PICC’s Community Navigator Curriculum is inspired by the CIRI National Community Navigator Training and adapted to the needs of immigrant and refugee communities in Pennsylvania. PICC hosts four complete Community Navigator training series annually. Training sessions will be offered via webinar when possible, and in-person in different regions of the state. Please reference our calendar of events for upcoming training dates. Below is an overview of our Community Navigator Core Curriculum.
The first module provides an overview of U.S. immigration law to help Navigators understand the functioning and shortcomings of the U.S. immigration system. Navigators will learn about the four primary paths for immigrating to the United States, as well as be able to distinguish between different non-immigrant and immigrant status, and identify potential forms of relief for undocumented immigrants. This module also provides an overview of recent changes in immigration enforcement policy. Lastly, Navigators learn how to identify, report, and avoid the unauthorized practice of law while screening or assisting other community members to complete their applications.
Recent changes to immigration enforcement policy have made all immigrants a priority for deportation. More than ever, it is crucial that immigrant understand their rights when interacting with law enforcement officers. The first half of this module focuses on helping Navigators learn about the rights of immigrants when interacting with police and ICE officers. Navigators then engaging in a series of role plays to learn how to react if they are approached by ICE officers on the street or if ICE raids their homes or workplace. Finally, Navigators learn effective techniques for teaching others about their rights.
Increased ICE raids have produced increased fear and uncertainty in immigrant communities across the country. Having a deportation defense plan can ease anxiety, mitigate the unforeseen consequences of being detained by ICE, and help immigrant families better defend themselves against deportation. This module focuses on understanding what immigrant communities can do to protect themselves and their families from deportation. Navigators learn how to complete deportation defense plans and packets. Navigators also learn the importance of organizing their communities to win welcoming policies at the local and state levels that can help protect them from ICE.
One of the primary ways Navigators assist lawyers and DOJ accredited representatives is by completing eligibility screenings. In this module, Navigators learn how to use and complete the eligibility-screening tool. They also learn how to properly interview others and address sensitive questions while screening other community members during a pro se legal clinic under the supervision of an attorney and/or DOJ accredited representative.
Becoming a U.S. citizen confers onto immigrants full legal protections, as well as the right to full civic participation in American society. This module focuses teaching Navigators how to assist others with the application process. Navigators first learn about the requirements and process to become a U.S. citizen. Then they learn how to screen for citizenship eligibility and complete an N-400 application in a pro se legal clinic under the supervision of an attorney or DOJ accredited representative. Navigators will also learn the requirements for application fee reductions and waivers and how to file these forms.
Navigators are expected to put their newly acquired knowledge and skills to use for the benefit of their communities. Module 6 focuses on learning the basic presentation and training skills that Navigators will need to effectively present information to others in their communities. Navigators will learn how to effectively plan and present a workshop, as well as what support they can expect from PICC.
In addition to the core curriculum, PICC will be organizing a series of elective trainings for Community Navigators who want to expand their knowledge, build additional skills, and learn new approaches to social change. Potential topics include:
- Principles of effective organizing and advocacy
- Financial Literacy
- Understanding U.S. Government and Civics
- Immigrant Worker Rights
As a reminder, PICC is able to support the work of its Community Navigators by providing:
- Assistance with logistics
- Connections to trainers/co-trainers
- Workshop materials and other resources
- Referral source for others who want to become Community Navigators