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NASW Advocacy on Immigration
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The crisis of a broken immigration system is not new, but increasingly dangerous and racist rhetoric paired with heightened enforcement and ‘Zero Tolerance’ policies have made it priority social justice issue for NASW. For an overview of NASW’s national activities and perspective, please see the following resources:
  1. Social Justice Brief (2018) Migrant and Asylum-Seeking Families: Analysis of Federal Government Policies and Procedures
  2.  Statement (July 2019)  NASW Condemns Trump Administration’s Nationwide Removal Raids on Immigrant Families
  3.  Video on what NASW Texas Chapter is doing and advice from Executive Director Miriam Nisenbaum on how social workers can aid children who are migrants and have been detained. View video here. 

Ohio Spotlight

Did you know?

  •  Ohio is the site of two of the largest workplace raids by ICE in recent history (article, 2018)
  •  Immigrants detained in Ohio have some of the lowest rates of legal representation, limiting the chance of a just outcome at every stage of the court process. (Access to Counsel in Immigration Court, 2016)

We understand that many Ohio social workers are deeply concerned by the humanitarian crises taking place at the Southern Border of the United States. While there is a strong need for skilled humanitarian volunteers and advocates at the Southern detention camps and along the Border, there is important work to be done supporting migrants and asylum-seekers in Ohio. Social workers who are interested in volunteering at the Southern Border are encouraged to proceed with caution as practicing social work outside of the state in which one is licensed could result in disciplinary action.

 

Social Workers for Immigrant Justice

Social Workers for Immigrant Justice is a peer networking and consultation group which provides space for social workers and related professionals to consult on ethical questions, share resource and opportunities and collectively advocate for an effective social work response to the humanitarian crises caused by the United States’ unjust immigration policies. This group meets online via Zoom on the 1st Mondays at 7pm and the 3rd Mondays at 12pm.

 

Current projects
  •  Immigrant Friendly Criteria Project – advocating from within to make social work services more accessible to undocumented clients
  •  Interdisciplinary learning – peer consultation for therapists looking to provide mental health evaluations for asylum-seekers
  •  Organizing grassroots social work responses to ICE raids

 

Looking for NASW’s specific position on immigration policy?

Below is a selection of position statements developed democratically by NASW members nationwide. For the full NASW policy statement on immigration, please see Social Work Speaks. 

NASW supports the following:

  • promoting social justice and avoiding racism, discrimination, profiling and visa and travel bans or otherwise preventing immigration opportunities on the basis of race, religion, country of origin, gender, sexual orientation, immigration status
  • supporting federal and state services and programs for immigrants
  • establishing comprehensive refugee resettlement programs adequate in length and substance that include supports to help with integration into communities, trauma and mental health counseling, and job readiness and placement
  • ensuring the biopsychosocial, legal, healthcare and education needs of all children are met regardless of their immigration status
  • ensuring appropriate immigration-related services to undocumented minors in foster care and, if they are eligible, adjustment of their status before they leave foster care
  • providing support for immigrant victims of displacement, violence, exploitation, and human trafficking
  • ensuring due process and access to legal counsel to all immigrants and refugees in accordance with international human rights for all asylum seekers
  • restoring the right to judicial review and modification of expedited removal provisions, especially for those claiming the right to asylum
  • opposing mandatory reporting of immigration status by health, mental health, social service, education, police and other public service providers, and allow jurisdiction the right to create sanctuary cities without any restrictions in funds (from Social Work Speaks 2018-20)
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