Our project began in January 2019 with the advent of the so-called "migrant caravan" at the US-Mexico border, in which the executive branch manufactured a constitutional and human rights crisis targeting Central and South American asylum-seekers. Recognizing that part of resisting the agendas of xenophobia and white nationalism is welcoming and supporting our new neighbors, we began our work to build a network of support in Western Massachusetts for asylum-seeking individuals who choose to settle here.
We’re a group of folks - including asylum seekers themselves - who have come together to support asylum seekers as a network in the best way that we know how. We work with a wide array of groups in Western Massachusetts to provide assistance and support including housing, rides, language, financial and logistical support.
Our Current Context
Since 2019, we have supported more than 30 individuals negotiating active asylum cases. Asylum seekers are currently living with local hosts and sponsors who have agreed to house and support them. Before arriving here, many asylum seekers have spent months in immigration detention centers - despite having committed no crime - before making it to resettle in Massachusetts.
While their cases advance, there’s a lot involved in settling into a new place. There are classes and appointments and errands and check-ins. There’s loneliness and isolation. There’s a new language to learn. And though it’s ugly structures which have set this all in motion, there’s still many great relationships to build and much beauty to discover.
We continue to build a broad network of coordinated support, to meet the needs of our newest neighbors and the families who are taking them in. We’d love your support in making our community a truly welcoming place.