Despite the executive order greatly expanding the number of undocumented immigrants subject to immediate deportation, we are hopeful that Indianapolis will not become the scene of ICE sweeps and mass detentions and deportations. We do not want to see broken homes, parents separated from children, and valued and productive members of our communities sent away. These are our friends, neighbors, and loved ones.
However, we want to be prepared for any possibility.
In February, IndyCAN and 2,000 concerned people spoke directly to Mayor Hogsett at a town hall meeting, where Mayor Hogsett pledged not to use one dime of city money to support federal policies that are unconstitutional or discriminatory. Leaders of IndyCAN also met personally with Sheriff Layton and had a productive conversation about immigration enforcement.
As a next step, IndyCAN is creating an information/alert network to help us stay informed and to respond effectively to immigration actions when needed. As a member congregation of IndyCAN, UUI has a role in making this happen.
Here are three ways you can participate.
1. Text the word “IndySanctuary” to 228466 on your cellphone
Be informed! This will add you to a cellphone network to receive text alerts on your phone from IndyCAN about upcoming workshops, meetings, rallies, and other public events or trainings which you may be interested in or at which your presence may be helpful. This network will also provide the community with alerts when detentions and raids are happening. The goal is to have 3,000 people in Indianapolis on this network.
2. Sign-up to be a Rapid Responder
Rapid responders will be people who have committed to respond to a cellphone alert about a raid or detention that is occurring by going to the scene to serve as a witness, to record the event on their cellphone, and just to be there for the people being detained. The purpose is to hold immigration agents accountable, to make sure these actions are not happening in secret and the community knows about them, and to provide moral support for the people being detained so they are not going through it alone and unseen. Rapid responders may also provide information about supportive services to families left behind, or accompany people facing deportation to court hearings.
The goal is to have 250 rapid responders ready in Indianapolis. IndyCAN churches/congregations will be holding training sessions every week in April. The training lasts approximately an hour. Dates/times/locations to be announced.
If you are interested in being a rapid responder, plan to attend one of the trainings or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
3. Spread the word: encourage Indy friends and family to text IndySanctuary to 228466 and join the network. Spread the word about the need for Rapid Responders on Facebook.
Together, let’s be prepared to protect the most vulnerable members of our community.