Trans Asylum Seeker Support Network

At A Glance

Contact: 

Kris Baker

Location: 

Northampton, Massachusetts

Primary Issue Area:

  • Living Economies

Active since:

2019

Tax Status:

Ad-hoc

Core volunteers:

10

Our Purpose

The Trans Asylum Seeker Support Network (TASSN) helps trans and genderqueer asylum seekers cross the Mexico/U.S. border, provides support while in detention, works to get them released, and supports them once settled in Western MA. We offer emotional, material, and financial support for asylum seekers to lead thriving lives. As a volunteer based group, we advocate and fundraise for the release of currently detained trans people, and work to address the root causes of asylum seeker criminalization through community education and organizing. We formed in response to the fear based media attention and political motives against the March 2019 caravan, despite caravans coming to the U.S. for decades. We began as a small group of organizers who saw a real need for support to local trans asylum seekers. Initially we organized volunteers in providing needs like rides and company for the asylum seekers. After a few months, we realized that by creating a larger Network with committees focused on specific aspects of our work, we would be able to provide more consistent support to more people, while also rooting our work in larger struggles to abolish capitalism and white supremacy, and create solidarity across borders.  As a collective, we are engaged in community building through our mutual aid efforts, which we see as a vital part of creating a cultural shift toward embracing the interdependence of life and the fights to defend it in all its forms.