“For years, my mom was abused and afraid to tell anyone. Now she has asylum, her own tamale business and plans to open a restaurant. That’s the power of EBSC.”

- Kimberly, EBSC Client and Volunteer


December 1, 2018


Dear Friends,


I am writing to share a powerful, personal example of the work you make possible by supporting EBSC – and to ask for your renewed investment as we take our fight for refugees directly to the door of the Trump administration.


But first, I want to thank you. Before your support reached Kimberly and her mom through EBSC, they were at daily risk of being deported back to a life-threatening situation.


Unfortunately, Kimberly’s story is not unique. Every year, EBSC serves hundreds of families threatened with deportation and separation from their loved ones. This is one of the reasons we joined EBSC v. Trump, an ACLU-led lawsuit to stop the Trump administration’s illegal attempts to destroy U.S. asylum law (see insert). If the administration succeeds in carrying out its threat, asylum programs like ours would be terminated.


As news of family separations and attacks on immigrants confront us daily, we at East Bay Sanctuary Covenant reaffirm our commitment to protect, advocate, and support refugees – not just in words, but by challenging the President himself in court if that’s what it takes to keep families together.


2018 was a challenging year for immigrants and those of us who support their right to have safety and legal protection. The Trump administration made countless attempts to dismantle Temporary Protected Status (TPS), Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), gender-based asylum, and many other protections. Heartbreakingly, this administration continues to demonize peaceful asylum-seekers and militarize our Southern border.


Will you please join us by making your year-end donation to EBSC today? Thanks to generous supporters, your donation now through December 31st will be doubled!


Because of your generosity, EBSC has been able to provide life-saving legal and social support to more than 20,000 people in 2018 – many are becoming citizens and are on the road to integration. In the last 12 months you’ve had a direct impact helping us:

  • Increase our efforts to support the more than 440,000 people with Temporary Protected Status (TPS) who are at imminent risk of deportation back to the same countries and the same violence that forced them to flee in the first place. EBSC hosted community forums and screening for more than 700 people with TPS. We also trained 30 TPS holders to lead the way in advocacy efforts; their efforts helped pass 4 local city resolutions and win a temporary injunction through a federal lawsuit. Our TPS Team plans to head to Congress in January 2019 to meet with House Leader Pelosi, Senator Kamala Harris, and others to advocate for a permanent legislative solution for TPS families.
  • Reached The Daily Californian’s over 10,000 readers with our persuasive op-ed opposing the Attorney General’s dismantling of gender-based asylum law and registered official opposition to draconian and unnecessary regulation changes that would further erode protections for immigrant children in detention.
  • Launched a Celebrating Sanctuary Oral History Project to lift up stories of refugee families, asylum seekers and Sanctuary Movement activists over the years. Please let us know if you would like to share your story or help with our exhibit and public forums!


But as you can see every day, in headline after heartbreaking headline, our work is far from over. We cannot relent. Without a legislative solution, more than 270,000 U.S. born children of TPS holders are at risk of being separated from their family members along with 690,000 young DACA recipients. Without continued advocacy on all fronts, thousands of asylum seekers and undocumented immigrants will be forced back to deadly conditions.


Will you help us advocate for all refugee-immigrants and serve the most vulnerable among us by making your year-end donation to EBSC today?


Moving into 2019, you can help EBSC take bold action and make a direct impact on people’s lives in the face of the helplessness and horror we feel every day. You can help us:

  • Continue to provide free or low-fee legal assistance for the most marginalized populations, including indigenous, unaccompanied minors, LGBTQ, survivors of gender-based violence, TPS holders, and others impacted by recent attacks.
  • Fight relentless attacks on asylum law through EBSC v. Trump.
  • Advocate for permanent residency for over a million people with TPS and DACA.
  • Expand our Sanctuary Movement of people, organizations, and businesses committed to saving lives and protecting fundamental human rights to safety and protection.
  • Continue to search for our new home. While we received an extra year of lease – a huge reprieve - we still need to raise money and search for a new home in Berkeley. Please let me know of any possible locations or if you would like to join our New Home Committee.


Your partnership provides us with the financial and human capacity to offer transformative programs in service of immigrant families. Thank you for all that you do.


With gratitude, hope, and commitment to our joint action to create a better world,


Sister Maureen Duignan and the EBSC Staff and Board



P.S. Every dollar that you donate NOW through December 31st will be matched up to $10,000! Will you help us meet this challenge by making a generous year-end tax-deductible donation to EBSC? Please consider also asking your employer to match your donation to EBSC this year. Your donation will help keep EBSC a strong resource and advocate for immigrant families!

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