We face an unprecedented attack on our democracy and democratic ideals. Our most vulnerable communities have become the targets of unconstitutional and inhumane actions. We must again confront challenges and obstacles we thought we had overcome, as well as a level of injustice and ignorance we hoped we would never see again.
As the only legal aid program providing free immigration legal services to the Central Valley and beyond, we have focused our efforts to cast our net as far and wide as possible, as quickly as possible. In just a few weeks time we have traveled throughout California to provide counsel and advice to hundreds of residents, shared immigration expertise and provided technical assistance to schools, community-based organizations, and private lawyers seeking to help.
We are working closely with leaders in both the public and private sector, here and across the country, to strengthen our coalitions by building unity of purpose and mission, fighting to protect the advancements we’ve made in environmental protections, demanding civil rights enforcement through community-based capacity building, and advocating to ensure all immigrants have access to quality legal services at a time when our communities are under attack.
Amid countless news updates and headlines proclaiming “Unleashed Global Chaos,” fear and misinformation have spread throughout the Central Valley and the entire country. We must work together to reach out to the communities we serve, arm them with information and the answers they need, and protect against notario fraud and other immigration scams.
We must stand together to raise the voices of those cast into the shadows. We must protect the human rights and dignity of farm workers and the rural poor throughout California.
For more than 35 years, California Rural Legal Assistance Foundation has been advocating for justice, equity and equality for all, regardless of immigration status. The recent actions taken by our federal government compromise our nation’s promise to immigrants of protection, due process, and the opportunity to realize the American Dream. CRLAF unflinchingly opposes these attacks on our democracy.
We are an organization rooted in the farm worker movements of the 1960s and 1970s. We are the sons and daughters of immigrants and farm workers. We are the communities we serve. We will remain on the frontlines with our communities and in the Capitol, raising the voices of the disenfranchised and fighting for our democracy.
We stand with you, united in our belief that justice and dignity are inalienable human rights that do not begin or end at a border crossing.
Amagda Pérez, Executive Director
Mark Schacht, Deputy Director