to Williamsburg to bring him home from the Virginia Peninsula Regional Jail, where he had been in ICE custody.
Richmond artist Alfonso Perez has created beautiful artwork to support the Sanctuary Network. Please support the efforts of the Network by purchasing merchandise with his wonderful vision of inclusion, “All Are Welcome Here.” T-shirts, tanks, totes and more are available at this link, with 100 percent of profit going to the Sanctuary Fund.
In Virginia, people who are undocumented and 12 categories of lawfully present immigrants are ineligible for driver’s licenses. Set up an alternate transportation network, assist with transportation to regular appointments with federal immigration officers, and provide transportation for families of those living in Sanctuary. Volunteers must provide a copy of driver’s license and insurance.
When an individual or family decides to go public, the media campaign is the most essential component in winning their immigration case. The Communications team will plan and produce media events as well as coordinate within the Network. Additionally, the Communications Circle will issue public responses to current events on behalf of the Network.
Legal Resources Circle
One of the most practical ways we can stand in defense of our neighbors is by providing legal resources. This could look like hosting “Know Your Rights” clinics, Power of Attorney events, or sponsoring individual legal cases. This is also the Circle for attorneys who are willing to provide pro bono counsel in the event of raids or sanctuary cases. The legal circle produces quarterly free screening clinics in partnership with immigration lawyers and community advocates.
The Legal Circle of Protection of the Central Virginia Sanctuary Network aims to help undocumented immigrants in the area learn about their legal rights and access pro bono or relatively affordable legal advice and representation. To those ends, the Legal Circle has begun compiling lists of legal resources, including reputable immigration attorneys and organizations, and of mental health assessment providers for certain immigration proceedings.
In addition, the Legal Circle has, with the Legal Aid Justice Center, the Sacred Heart Center, and the University of Richmond School of Law, co-sponsored DACA Renewal clinics in January 2018 that assisted approximately 20 clients and a half-day immigration legal screening and power of attorney clinic in February 2018 that assisted approximately 50 clients. Planning has also begun to co-sponsor quarterly “Know Your Rights” and legal screening clinics, as well as to sponsor an immigration bond hearing training session for attorneys to be conducted by the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition (CAIR).
In cases of public sanctuary or the detention/removal of a community member, the Hospitality Circle arranges meals, visitation, entertainment, and counseling. The hospitality circles also provides refreshments for trainings and events.
Attending ICE check-ins, court appearances, and other appointments with government officials provides a layer of protection. Judges and ICE officers don’t want to be scrutinized by the media and community, and when public support for individuals is evident, they are less likely to detain folks without cause.