JPAC Training for Volunteer Observers
Traverse City and surrounding counties have at least one safety net for immigrants and seasonal migrant workers in the agricultural, hotel, and restaurant sectors. The Justice and Peace Advocacy Center’s (JPAC), mission is to train volunteers to act as official observer teams that can be deployed as quickly as possible if a call comes in that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), or Border Patrol (BP) agents are active in our area.
JPAC has coordinated its efforts with immigration attorneys, and groups such as ALPACT, Justice for Our Neighbors, local law enforcement, area growers and others. If alerted, peaceful observers will rapidly deploy to a given site. JPAC personnel stress that the goal of observers is to maintain a peaceful presence, keep a respectful distance, get the names and agencies of the law enforcement professionals, without protesting or obstructing their activity. JPAC’s presence, it is hoped, will protect the migrants or immigrants, as well as law enforcement officials. Observers will record the event with cameras and cell phones while respecting the privacy of the people involved. Observers will NOT post this information to social media, but will turn over recordings to the JPAC staff.
If you are interested in getting more involved, JPAC will be offering additional training on March 29, 2017. Additional information can be found at www.justiceandpeaceadvocacy.org, or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
By Victoria Gutowski
TC Indivisibles and
March 15, 2017