Mon. 7/13: Speak out against the Trump administration’s deadly new asylum proposal – deadline Wednesday – 7/15

Article regarding Salvadoran deaths here.

Write a comment against Trump’s proposed human rights violating asylum changes. Deadline 7/15 (Wednesday) 11:59 pm EST.

Over the last three years, the Trump administration has drastically altered the U.S. asylum system. From attempts to ban asylum seekers who entered the United States between Ports of Entry, to forcing more than 60,000 to wait in squalor in Mexico while their cases wind their way through backlogged immigration courts, gaining access to the U.S. asylum system has become fraught with challenges.

Now, our country is knowingly sending asylum seekers to dangerous countries where gang members and government authorities will prey on them. More than 138 innocent people have been murdered after being deported to El Salvador between 2014 and 2018. At least 70 other Salvadorans were reported sexual assault or suffered other types of violence – such as extortion, dismemberment or torture – when returned to El Salvador.

The Trump administration is doing everything it can to stop asylum seekers, short of murdering them directly – and it’s doing so right under our noses. Death by deportation is a crime of racism, white nationalism and willful negligence.

Now they’re proposing to make asylum even harder to get. WRITE BACK!

On June 15, the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security jointly released a series of proposed changes to the asylum system that, if implemented, would essentially make it impossible for almost anyone to find safety in the United States.

Between now and July 15 the public can comment here before the deadline- July 15, at 11:59pm EST, on these proposed changes, which include:

  • Completely barring granting of asylum on the basis of gender
  • Changing the very definition of “persecution”
  • Redefining some of the core grounds for asylum claims, including membership in a “particular social group,” which could have a dire impact on women and LGBTQ individuals.
  • Denying asylum to people who transited through other countries on their way to the United States
  • Denying asylum seekers basic due process and their day in court by allowing immigration judges to decide cases just based on asylum seekers’ written applications

Before the proposed changes can be finalized, the administration must review each and every unique comment that they receive; your comments are important!

Here’s how:

  • Go to this link to make a comment.
  • Go to this link to read the proposed regulation
  • Go to this link to read other comments for INSPIRATION ONLY!
  • Read this comment (open the PDF link) for an amazing lawyerly history and rebuttal FOR EDUCATIONAL PURPOSES ONLY. Do not copy!
  • Draft a comment using the sample language below. Make your comment unique (don’t just copy and paste) because the system will discard duplicate entries.

Sample Comment

Note: You can make as many comments as you want and they can range from a line or two to an attached letter. But seriously –  Mix it up! Mix it up! Use a different starting sentence! – “I am/was very upset/angry/disappointed, etc…to read/hear/learn/…

I am writing to share my strong opposition to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and Department of Justice (DOJ) Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) Joint Notice of Proposed  Rulemaking: Procedures for Asylum and Withholding of Removal; Credible Fear and Reasonable Fear Review; RIN 1615-AC42 / 1125-AA94 / EOIR Docket No. 18-0002/ A.G. Order No. 4714-2020.

I object to these proposed changes because they would effectively make it impossible for anyone to find safety in the United States through the U.S. asylum system. They would deny most asylum seekers their day in court, and they would completely bar the granting of asylum on the basis of gender. They would also change the very definition of what “persecution” means. In addition, they would make getting asylum because of one’s political opinion or membership in a particular social group exponentially more difficult, and quite absurdly, deny asylum to people who have two or more layovers while they travel to the United States.

If these proposed changes were to be implemented, they would roll back decades of established legal precedent, resulting in the disappearance of refugee protections that have long been accepted as a key part of who we are as a country. .

[Insert your own opinions about why you support a strong U.S. asylum system and why you oppose the proposed changes. For example, why does abolishing the U.S. asylum system violate your Jewish values? Does your family have a refugee story? Are you friends with someone who is an asylum seeker or was granted asylum? Do you work/volunteer with refugees? Have you seen firsthand how refugees contribute to your community?]

It is for these reasons that I urge you to immediately rescind the Proposed Rule and instead dedicate your efforts to advancing policies that respect individuals’ legal right to seek asylum.

Tues 3/24: “Cruel and unusual” – Law enforcement and punishment in a pandemic.

Quote by Dr. Ranit Mishori, a professor at Georgetown University School of Medicine and medical adviser to the group Physicians for Human Rights. “

Action #1 – Tell ICE to stop sucking up supplies of surgical masks needed for real emergencies.


ICE has recently ordered 45,000 N95 surgical masks so that agents can be protected when they round up undocumented people, prior to putting them into jails where they will become vulnerable to COVID-19 infection. Nearly half of immigrants detained by ICE have been accused of no crime other than civil immigration violations, and many probably would not have been held under previous administrations. Rep. Omar stated “Immigration detention facilities, even before the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, have been breeding grounds for illness. For detainees who are immunocompromised or otherwise susceptible to the worst consequences of contracting Covid-19, holding them in detention may be literally a matter of life or death.

Please contact Amanda Stought and ask her to reconsider her order and to ask ICE to stand down during until this pandemic is over.

Minimal script: Good [morning] Ms. Stought. You may have noticed the pandemic in the news, and the associated lack of PPE gear (personal protective equipment) for medical professionals and first responders. Please consider that none of the people your ICE officers arrest deserve a coronavirus death sentence. Keep your officers at home, safe with their families during this lockdown like everyone else and send all your N95 masks to hospitals where they’re desperately needed.

CONTACT: Email her at and/or leave her a call at 202-732-2544.

Action #2 – Release ALL non-violent offenders, including detained immigrants.

Continue reading “Tues 3/24: “Cruel and unusual” – Law enforcement and punishment in a pandemic.”

Mon -12/30: Write against the insane increase of immigration fees. Deadline tonight 11:59 pm EST!

Quote by Doug Rand, a founder of Boundless Immigration, a technology company in Seattle that helps immigrants obtain green cards and citizenship.

( In its latest attack on immigrants, on November 14, 2019, the Department of Homeland Security published a proposed rule increasing the filing fees on many immigration applications, eliminating most fee waivers, and transferring over $207 million to ICE. This include:

  • forcing asylum seekers to pay application processing fees of $50 and $490 for work permits, making the U.S. one of only 4 countries to charge people for asylum. (Iran, Fiji, and Australia)
  • steep increases in fees for:
    • work permits,
    • citizenship applications ($725 to $1,170 = 65% increase),
    • DACA – young undocumented immigrants hoping to renew protections from deportation ($495 to $765, every two years)
    • crime victims who seek to stay in the country through their assistance to law enforcement
    • green card status renewals.
  • elimination of fee waivers for financial hardships that has kept naturalization, green card renewals, and other benefits accessible.
  • although not related to current immigrant struggles, the proposed rule also proposes steep increases in fees for historical records of immigration between between the late-19th and mid-20th centuries, possibly up to 500%.

Continue reading “Mon -12/30: Write against the insane increase of immigration fees. Deadline tonight 11:59 pm EST!”

Thurs 11/14: GOP, OBEY YOUR MASTERS! Stop playing chicken with our economy by putting Dreamers at risk.

Action  – Call your senators! Push through the S.874 Dream Act to the president’s desk without another one of his poisonous deals.

We’re not going to talk about Judeo-Christian concepts of welcoming strangers. We’re not going to talk about the inherent cruelty of throwing people out of the only country they’ve ever known. Trump’s base remains immune to these arguments. Instead, we’re going to talk in language the GOP claims, against all evidence, to be proficient in, i.e.- the economy. While McConnell is distracted installing as many extremist judges in lifetime positions as he can, a factor of our future economy’s success is standing before a hostile SCOTUS.

The GOP’s donor class, major companies and conservative think tanks like the Cato Institute, are alarmed. Their pet legislators seems to have forgotten that rescinding DACA protections for almost 800,000 U.S.-educated, hardworking adults, will cause serious economic harm to America, including a loss of $460.3 billion from the nation GDP over the next decade. The 10 states that put DACA in court – Alabama, Arkansas, Idaho, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Tennessee, Texas, South Carolina, and West Virginia—stand to suffer a self-inflicted loss of more than $8 billion annually in state GDP. More immediate concerns for businesses are 1.1 million jobs already going begging, from high tech to unskilled labor. This number is going to get larger as boomers age out of the labor pool. A harsh retirement is in store if there are not enough workers to diagnose their illnesses, fix their cars or change out sheets in their future nursing homes. Continue reading “Thurs 11/14: GOP, OBEY YOUR MASTERS! Stop playing chicken with our economy by putting Dreamers at risk.”

Tues – 11/12: Do it for immigrants. Do it for yourself. Write a comment against the enforced DNA sampling of immigrants. Deadline tonight, 11:59 pm EST.

  • Quote by Molly Ivens in 2003 Scripps College Commencement address.
  • Quote by German professor 7 years after WWII 

Action – Write a comment against the further criminalization of immigrants as well as the degradation of the assumption of innocence for all Americans. – Due tonight, 11/12, 11:59 pm EST.

Tonight, comments are due on an insidious proposal from the Department of Justice (DOJ) to amend regulations to remove an exemption that prevented their agents from collecting DNA samples from individuals who are arrested, facing charges, or convicted, and from non-United States persons who are detained under the authority of the United States. Exemptions from the DNA mandate include children age 13 and younger, legal permanent residents, and people entering the country legally.  This invasion of the essential privacy of non-violent people would be done in the name of “public safety”, a well of civil rights violations for which there is no bottom.

  • Comment here.
  • Read their summary here. Read their complete proposal here.
  • Inspiration here. If you’re having trouble getting started, cruise through other’s comments. DO NOT COPY. All identical comments will be culled, so channel your high school creative writing classes.

So what’s the big deal about swabbing immigrants for DNA and why should I care about it?

Let’s take a moment and talk about government data bases.

(ACLU) “Throughout history, the government has often tried to normalize new surveillance technologies by testing them on vulnerable communities and imposing initial restrictions on how any information collected will be used. The government inevitably expands those technologies beyond their original purposes. That’s why DOJ’s new rule could have wide repercussions for everyone in this country — not only those in immigrant detention sites.

But more data equals more public safety, right? “…mass collection alters the purpose of DNA collection from one of criminal investigation basically to population surveillance, which is basically contrary to our basic notions of a free, trusting, autonomous society,” Vera Eidelman, a staff lawyer with the American Civil Liberties Union’s Speech, Privacy, and Technology Project, told New York Times when news of the mandate first came out. Continue reading “Tues – 11/12: Do it for immigrants. Do it for yourself. Write a comment against the enforced DNA sampling of immigrants. Deadline tonight, 11:59 pm EST.”

Mon 10/21: “Your presence is requested…” Pick your resistance activity for this week.

People tell us that they sometimes feel overwhelmed by the news they hear every day, but that doing something, even a small action, helps. Writing postcards. Registering new voters. Learning about an issue. Supporting speakers at meetings. Being a part of a community that’s trying to make change. So, come join in. There’s a lot to do.

Monday, Oct. 21: Trip to Adelanto Detention Center led by Rev. Betty 

Does the work of the resistance have any effect? Yes, CA just passed a law to ban all private prisons when their contacts expire in 2020. However, in the meantime, immigrant detainees need to know they are not alone. Visits are meaningful to both detainees and visitors. To join the carpool, contact Rev. Betty at

Mondays –  Volunteering with Al Otro Lado.

Continue reading “Mon 10/21: “Your presence is requested…” Pick your resistance activity for this week.”

Mark your calendars! We’re not waiting for justice and unity to roll down from on high. It’s do-it-ourselves democracy week in Ventura County!

We live in an amazingly active community, so it’s very possible we’ve missed an important event. If so, please email us at Come join in…in both the events that protect our families, our neighbors and our environment, and the celebrations that refresh the spirit and remind us how lucky we are to be living here.

Sat., Oct. 19: Va Por La Avenida – In preparation for Día de los Muertos – Ofrenda.


Starting at 12:00-2:00pm: Come celebrate the residents, artists and businesses of Ventura Avenue. Festivities begin at the Kellogg Park with free art classes and music and dance performances by Danza Mexícayotl de Ventura and Ballet Floklórico. Local artists Trio Yolipan will begin a performance in the park, then will continue to perform as they walk down the Avenue. Businesses in the area will have a number of creative events. The Bell Arts Factory will host lessons in making masks, flowers, paper dolls and silk screening and local artists will display their wares. The celebration will continue along Ventura Avenue until late evening. For more information, see this event page and their Facebook event here.

Saturday, Oct. 19: Ventura County Youth Leaders Without Borders Conference 

By invitation.  For information on how you can support young immigrants in your community, contact our Safe Zones for Dreamers work group at

Saturday, Oct. 19: RIP Platform Holly: A Wake to end Offshore Drilling.

Continue reading “Mark your calendars! We’re not waiting for justice and unity to roll down from on high. It’s do-it-ourselves democracy week in Ventura County!”

Mon 9/23: The Resistance strikes back! – Two comments for this evening!

Both of these actions are due by 11:59 EST TONIGHT!!!

So much skullduggery, so little time!
Remember, you can write a lot or just a couple of lines. The key thing is to sound like you! Copies will be ruthlessly eliminated by the moderators. Petitions for these actions aren’t useful, as, no matter how many names are attached, the government just counts them as one (1).

Action #1 – Comment to oppose the spread of “Expedited Removal”.

is this the line?

Remember, you can just write a few lines. Numbers count! Right now there are only 774 comments! WRITE!!!

Comment here

  • Here is the proposed rule here.
  • Here are other people’s comments for inspiration only: here.
  • See our  whole post with information and links here.
  • Fast read: here and here.

Action #2 – Comment  on the “Revision of Categorical Eligibility in the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program” Cuts food benefits to 3,000,000


Kids in school lunch programs would have to apply separately for the program. Read the text – USDA claims that billionaires are getting food stamps.

Comment here.

Continue reading “Mon 9/23: The Resistance strikes back! – Two comments for this evening!”

Mon. 9/23: Asylum America – Write a comment today! Deadline 11:59 pm EST.

Unless our people came here unwillingly, or were standing on the shore watching the first ships land, we are beneficiaries of asylum – our people were refugees from failed crops and starvation, from joblessness, from poverty, from corruption, from religious persecution and from threats against their lives. (Even Swedish German former brothel owners were welcome to return after being banished from the country of their birth for draft dodging.) In our forefather’s shoes, we walked down a gangplank into America and a new life.

We owe a debt, those of us who got here before cruel immigration limits kicked in, for there was nowhere else to go. Pay it back by standing indivisible with the people coming here now. They too, are running from failed crops and starvation, from joblessness, from poverty, from corruption and from threats against their lives, and they need our help.

Action: Write a comment to oppose Trump’s proposal to further bloat the anti-American “Expedited Removal” rule. Due tonight!

Expedited removal . . . represented a dramatic assault on the due process rights . . . . [It grants] extraordinary and unprecedented power to low-level immigration officers to remove individuals without review and without a fair hearing.” – ACLU

Your voice matters and is needed now more than ever. Your comment doesn’t need to be long. A few sentences are fine. It just needs to sound exactly LIKE YOU.
PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE, don’t copy anyone else’s comment verbatim. It will be thrown out by the moderator. Don’t bother with petitions either, as all the signatures only count as “1”.

Comment here

  • Here is the proposed rule here.
  • Here are other people’s comments for inspiration only: here.

Basic Information

Continue reading “Mon. 9/23: Asylum America – Write a comment today! Deadline 11:59 pm EST.”

Wed. 8/14: Stop the “Public Charge” rule changes.

Action: Call your legislators to stop the Administrations cruel and unnecessary changes to the “Public Charge” rule.

It’s time to call in the Congressional Review Act – This action empowers Congress to review new federal regulations issued by government agencies and overrule them with a joint resolution. Congress has 60 days to do this.

(From Indivisible SF): “For generations, the US government allowed people who immigrated to avail themselves of commonly-used anti-poverty programs to get a start in building a new life, keep their kids fed, and keep their families healthy without endangering their status. Now the Trump administration intends to deport hard-working taxpayers if they use government services. Despite overwhelmingly negative public comments, DHS has allowed their expanded “Public Charge” regulation to go into effect.

This is an unmistakably class-based attack on immigration, aimed at ensuring that America allows only wealthy people to enter or remain here. It ties in directly with racist ideas of white supremacy—particularly of immigrants being a drain on (white) society—espoused on Fox News and in recent mass shootings. This cruel reversal of “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free” is in complete opposition to our most deeply held ideals. And Congress can put a stop to it with the Congressional Review Act.

Minimal script to federal legislators: I’m calling from [zip code] to urge Rep./Sen. [___] to invoke the Congressional Review Act to block implementation of the new DHS “Public Charge” immigration rule.

Minimal script to our Governor: I’m calling to urge Governor Newsom to take the strongest possible action to fight the public charge immigration rule changes and to act by executive order to ensure outreach and services continue to reach legal immigrants and their families awaiting processing in California.
Continue reading “Wed. 8/14: Stop the “Public Charge” rule changes.”