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Community Response Coalition seeks to coordinate communication, services and support

Coalition is formed to address Marshall County needs regarding heightened immigration enforcement

Marshalltown Community College representatives are among a group of concerned citizens representing organizations throughout Marshalltown has begun convening to coordinate responses to the increased potential of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention or deportation. The goals of the Coalition are to provide timely and accurate information to the community and to foster better coordination among organizations and individuals who serve and support immigrant families.

The threat of heightened immigration enforcement has generated a lot of fear in the community. The Coalition seeks to disseminate information that both dispels misinformation and provides a clear, timely, and unified picture of what is occurring. The Coalition is also working proactively to generate informational pieces for families that delineate the resources and support available to them so they can effectively navigate crisis situations related to immigration enforcement.

A coordinated community response helps to ensure that vulnerable members of our community, such as children, are cared for as soon as possible following deportation or detention. In cases where families have been separated, children can be left at home or school without a legal guardian. In some situations, the family is left without a primary wage earner. The Coalition is meeting to discuss how these families can best connect to emergency services, and how to inform families of their legal rights so that they can make an emergency plan.

Organizations involved in the effort include Immigrant Allies, Mid-Iowa Community Action (MICA), the Marshalltown YMCA/YWCA, Marshalltown Community College, Assault Care Center Extending Shelter and Support (ACCESS), Child Abuse Prevention Services (CAPS), St. Mary’s Hispanic Ministry, the Marshalltown Public Library, and the Ethnic Minorities of Burma Advocacy and Resource Center (EMBARC).

For more information about the coalition or to get involved, contact Joa LaVille at immigrantallies@yahoo.com or Arlene McAtee at arlene@micaonline.org.

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