It was with heavy hearts that we learned of the Administration’s Executive Orders (EOs) on immigration and witnessed their immediate impact on immigrant families. PIRC’s mission focuses on serving the most vulnerable immigrants in our community through education, advocacy, and access to justice. The actions of this Administration have broadened the vulnerable immigrant population, making individuals previously assured of certain protections under law – refugees, asylum-seekers, and legal permanent residents – all non-citizens – now more vulnerable to government prosecution. We are at a historic juncture for access to justice.
Beyond the travel ban against individuals from seven primarily Muslim countries, the shutting down of the U.S. Refugee Assistance Program for 120 days, and the order to build a multi-billion-dollar wall along the U.S. Mexican border, the EOs have cast a wide net affecting all noncitizens:
▪ immigrants who have been in the U.S. without permission for as much as two years may be removed without a hearing, without access to possible relief available to them under law;
▪ noncitizens who have legal immigration status but were born in one of the currently banned countries have had all their immigration applications placed on hold. This means that the spouse of a US citizen who has applied to become a legal permanent resident, the legal resident who has applied to have their green card or work card renewed, and the legal permanent resident applying for citizenship have all had their applications – and in some cases their immigration status – placed on hold;
▪ and in the name of security, the Executive Orders exhort local and state law enforcement agencies to do the federal government’s job and become immigration officers, driving a wedge between local government and law enforcement and the residents they have sworn to serve and protect. In turn making our communities less safe.
What does this mean for the immigrants in our community? We expect to see more immigrants swept into the government’s civil detention system with limited access to justice, most fighting deportation without an attorney. And, we believe immigrant survivors of domestic violence, sexual assault, and human trafficking will be more afraid to report the crimes committed against them – enabling violence to continue and making our communities less safe.
PIRC will continue to defend immigrants who are protected under U.S. law and have the right to defend themselves against deportation. We will monitor the government’s actions and share updates and information at our website to help keep you informed.
At this time in our history, the need for access to justice is even more critical. Advocating for justice is a mission we can all take part in.
Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
News and Events
Read a post-election message from PIRC's Executive Director
January 24 - Mayor Kim Bracey of York issues Executive Order making York a "Welcoming City." Read PIRC's response.
November- PIRC's Executive Director Mary Studzinski spoke with WGAL News about PIRC's strategy for assisting immigrants under the new Administration. Check out the video!
Thank you to everyone who gave to PIRC during Lancaster’s Extraordinary Give!
Your “Extraordinary Give” means more immigrant survivors can start new lives for themselves and their children, free from the fear of abuse and deportation. With your gift, more survivors will stabilize their legal status and pursue their dreams of improved job opportunities, better education, and safer, more stable lives for their children.
Now more than ever your support of immigrants is meaningful! Thank you for standing for immigrants and thank you for your generosity. You make the difference in our community!
November 18- This year, we are very excited to be part of Lancaster's largest day of online giving on November 18, 2016! If you give to PIRC on the 18th, your dollars will be stretched so your gift will have even more impact on immigrant survivors in the community and vulnerable immigrants in detention. Bookmark our page for easy access on the 18th:
November 12- PIRC is partnering with the International Service Center to offer free immigration screenings at the International Service Center at the International Service Center in Harrisburg from 2-5pm. These informational sessions are free and open to the public! For more information, please see the English flyer and the Spanish flyer. Call Fernanda Castillo at 717-600-8099 with any questions!
October-December- The York County Literacy Council and The School District of the City of York are offering free Citizenship classes in York. Interested individuals need to pre-register. For more information, check out the York County Literacy Council flyer and the School District of the City of York flyer.