Over the past year and a half, The Welcoming Network, a group of local neighbors, has developed a network of Santa Cruz neighbors, folks in faith communities and local community organizations to welcome and support asylum seekers. Trump’s border closure limited the numbers, but now more people are starting to arrive and they expect MANY more. In March alone 130,000 people sought asylum, with many arriving in our central coast communities. They are growing their capacity by spreading the word, inviting people in, and offering a workshop in early May for new volunteers. The first thing that the Welcoming Network did when they came to gather at Star of the Sea Church was to connect to and support Immigration Law Center of the Central Coast, because deportation defense is the biggest single gap for vulnerable refugees in our region. In this interview, we hear from activists Paul Johnston and Mary Ann Kolo, and the executive director of the Immigration Law Center of the Central Coast, Ariadna Renteria Torres (pictured above).