Dear Congregation Beth Israel members and friends,
A colleague forwarded me a plea for translators to help migrants detained by ICE, now housed at the Albany county jail. The note I received is from Caroline Rider at Marist College, and she writes:
“We’ve never seen anything like this…
[The migrants have] been sent here from all over the country and the legal project is overwhelmed. They have plenty of lawyers to do the intakes, but not enough interpreters.
They need ALL languages: Spanish, French, Hindi, Punjabi, any Mayan languages, Mandarin, Polish, Russian, you name it, we can probably use it.
If you’re able to translate, please contact Christina Armistead, firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also the Rev Lynn Gardner [from Schenectady Clergy Against Hate] commented that they may be able to coordinate some kind of visitation for these people who have been so cruelly detained. They could really use some support.
My heart is absolutely shattered. The stories I heard were heartbreaking.”
For more on the situation in Albany, here are some articles from the Albany Times-Union: Many of the immigrants at Albany county jail seeking asylum, Albany county jail maxes out with 100 more detainees, As immigrants wait at Albany county jail, volunteers working to learn basics.
If you speak another language and could volunteer your time, please do — it would be a profound mitzvah. I’m reaching out to Rev. Lynn now about the possibility of offering pastoral care for those who have been detained, and will let y’all know if there is an opportunity for CBI folks to take part.
Blessings to all —