In the summer 2019, Blanca Ramirez, Ph.D. candidate in Sociology, interviewed Javier Hernandez, Executive Director of Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice, about the organization’s work in welcoming new refugees from Latin America. The following are excerpts from their conversation.
Blanca Ramirez: Please introduce us to the Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice.
Javier Hernandez: The coalition came together in 2006 because there were [immigration] raids happening in several corners of the Inland Empire. Because of these raids, it’s good to have an entity like the coalition—one location where we can come to really center and to be able to just coordinate these services together.
The Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice convenes over 50 organizations on a monthly basis. Each month we have different meetings or a different event, different actions, or even newer resource clinics and DACA clinics, etc. We’re constantly engaging our partners and working with them to really just advance immigrant justice in the Inland Empire, and also provide services when needed.
Blanca: What are the some of your key activities with communitiy members, and what kind of partnerships do you have with other organizations?
Javier: Inland Coalition for Immigrant Justice does policy advocacy, community advocacy, community organizing, and we also manage the Inland Empire Network. We have community members as part of that network.We also do work around the Adelanto Detention Center, so advocacy work and visitation.
And then there’s very limited resources that we are working with in the Inland Empire, and so, knowing and understanding that, we work with our partners to build capacity, so that they can better provide services to the community. We actually provide grants to our partners.