Moving Day on Saturday, August 19, 2023 went well and without a hitch thanks to the

coordinating efforts of the host family, Patricia Lane and Kathy Guilmette and our UUFCC

community. We, the Immigration Justice Committee, would like to thank all our members and

friends that made this transition possible.

Our guest family, Sorangel and her children (Luciano and Zhoemy), will remain

in their schools and keep their health providers. They will be in the same area that they know

and have become familiar with: the supermarket, library, parks, schools and friendships will still

be accessible.

Special thanks to Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Venice and Schoolhouse Link of

Sarasota who came through with some needed donations for our CAPAS family.

We continue to “Building Bridges Not Walls!”

Immigration Justice Committee of UUFCC


The Immigration Justice Committee (IJC) seeks to promote compassion, justice, and dignity for immigrants in Charlotte County and the surrounding areas, and increase public awareness of immigration issues and crises.

Support Students Learning English – We need you!

Looking for a rewarding opportunity to make a difference in the life of a student in the Charlotte
County Public School (CCPS) system? The UUFCC Immigration Justice Committee is helping to launch a new English language literacy (ELL) program in the school district for children who have not mastered English language proficiency.
*Volunteer Requirements:
*Submit to a background check at the school district’s expense to tutor students outside the class
*Use of your driver’s license to tutor students under the supervision of a teacher
*A commitment of as little as an hour a week
*Complete tutor training (tentative date for initial training is 23AUG2022) shortly after or before
you begin
*Transportation to the school where you will coach one or multiple students, per your request

It is not necessary:
*To be bi-lingual
*To have previous teaching experience

CCPS has students who speak Korean, Vietnamese, Russian, Ukranian, Spanish and others as
their Native language. With focused attention from adult volunteers, these students are given
the help they need to achieve English Language Literacy in their speech, reading and writing.
These fundamentals are necessary to be successful in both their school careers and in life.
If interested, please send an email to Betty Barriga and the Immigration Justice Committee at with your name, email and phone numbers and your time
commitment. We look forward to your commitment to these special young students!

Support Planned Parenthood

Yard sign – take it to your next rally – $10 – contact a member of Immigration Justice Committee

Immigration Justice Committee of UUFCC launching a fundraiser for Planned Parenthood.

The recent leaked draft memo from the US Supreme Court suggests that Roe v. Wade maybe overturned. Conservative politicians are trying to take away a woman’s right to choose – a right women have had for 50 years.  If these efforts take place, all women will be diminished. Immigrant women will bear the brunt of these decisions. Many immigrant women live in poverty and poor women are those whose lives will most be affected. If abortions are banned, these are the women who cannot afford to travel to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. These are the women who will have a difficult time providing for their children.  This decision will make immigrant family’s lives more difficult. Planned Parenthood has and is still providing affordable healthcare to many women, many of whom have limited resources and no healthcare insurance.  Please join the Immigration Justice Committee in supporting Planned Parenthood. 

Our goal is to raise $1000. We have already raised $330 and delivered a check to Planned Parenthood of Southwest and Central Florida in Sarasota.  In addition, we have delivered signs to the UU Venice as well as UU Sarasota for them to sell. We participated in the silent vigil at UU Venice and thanked folks from both Venice and Sarasota UUs for their support of this effort. We welcome participation of other groups – if you are aware of others who would like to purchase individual signs, or sell them to their contacts, contact Betty Barriga.  

We will learn the Supreme Court decision soon. Be ready for the rallies by purchasing your own sign before or after Sunday service. 

Call to Action – Stop Funding For-Profit Immigration Detention Centers

These facilities are not compelled to follow government safety and health regulations and many dirty, overcrowded and medically unsafe facilities have been built and are being managed. Recently, Homeland Security reported 75% of detained immigrants are held in for-profit centers and 175% more grievances are filed from these facilities.

migrants at a US detention center
A US migrant detention center in McAllen, Texas on June 10, 2019. Photo: US Office of the Inspector General

Two of the largest companies that run for-profit detention centers are the GEO Group and CoreCivic.  You might be surprised to know that you own stock in these companies.

The two largest portfolio management groups that buy these jailers’ stocks are the Vanguard and the Blackrock group (iShares is a Blackrock subsidiary). We are asking everyone who holds stock either directly in these two companies (GEO and CoreCivic) or in these two management funds (Vanguard and Blackrock/iShares) to withdraw their investments and align their morals with their money.  In addition, hundreds of organizations include these two in their investment portfolios. Check directly on the NYSE to see if your money is a part of these institutional holdings.



We actively forge alliances with organizations outside the UUFCC to learn and to broaden our scope. We work closely with the Hispanic American Citizens Council of Charlotte County, the Democratic Hispanic Caucus, Englewood Indivisible, and Indivisible Action Southwest Florida as well as others.

A group of us have been trained to assist people who want to become US citizens,. In addition, we have trained tutors to assist those interested in learning English.

In our efforts to increase public awareness, we have hosted numerous debates and film series. Earlier in the year, we worked with Port Charlotte High School and hosted a debate on immigration issues led by students from the Model UN Club.  Recently, we promoted a town hall meeting with Allen Ellison, District 17 candidate for US House of Representatives who specifically addressed immigration justice issues.

Our recent film series was a virtual event – people watched Immigration Nation, a 6-part documentary on Netflix and then we met on Zoom to discuss. As a result we call investors of for-profit detention centers to withdraw their funding. A similar action of activists was successful in stopping funding from many banks.

We recently hosted a viewing of The Condor and the Eagle, a documentary about climate justice and how indigenous peoples throughout the Americas are protecting the land and the water for all of us/with all of us.

Meeting banner

Why Immigration Justice?

Myrna Charry, member of UUFCC and IJC says this about why she fights for justice:

Towards the end of 2017 and in response to the national immigration crisis, I helped birth the UUFCC Immigration Justice Committee. It was my way of re-dedicating myself to our Unitarian Universalist principles – three in particular: the first:  The inherent worth and dignity of every person; the second: Justice, equity and compassion in human relations; and the sixth: The goal of a world community with peace, liberty, and justice for all. 

At that time, I was becoming more and more horrified by my government’s treatment of immigrants from South and Central America whose only crime was wanting a better life for themselves and their children. I visited the Homestead children’s facility where my government housed children who had been forcibly separated from their parents. The conditions there paralleled the concentration camps of the 1940s and I could not help but think of how my people were rounded up and sent in crowded cattle cars to die by the millions in such camps.  Angry that no one spoke up 70 years ago, I vowed not to be silent and welcomed the opportunity to actively engage in the work of immigration justice. I say today that  those escaping homelands of terror, starvation, and indignities also have inherent worth and dignity; they also are entitled to justice and compassion, and they also deserve to live in a peaceful and just world.

Immigration Justice Committee Minutes