by Guy Page
A coalition of Rutland interfaith and activist groups is seeking housing sponsors to bring refugees, asylum seekers, and migrant workers (including those here illegally) to Rutland.
According to its online Power Point presentation, “Bridge to Rutland” includes Christ the King Catholic Church, Castleton Indivisible, Immaculate Heart of Mary Catholic Church, Trinity Episcopal Church, Rutland Jewish Center; Rutlanders, including many from Rutland Welcomes, Rutland Unitarian Universalist Church, Grace Congregational UCC, St. Patrick’s Catholic Church in Wallingford, Rutland Area branch of the NAACP, and St. Alphonsus Catholic Church in Pittsford. The executive director is Ellen Green.
Bridges to Rutland describes a migrant worker as an individual who generally has entered the US without documentation to work on farms or to do other seasonal work. “They do the jobs that are not taken by American citizens,” Bridges claims, and “are undocumented and targeted by ICE.”
Refugees are part of a quota system that is supported by the US Department of State, Bridges says. Asylum seekers can arrive either with or without papers but are legally in the US seeking asylum and unable to work.
The work of Bridges to Rutland is necessary because asylum seekers “are being held in inhumane conditions in detention centers around the United States. Families have been separated and caged.” A photo of people sitting indoors behind portable chained link fencing accompanies that statement.
There is no discussion about positive strategies to encourage non-Americans to remain in their own countries, or why the southern border detention facilities have been overwhelmed since the inauguration of Pres. Joe Biden. But there are Bible verses and assurances that asylum seekers “will more than repay our support.”
The organization is seeking a 2-3 year commitment from sponsors assisting with housing, food, legal help, medical assistance, clothing and other needs of migrant workers, refugees, and asylum seekers. It also urges sponsors to check their ‘whiteness’ at the door when entering into the sponsorship experience, as explained in a blog post, “Whiteness, Savior Complex, Trauma and Power in the Sponsorship Experience.”
Categories: Society & Culture