“I was a stranger and you welcomed me.”
Whom do we serve?
Immigrant and refugee concerns
Mail a donation to the Conference office: You can also make checks payable to NHCUCC and write IRSG (Immigrant & Refugee Support Group) Immigrant Bond and Support in the memo line. Contributions may be mailed to: NHCUCC, 140 Sheep Davis Road, Pembroke, NH 03275.
Click here to download your copy of the IRSG brochure
containing all this information.
The Immigrant and Refugee Support Group [IRSG] will update you from time to time about its success stories in helping immigrants and refugees in New Hampshire. Please feel free to copy these stories for your bulletin or newsletter.
August 2020: When a person is released on bail from detention they are housed with a host family or, because of Covid-19, quarantined in a safe place first. In either case they usually need funds for personal expenses, which is where our benevolent assistance helps. Recently we received a letter from an immigrant who is "in process" and wanted to share their gratitude with us. They wrote:
My God I can't believe it.
Thank you so much, thank you for all.
Thank you to hold my hands.
Thank you to bring me out of this horrible situation and [to help me] make sense to my life.
By your commitment and the grace of God I will have my citizenship.
What should I say?
Thank you, I'm wordless.
June 30, 2020: On June 23, 2020, 60 cardboard “people” stood in front of the State House in Concord. The display was sponsored by Never Again Action NH and represented the 60 immigrants detained at the Strafford County jail. Two detained immigrants infected with COVID-19 had been transferred into the facility by ICE.
Depopulating the jail to protect staff and residents from the virus became a priority for the Immigrant and Refugee Support Group (IRSG) of the NH Conference United Church of Christ. The IRSG has been working to provide release-eligible immigrants transportation from the release spot in Burlington, MA to a prearranged quarantine living accommodation in NH. Recent releases have been at ICE discretion, on bond, or as a result of the ACLU class action lawsuit. The IRSG's role is crucial. Nobody is released until the prearranged transportation, quarantining and longer term housing is reported to ICE.
Some immigrants may also need longer term hosting and/or monthly benevolent assistance while they await work authorization. The IRSG provides the needed help and services, thanks to your support. Folks interested in post quarantine hosting should contact Nancy Pierpont (Pape) at email@example.com.
June 2020: The Strafford County Jail has had to stop all visits during the COVID-19 crisis. This means that our immigrant friends and neighbors are more alone than ever. They do have the option to make video calls - but only if they have enough money in their commissary accounts to cover the costs. You can help by making a donation online or sending contributions to the Conference office. At this time, these donations can assist with putting money directly into people's commissary accounts. (see details above for tax deductible gifts).
March 2020: The NHCUCC Immigrant and Refugee Support Group (IRSG) has recovered its first bail bond for a man from the Democratic Republic of Congo who spoke at the Conference Annual Meeting. He was awarded asylum and refugee status that includes a path to citizenship. He is getting his work authorization now that he has his driver’s license and a car. At his hearing, tears of joy welcomed the judge’s words, “Welcome to the United States of America.” Proceedings can now start to reunite him with his family.