Faith Leaders to President Trump: Don’t Use Religion to DiscriminateThe religious freedom upon which our nation was founded has allowed our country’s diverse religious landscape to flourish. The draft executive order flies in the face of that rich diversity by enshrining one religious perspective--on marriage, gender identity, health care, and the role of houses of worship in partisan politics--into law, above all others. This is neither what religious freedom means in the eyes of the law, nor what religion itself means to millions of Americans of faith. The religious freedom of individuals and organizations, including that of clergy and houses of worship, is already protected by the First Amendment and federal law. Additionally, we as clergy and faith leaders, stand by the right of anyone to hold beliefs that may differ from our own. But for many of us, supporting LGBTQ individuals and families is a principle of our faith, and that needs to be respected as well. Furthermore, freedom of religion guarantees us the right to hold any belief we choose and to act on our religious beliefs, but it does not allow us to harm others in the name of those beliefs. We are appalled by the widespread discrimination that this draft order would unleash across all areas of life--including in some cases with taxpayer dollars--on our congregants, our neighbors, our families, so many Americans we may never personally know, and indeed even many of us personally. As people of deep faith committed to a country that supports robust religious expression, and in the spirit of equality and justice, we urge you to return to the true meaning of religious freedom. We must never allow this precious freedom to be used to discriminate against broad swaths of our nation, including LGBTQ people, women, and children in foster care. We urge you to refrain from issuing this executive order or any substantively similar policies on their own, or as amendments to existing executive orders. Sincerely, Rev. Jennifer Butler, CEO, Faith in Public Life, Washington, D.C. Rabbi Jason Kimelman-Block, Director, Bend the Arc Jewish Action, Washington, D.C.
Jeanette's Family Needs HerJeanette Vizguerra, a Colorado community leader and mother, is facing deportation. Jeanette has led the fight against her own deportation since 2009, part of her secret to success is her die hard community. She needs it again, today! Share this and spread the word. Jeanette has lived in Colorado for twenty years, has 3 small children who are US citizens and has given selflessly as a community activist. She worked for SEIU as a labor organizer and volunteered with her children’s schools, the Aurora Neighborhood Watch Program, Rights for All People, the American Friends Service Committee and contributes to the Romero Troupe. She founded Dreamers Mothers in Action-Colorado. Jeanette has worked hard to build her community in Colorado and has inspired many with her courage and passion. Jeanette’s story exemplifies the brutality of our immigration system that is unjustly separating families and denying many the ability to live with dignity. Although this immigration system has tried to destroy Jeanette’s dignity, she is still fighting to be with her children and she needs our support!! History: Jeanette Vizguerra (A# 089-826-036), came to the US in 1997 with her husband and daughter. They fled after her husband, a bus driver, had been threatened at gun point for the third time. Jeanette worked cleaning office buildings and became a key member of her SEIU local, 105. Eventually she became an organizer, leading the fight for better pay and benefits for all janitors. She also joined a local advocacy group called Rights for All People as one of its founding members. She worked to establish trust and relationship between the immigrant community and the police. She and her husband started a moving and cleaning company and eventually had three more children, all US citizens. Jeanette’s case began in 2009 when she was pulled over for an expired license plate and then arrested for driving without a license (at that time Coloradans couldn't get a license if they couldn't prove status). That traffic stop led to a police officer discovering documents she was going to use to apply for a third job this discovery resulted in a misdemeanor. The economic downturn had impacted the moving company and her husband had taken ill so she was the only breadwinner for her family. In 2013, as she was awaiting an appeal in her case, she received a call from Mexico that her mother was dying. Despite 17 years in the US and thousands of miles, Jeanette and her mother spoke weekly. There are no humanitarian visas or programs available for those circumstances and Jeanette decided she had to be at her mother’s side before she died. She flew to Mexico the next day and, as she was in the air, her mother died. After 7 months of trying to build a life and send for her children, it became clear to Jeanette that at 40 she was too old to get good paying work in Mexico and decided to return to the US. She was detained at the border, and with the help of community, released back to Denver, where she has continued to pick up the threads of her life. This is why Jeanette needs your support. Sign and share this petition widely. http://www.groundswell-mvmt.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/04/Jeanette.png
We Declare Revolutionary Love as the Call of Our TimesWe, people of faith and moral conscience, reclaim Valentine's Day as a Day of Revolutionary Love, Day of Rising. We resist all executive orders and policies that put people in harm’s way. We commit to fight for social justice through the ethic of love -- love for others, our opponents, and ourselves. On Valentine's Day, we will rise up across the U.S. and around the world in music, poetry, dance and action to declare that #RevolutionaryLove is the call of our times.
We Support Civil Disobedience as #MoralResistance.The President has directed our government to construct a wall on our southern border, punish sanctuary cities, facilitate the repeal of the Affordable Care Act, and construct a pipeline despite the protests of indigenous people. He has made statements to roll back voting rights and police brutality protections. Most recently, he closed our borders to refugees for 120 days and has banned all immigrants from select Muslim-majority countries for a period of time -- a de facto Muslim ban. Altogether, these policies target people for who they are, not anything they have done. The danger of this presidency is no longer hypothetical -- it is happening now. In his Letter from a Birmingham Jail, Dr. King wrote that all nonviolent campaigns have four steps: collecting evidence of injustice, negotiation, self-purification, and direct action. The President's executive orders confirm evidence of injustice. Faith leaders have continued to ask for a meeting with no response. Many of us have fasted, prayed, or meditated in self-purification. (You can take this 6-hour meditation with Repairers of the Breach on how to prepare for moral resistance: http://www.breachrepairers.org/moralresistance). We are now ready. People of faith and moral conscience around the nation are preparing for direct actions to protest the laws and policies of this administration. We pledge to support nonviolent civil disobedience as a form of #MoralResistance. We will learn about the moral framework for civil disobedience and choose a role for ourselves, whether as protesters, medics, legal observers, witnesses, or care providers. We will train in civil disobedience as practiced and perfected by thousands before us. And we will show up in the time, place, and manner we are needed. Nonviolent civil disobedience is grounded in the ethic of love – for others, opponents, and ourselves. When people use civil disobedience to protest not just a single policy but widespread injustice, then this act of love becomes revolutionary. It can change a community, a culture, even a country. #RevolutionaryLove is the call of our times. We pledge to answer the call together.
We Pledge To Resist Deportation And Discrimination Through SanctuaryCalling upon the ancient traditions of our faiths, which recognized houses of worship as a refuge for the runaway slave, the conscientious objector, and the Central American refugee fleeing the civil wars of the 1980s, Sanctuary is once again growing among communities of faith that are standing in solidarity with immigrants and marginalized communities facing immoral and unjust deportation and discrimination policies. We find ourselves entering a new phase of U.S. history wherein the politics of fear has stoked an atmosphere of racism and xenophobia across the country. The new Administration has pledged to criminalize, detain and deport undocumented people at new levels that will tear families and communities apart. As people of faith and people of conscience, we will take civil initiative out of our moral obligation to embody principles of human rights and dignity, and resist any harmful and unjust policy proposals that further undermine due process and lead to racial profiling and discrimination. By signing this pledge, we are dedicating ourselves to educate and activate our congregations, to amplify and respond to the voices of immigrant leaders, and to speak out against the discrimination of any and all marginalized people. We are ready to open the doors of our sacred spaces and accompany those facing deportation and discrimination. We support those answering the call to provide sanctuary at schools, hospitals, college campuses, community centers and family homes. We will work with partner organizations to create sacred space of sanctuary wherever it is needed.
End Discriminatory Car Towing in Philadelphia / Fin al Remolque Discriminado de Carros[Español Abajo] • Live Stop towing is financially crippling for low-income families. An average Live Stop tow costs $500 to $1,000 in fees and tickets. If a driver cannot pay, or is scared about being undocumented, and does not claim their vehicle within 15 days, the car is sold at public auction. • Live Stop towing leaves families on the side of the street in the middle of the night, putting people in danger. The fear of being pulled over or losing a car has an emotional and mental impact on people. •Philly grew for the first time in 50 years because of the immigrant population. Immigrants are key to a thriving city and help the growth of Philadelphia through starting new businesses, paying taxes, and enriching the city’s culture. Live Stop towing undermines these benefits. • Nearly half a million Philadelphia residents have been affected by Live Stop since 2002. This has a disproportionate effect on undocumented immigrants who are barred from obtaining driver’s licenses in Pennsylvania. Reinterpreting the law will have a tremendous impact on the lives of immigrants and all low-income families in Philadelphia. • This is an opportunity for Philadelphia to be a leader in the state and country. While we work on a statewide campaign for driver’s licenses for all immigrants, regardless of immigration status, Philadelphia can take a concrete step that will alleviate the negative impacts of not having a license. ******************************************************************************************************* • El remolque de vehículos tiene un efecto financiero agobiante para las familias de bajos ingresos. El costo estimado por un encuentro con Live Stop es de $ 500 a $ 1.000 en cargos y multas. Si el conductor no puede pagar, o tiene miedo por ser indocumentado, y no recupera su vehículo dentro de 15 días, el vehículo se vende en una subasta pública. • El remolque de vehículos deja a los conductores en la calle en medio de la noche, poniendo a las personas en peligro. El temor a ser detenido o perder el vehículo tiene un impacto emocional y mental en las personas. • Philadelphia creció por primera vez en 50 años debido a la población inmigrante. Los inmigrantes son clave para una ciudad próspera y ayudan a su crecimiento a través de la creación de nuevos negocios, el pago de impuestos, y enriquecen la cultura de la ciudad. El programa Live Stop que remolca los vehículos menosprecia estas contribuciones y beneficios para la ciudad. • Casi medio millón de residentes de Philadelphia se han visto afectados por el programa Live Stop desde el año 2002. Esto tiene un efecto desproporcionado sobre los inmigrantes indocumentados que son excluidos de obtener una licencia de conducir en Pensilvania. La re-interpretación de la ley tendrá un tremendo impacto en la vida de los inmigrantes y todas las familias de bajos ingresos en Philadelphia. • Esta es una oportunidad para que Philadelphia sea líder en el estado y en el país. Mientras trabajamos en una campaña para que el estado de PA otorgue licencias de conducir para todos los inmigrantes, independientemente de su condición migratoria, Philadelphia puede dar un paso concreto ahora para aliviar los efectos negativos de no tener una licencia.
Dear Mr. Trump: Will You Advance a Moral Agenda?Pursuing a more perfect union is serious work for any human being. We want to pray for you because we know this is an especially difficult task today. In the prophetic tradition, we want to exhort and challenge you because you cannot do this work alone. Our sacred text honored by Christians, Jews, and Muslims alike declares we must do justice, love mercy, and walk humbly before God. America’s Constitution begins “We the people…” because it points toward a form of government that requires a broad and engaged coalition of citizens in order to thrive. We want to pray and point towards these essential goals. Mr. Trump, we hope it is your desire to be successful. Success is measured by how we welcome the stranger, care for the sick, care for the poor, and care for the hungry in practice and in policy. In order to be successful in the eyesight of God, leaders must repent when they are wrong, and they must be committed to promote that which is rooted in justice and good will. As clergy dedicated to the care of souls, we know you can neither succeed in a way that pleases God nor fulfill the duties of your office unless you repent. All of us, even persons who hold powerful positions, are called to repent when we violate the deep principles of love, justice, and mercy towards all, especially the least of these. Since your election, our communities have been fractured by harassment and intimidation. People of color and religious minorities are afraid. Poor working people who you appealed to in your campaign are disappointed that you have attacked their union leaders while appointing Wall Street elites who use them to your Cabinet. We are deeply concerned by the policy vision that your Cabinet selections suggest. After inviting Steve Bannon’s white nationalism into the Oval Office, you nominated Jeff Sessions to head the Justice Department—a man who did not receive Senate approval for a federal judgeship in 1986 because of his long history of racial discrimination in Alabama. If he maintains his past positions on civil rights and voting rights, he could overturn and undermine years of victories and protections secured and signed in the blood of the martyrs. Equally insulting to African-Americans is your nomination of Ben Carson, a black man with no experience in government or housing, to head HUD. But race can never be separated from class in America. We are equally concerned about Andy Puzder’s resistance to the movement for a living wage, which impacts over 60 million Americans and 54% of all African-Americans. We are concerned about Tom Price’s expressed commitment to repeal the ACA and take away healthcare from people with preexisting conditions, veterans, and nearly 30 million Americans. We are troubled that you have chosen several people to lead federal agencies that they have publicly attacked in the past. Both this nation and the rest of the world desperately need your heart to grow into a source of courage, so you might work with all people of goodwill to uphold the most sacred moral principles of our faith and constitutional values, which are: 1. Protecting and expanding voting rights and ending voter suppression and unconstitutional gerrymandering. We must also pursue women’s rights, immigrant rights, LGBTQ rights, labor rights, religious freedom rights, all with a commitment to the fundamental principle of equal protection under the law. 2. Pro-labor, anti-poverty, anti-racist policies that build up economic democracy through employment, living wages, the alleviation of disparate unemployment, a just transition away from fossil fuels, labor rights, affordable housing, direct cash transfers and other support for all families struggling to get by, and fair policies for immigrants; and by critiquing policies around warmongering that undermine our moral standing and ability to address domestic issues; 3. Equality in education by ensuring every child receives a high quality, well-funded, constitutionally diverse public education, as well as access to community colleges and universities and by securing equitable funding for minority colleges and universities; 4. Healthcare for all by expanding Medicaid in every state, ensuring access to Medicare and Social Security, moving decisively towards a universal, transparent, and equitable healthcare system, and by providing environmental protection and protecting women’s health; 5. Fairness in the criminal justice system by addressing the continuing inequalities in the system for black, brown and poor white people and fighting the proliferation of guns; We do not believe that these are left or right issues. They are right or wrong issues. And while we know no human being is perfect, we wish to speak with you about these moral issues because far too much is at stake for you to succumb to your worst demons while in public office. Our faith calls us to love all people but this love can never refuse to tell the truth and stand against hate, systemic racism, and economic inequality. We cannot simply congratulate you on your victory and say, “Peace, peace” when there is no peace. We are bound by our vows to tell the truth in love and stand together for justice, love and truth. As this tumultuous year draws to a close, we will hold a National Watch Night service on December 31st at the historic Metropolitan AME Church in Washington, DC. We will gather to remember the enslaved people who came together to celebrate the possibility of a more perfect union of the eve of Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation. Like them, we will also enlist free women and men to fight for freedom and justice for all people in 2017 and beyond.
Tell Secretary Jeh Johnson: Close Daniel Neyoy Ruiz's Deportation CaseIn 2011, Daniel was driving to work and was pulled over by the Department of Public Safety because his car was emitting too much exhaust. Although he was never cited, Border Patrol was called and he was detained for one-month and placed in removal proceedings. 30 days ago, he was told he had to leave the United States by May 13th. On May 12th Daniel, surrounded by a large group of clergy walked into our church and entered into sanctuary. Although ICE has said that they will not actively come and apprehend him, this does not guarantee that he won’t be arbitrarily pulled over by the police, turned over to Border Patrol and immediately deported. Daniel will remain in sanctuary at our Church in Tuscon until ICE officials close his deportation case. Now, for the first time in over 30 years, Southside Presbyterian Church has offered sanctuary to a family in our community. WHY DANIEL? Daniel Neyoy Ruiz came to our country 14 years ago, seeking what we all seek: a better life. During the past 14 years, he and his wife had a son, he has paid state and federal taxes since 2005, he is a music leader at his church, he is the primary financial provider for his family, and has no criminal history. CAN WE HELP? The good news is that what we are asking ICE to do, is something they do every day. The Obama administration has said that people like Daniel - individuals with no criminal history, with strong ties to the community, and with US Citizen children are a low priority for deportations and he has said recently that we should not be in the business of tearing apart families. While our current system needs serious reform, there is grace within our current system for people like Daniel and we are simply asking the administration to show Daniel that grace by closing his deportation order and allowing him to remain in Tucson with his wife Karla and son Carlos. OUR VALUES As a Pastor in Arizona, I have witnessed the way in which our broken immigration system is tearing families apart. I have heard over and over the stories of mothers afraid to go to the grocery store, fathers who want to chaperone their children’s field trips but can’t for fear that a simple traffic stop could result in deportation. As people of faith, scriptures command us to care for the widow and the orphan but sometimes we are called to act sooner and prevent the loss of parents and spouses through our immigration policies, and at Southside we believe this time is now.
Tell the Obama Administration: Save Rosa from being deportedIn Tucson we witness the disappearance of community members by Border Patrol every day. We see mothers and fathers taken from our neighborhoods, the pews in our churches, the desk next to us at work. We cannot bear to see any more families torn apart—which is why we welcomed Rosa into Sanctuary on August 7. She will stay within the safety of our church grounds until her deportation order is closed. Through the power of Sanctuary and the power of our petition, we stand in-between a deportation order and a mother in our community. As people of faith, when we witness things that are against the will of God (like a mother torn away from her children), we are called to act. Rosa has two beautiful boys, a loving husband, and has lived in Tucson since 1999. She is an active member of the community, volunteers at her church, her sons’ school, and their baseball teams. But she was ordered to be deported after a minor traffic violation. Like millions of other undocumented immigrants in the United States, Rosa's case is considered low-priority for ICE—she has no criminal history, is a caretaker for minors and has long-standing community ties. But she was in detention for 53 days and fought her immigration case through the courts to no avail. Now, Rosa lives with an order of deportation hanging over her head and is not safe to move freely in her home community of Tucson. The only way to keep Rosa’s family together is for Secretary Johnson to hear from you that her deportation must be stopped right now. CAN WE HELP? Yes. ICE officials have been directed to use "prosecutorial discretion" in cases like this, and showing Secretary Johnson that Rosa and her family have a community that supports and loves her will force them to review Rosa's case. It is critical we ACT NOW on her behalf. Rosa cannot stay in sanctuary forever, and even a stay of deportation would need to be renewed each year—we need a real solution to stop family separation and stop deportations. The House of Representatives has failed to take up immigration reform, and now the President must act to expand deferred action for all undocumented people that will provide relief from deportation and a work permit. It's why we're also telling the Obama Administration: "Stop tearing apart families like Rosa’s and take administrative action to grant Deferred Action for All.” OUR VALUES Compelled by the demands of our faith to love our neighbor as ourselves, we offer Sanctuary to our neighbor Rosa so that she can stay with her family. Our scriptures command us to care for widows and orphan – which is why we must act now to *prevent* the separation of Rosa and her children. We are joined by 17 other local congregations who are working alongside us to guarantee that Rosa is able to watch her sons – Gerardo Jr and Jose Emiliano – grow up. We want to make sure that she is there cheering them on with all the other mothers and fathers in the stands. So we ask that you join us in asking Secretary Jeh Johnson to close Rosa’s deportation order and encourage President Obama to take action and expand deferred action for all 11 million undocumented people who are already part of our congregations and communities.
Tell The Obama Administration: Stop Luis From Being Deported & Keep Your PromiseWe are called to welcome the stranger, but Luis Lopez Acabal is not a stranger. Luis is our neighbor. He is a husband and a father, who came as a teenager to escape death threats from gangs and violence most of us can hardly imagine. He worked hard and made a life for himself and his family. He has fought his case through the immigration courts to no avail. We want him to stay. While ICE officials assure us he is a low priority and don’t intend to seek him out, they refuse to offer him the means to remain in the country legally. THE INJUSTICE A grave injustice is happening when people come to the U.S. to escape unimaginable violence but when every day more than 1,000 people are deported, many ripped away from spouses and children, as a result of a broken misguided immigration system. Despite President Obama’s promise to keep families together, Luis’s family is at risk. This is why we welcomed Luis into Sanctuary at our church on Sept. 4th. He will remain in the protection of this sacred space with the support of the community until his deportation order is removed. LUIS’ STORY Luis emigrated from Guatemala at the age of 17, fleeing gang violence in his country, arriving only a few months too late to be eligible for DACA (deferred action for childhood arrivals). He has made a life, fallen in love, and married Mayra Canales, a permanent legal resident on the path to citizenship and mother of two U.S. citizen children, one of whom has autism. Mayra has struggled with anxiety and depression for many years. Luis has taken in Mayra’s children as his own, and Kevin (5) and Kimberly (2) consider him their father. He is the sole breadwinner for the family, allowing Mayra to act as a full time caregiver for their children. Kevin has thrived in the new family setting and some of his autism related behaviors have been diminished. Kevin’s success and the support of a loving husband and parenting partner has made a huge difference in Mayra’s battles with depression and anxiety. This deportation threatens not only Luis’ life, as he faces deportation to a country with the 5th highest homicide rate in the world, but also Mayra’s mental health and Kevin’s recent progress. There is no value to our society in taking Luis away from his wife and children. PROVIDING SANCTUARY “God is our refuge,” the Psalmist writes, and the church is called upon to reflect God to the world. We invite people of faith and moral courage around the country to stand in solidarity with Luis and our church as we offer refuge from injustice. We call upon President Obama and Secretary Jeh Johnson of Homeland Security to do justice in the face of brokenness: * Secretary Jeh Johnson and those within Immigration and Customs Enforcement, grant a stay of removal or deferred action to Luis Lopez TODAY. * President Obama, keep your promise – stop tearing apart families like Luis’ and take administrative action to grant Deferred Action for All NOW. CAN WE HELP? Yes – ask Secretary Jeh Johnson to close Luis’ deportation order and encourage President Obama to take action and expand deferred action for all 11 million undocumented people who are already part of our congregations and communities. ICE officials have been directed to use "prosecutorial discretion" in cases like Luis’. Showing Secretary Johnson that Luis and his family have a community that supports and loves him will force them to review Luis’ case. You can also follow Luis’ story and help advocate for him by liking the page and sharing our updates and calls to action. Search “Luis Lopez Acabal Sanctuary” Call Jeh Johnson, Secretary of DHS, at 202-282-8495 and leave a message in support of Luis. It is an answering machine that fills up by the end of the day, so please fill it up with support for Luis: “Hello, my name is ___. I am calling to urge Secretary to Johnson to use the discretion available to him to stop the deportation of Mr. Luis Lopez Acabal, A#088-670-167. Mr. Lopez fits the category of a low priority for deportation and should not be removed from his family and his home in the United States.” Call President Obama and Cecilia Muñoz, Director of the White House Domestic Policy Council, at 202-456-1111 leave a message urging them to take action and defer Luis' deportation. This is a live comment line that will be picked up by a real human being so please be very polite. “Hello, my name is ___. I am calling to urge Director Cecilia Munoz and President Barack Obama to act swiftly to stop the pending deportation of Mr. Luis Lopez Acabal, A#088-670-167. Mr. Lopez fits the category of a low priority for deportation and should not be removed from his family and his home in the United States. The administration, under advisement of the President and Director Munoz, should give guidance to the Department of Homeland Security to intervene in this case and act swiftly to halt the deportation of other parents like Mr. Lopez while they wait to take executive action.”
Tell the Obama Administration: Stop Beatriz from being deportedBeatriz came to our church seeking sanctuary because she is facing deportation and is a mother of two U.S. Citizen children: Donato, who just turned 3 years old, and his 8-month-old sister, Iran. Beatriz is from Veracruz, Mexico and has been in deportation proceedings since 2010. She is fighting to keep her family here in Illinois, where they have created a home and are part of the community. She is also a very special case because Beatriz was a victim of aggravated criminal sexual assault in 2009 and worked with law enforcement to testify and convict her rapist—which makes her eligible for a U-Visa. However, a paperwork technicality has prevented her from getting the relief she needs, and now she is in danger of immediate deportation. Beatriz had no other options when she came to our door. Our church offered Sanctuary as an emergency action inspired by our deepest faith values. We will continue to provide Sanctuary to Beatriz and her children while we ask the Obama administration to close or put a stay on her deportation order until she can obtain legal status. CAN WE HELP? Yes. We can stand with Beatriz in her time of urgent need. Beatriz is a low-priority case, especially with two American-born children and the possibility of a U-Visa around the corner, which qualify her for ICE’s “prosecutorial discretion.” If we draw attention to her story and show she has a community that loves her, the Department of Homeland Security has the power to drop her case. OUR VALUES We are a church in the heart of a Mexican community in Chicago, and our work has always been “creating hope for those without hope, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.” To be undocumented in this country is a fearful and heartbreaking situation under our broken immigration system. And in Beatriz’s case, to be undocumented and the victim of sexual assault is an even worse trauma. Beatriz’s bravery inspired our compassion and decision to welcome her into Sanctuary. With over 52 congregations around the country supporting the Sanctuary Movement, we’re proud to join in the ranks of these faithful communities providing physical and spiritual relief to our undocumented brothers and sisters in need. TAKE ACTION We ask that you join us in asking Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and the Obama administration to close or put a stay on Beatriz’s deportation order and encourage immediate action to declare a moratorium on deportations.
Tell The Obama Administration: Stop Francisco From Being DeportedAs a church in Arizona, we witness the suffering of our neighbors fearing deportation and feel the damage when families are broken apart EVERY DAY. Francisco came to our church after the threat of deportation had been looming over his family's life for 8 months. A husband and father of 5, Francisco is considered a low priority for deportation by ICE—he has no criminal history and has proven himself to be a stable and valued member of our community, working full-time and paying his taxes faithfully. But every time he left his home he ran the risk of never returning. Since the promises of action and reform have been broken by Congress and the Obama Administration, we are compelled by our faith to stand in the gap of justice for our undocumented neighbors in need. This is why we welcomed Francisco into Sanctuary at St. Francis in the Foothills United Methodist Church. CHOOSING LOVE A family is formed around love, and Francisco and Sarai have done a marvelous job of creating and growing that love in their family. As people of faith we believe that we should do all we can to assist families in the challenging work of "love-development." The biggest obstacle to that love is fear. Fear should never stand in a central place in any family. Whenever we work to remove some of the causes of fear, we are doing God's work here on earth. Whenever we take away barriers that stand between families and the possibilities that lie in front of them, we show heaven to each other. There are enough obstacles in this life without us creating more through laws that unfairly divide families and stand in the way of the love they are nurturing. CAN WE HELP? Absolutely! Through administrative closure or “prosecutorial discretion,” government officials have the power to stop deportations. You can shine the light of justice on Francisco's case by helping those officials see the importance of his place and presence in his family and community. With your voice and actions we can lead the Department of Homeland Security on a better path, by stopping Francisco’s deportation and showing support of deferred action for all. TAKE ACTION We ask that you join us in asking Secretary Jeh Johnson to close Francisco's deportation order and encourage President Obama to take action and expand deferred action for all 11 million undocumented people who are part of our congregations and communities. Sign and share the petition today.