In August, IFCLA organized a coalition meeting with Joeana Middleton, the Regional Director at Senator Claire McCaskill's office in St. Louis. While we are aware that Senator McCaskill supports immigrant rights and has voted to uphold them in the past, we also know that in times when immigrant families are under attack, we need her to not only be a voter but a champion of immigrant rights. In order to encourage her to do so, twelve individuals from more than six of the leading immigrant service provider organizations in our area showed up in a clear demonstration of our collective power. This included representatives from the DACA community, as well as representatives from local legal firms the Migrant Immigrant Community Action Project and St. Francis Community Services Southside.
Our messaging included four asks for the Senator: We asked her vote against the increases in the budget for immigrant detention and expanded deportations; we asked for her to co-sponsor the Dream Act, and to continue to fight for DACA. While the response was underwhelming, as we were told that the senator is in agreement with these issues but is not prepared to be more vocal, we are nonetheless committed to continuing our collaboration and working together for justice