This website is an attempt to codify a commitment to refugees by librarians and libraries. It is an ongoing, fluid, and mobile effort to bring information and resources to library services to refugee populations. We are actively soliciting information and partnerships. We want to leverage every bit of influence and pull that we possibly can for these often forgotten new members of our society.
Why do refugees matter? In the case of the United States of America refugees are the backbone of our nation. We are a country built on the principle of getting out of somewhere that sucks and trying a new start. If things are crappy back home, America has always been the land of promise, the shining city on the hill.
A lot of us who work in libraries still believe in all that stuff. We actively want to make it happen for as many people as possible. We believe that libraries as public institutions of trust, privacy, and social diligence are the perfect vector for helping refugees of all kinds.
Please use this space to exchange and develop ideas. Librarians have a lot of talent and ability to apply to this issue. We have a unique place of trust in society that lets us get to the heart of these things. Please set your shoulder to the wheel and help us in what we are doing. If you have refugee populations in your community please reach out to them and use the resources here to help. If you need something that you don’t see here please let us know and we will try and find a solution.
Thank you for the work that you do every day. If you are a refugee who has found this page thank you for your courage. Hold fast, together we shall move forward!
Legal Aid Society Advisory on President Trump’s Executive Orders on Immigration
The Legal Aid Society’s Immigration Law Unit explains the effect of the executive orders already issued by the president and discusses executive orders that appear or are rumored to be in process or are expected to be signed soon. The information is quite detailed and is a good starting-point for anyone attempting to gain a full and nuanced understanding of the changes the administration wants to bring to immigration.
ICE Raids Toolkit
This publication is the product of the Immigrant Defense Project and the Center for Constitutional Rights’ collective work against ICE arrests under Bush and Obama, and serves as “the first comprehensive guide and organizing resource to fight back against the Trump administration’s efforts to criminalize communities and deport millions of people.”
The toolkit is intended to offer social justice advocates, lawyers, and community members critical information and analysis of our country’s massive detention and deportation system, as well as straightforward guidance on how to prepare for the ICE raids. The entire toolkit can be downloaded with/without appendices.
Inside the toolkit:
- Definitive information on who ICE targets for deportation, priority locations for ICE activity, and common ICE arrest tactics and strategies.
- Recommendations for immigrants and advocates on emergency preparedness for those at risk of deportation, individual rights during ICE encounters, and potential legal and community challenges to ICE raids.
- Key takeaways from years of critical research and experience with the mechanics of the world’s largest detention and deportation apparatus — including an initial forecast of what we may see under a Trump administration.
- Select internal DHS/ICE enforcement memos and training documents secured through a pending FOIA litigation — as well as summaries of raids reported to IDP, organized by common ICE tactics and ruses.
- An online interactive map of the raids reported to IDP in the New York City area.
- An online directory of FOIA documents from Immigrant Defense Project et al. v. ICE et al.
- A web-based version of the toolkit.
- Ongoing updates and more resources on emergency preparedness.
CUNY Citizenship Now! provides free, high quality, and confidential immigration law services to help individuals and families on their path to U.S. citizenship. The organization has 40 locations across New York City. Its attorneys and paralegals offer one-on-one consultations to assess participants’ eligibility for legal benefits and assist them in applying when qualified.
The website lists the immigration issues handled by by CUNY Citizenship Now! They include many routine and complex issues apart from employment-related cases such as visas (immigrant or nonimmigrant, including H1B and the like) or employment related adjustment of status, change of status, or extension of status.
At an Immigration Rights Workshop in Queens, NYC Legal Aid attorneys mentioned this organization as an excellent resource for free legal help in an environment where many pro bono legal organizations suddenly have a big backlog.
CUNY Citizenship Now! Is actively soliciting volunteers.
Languages: English, Spanish
RIAC is a community-based, non-profit, grassroots human service agency that provides comprehensive services to refugees, asylees, and immigrants as well as the larger community.
The Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition (MIRA) serves the Commonwealth’s one million foreign-born residents with policy analysis and advocacy, institutional organizing, training and leadership development, strategic communications, citizenship assistance, and AmeriCorps initiatives and has an active membership of over 130 organizations.
Languages: English, Spanish
The Cultural Orientation Resource Exchange (CORE) is a technical assistance program designed to support and strengthen the linkages between pre-departure and post-arrival Cultural Orientation (CO) programs for refugees on their journey to resettle in the United States. CORE provides refugee backgrounders, case studies of best and promising practices, videos, and other multimedia materials that assist Cultural Orientation instructors, service providers, and refugees. It offers webinars and online courses and host face-to-face workshops and conferences. CORE shares survey reports and Cultural Orientation news through an eNewsletter, and hosts and moderates an online community of practice.
Refugee Portal at Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services
Quick and easy access to resources for refugee families in Spanish, Somali, Nepalese, Arabic, Karen, and Burmese on the topics of family life and parenting, early childhood, the U.S. school system (K-12), children’s books, and health/mental health.
Organized and hosted by Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services, a project of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops.
Languages: Arabic, Burmese, Karen, Nepalese, Somali, Spanish
Bridging Refugee Youth and Children’s Services (BRYCS) is a project of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops/Migration and Refugee Services (USCCB/MRS). BRYCS maintains the nation’s largest online collection of resources related to refugee and immigrant children and families. Pages can be translated into numerous languages with a single click. The BRYCS web site and clearinghouse is geared towards front-line workers, program planners, and administrators as well as researchers and policy-makers. The purpose of the Clearinghouse is to facilitate information-sharing and collaboration among service providers, disseminate information on evidence-based practices, and to improve institutional memory on refugee and immigrant family issues. It is designed to meet the information needs of professionals who encounter refugee and immigrant children and families in their work.
Online training modules are available on topics such as Discrimination & Bullying of Refugee Youth, Raising Children in a New Country, Raising Young Children in a New Country: Supporting Early Learning and Healthy Development, Refugee and Immigrant Family and Community Engagement in the Schools, Preventing Child Maltreatment in ORR/DCS-Funded Care Provider Programs and Refugee 101: With a Special Look at Child-Specific Issues . Also available are archived webinars on a variety of refugee issues specific to children.
The Iskashitaa Refugee Network is an inter-generational network made up of Tucson volunteers and refugees from Africa, Asia, and the Middle East. The network teaches the community about sustainable food through its food-based programming. Every year the Iskashitaa Refugee Network identifies and redistributes over 50 tons of produce to under-served families throughout southern Arizona.
The Refugee Health Technical Assistance Center (RHTAC) is dedicated to improving the well-being of refugees by providing tools, resources, and support for health and mental health providers in order to better meet the needs of refugees in resettlement.
Through the RHTAC you can: Find basic information about refugees and their access to health care, learn about physical and mental health among refugees, download training materials and resources, join the mailing list to receive the newsletter, and attend webinars. Providers can also find resources for refugee clients in multiple languages.
Languages: Somali, Karen, Nepali, Arabic, Burmese, Kinyarwanda