• It is just to investigate allegations against Brett Kavanaugh before final vote
    Without a proper investigation, the Senate Judiciary Commiteeman and the full Senate can not possibly render a just and informed opinion on the standing of Kavanaugh as a lifetime appointment to the highest court in the land. Evidence could include witnesses accounts, medical records, and other sources that we can not possibly know of at this time. The Supreme Court renders decisions that impact every aspect of the day to day lives of all Americans. It is unfair to rush an appointment through without deference to collecting the facts that will allow a reasoned vote for or against a person being considered for such a position of power for decades to come. The American people deserve to know that any SCOTUS justice has the highest legal and moral integrity in serving the country in such an impactful way.
    5 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Laura Michaels
  • Tell PA's State Legislature and Governor: Let Pennsylvania Drive Forward!
    Driver's licenses help meet basic needs. The right to mobility, to move freely, is inscribed in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. Many other fundamental needs — to work, to education, and to human dignity — are only accessible via valid identification and adequate transportation. When surveyed, nearly 300 people said that due to lack of a driver's license they have: *Taken work with less pay or fewer hours *Had difficulty renting an apartment/house *Had to give up educational opportunities, a better school or a scholarship *Children are scared of losing parent from driving without a license Our Public Safety The roads and highways are safer when everyone behind the wheel has a license, insurance, and identification. For this reason, police officers and sheriffs around the country are in favor of this right being granted to all people. An unmarked license is necessary to encourage all drivers in Pennsylvania to obtain a license. A marked license would perpetuate the fear many immigrants have of deportation and family separation. Our Economy The ability to legally drive allows immigrants to fully contribute to the local economy. Access to transportation is necessary for the many immigrant workers, business owners, parents, and students in Pennsylvania. Undocumented Pennsylvanians contribute an estimated $139 million in taxes in PA annually. The first year of enacting proposed legislation could see between $2.76 million to $4.14 million in revenue from licensing fees alone, with a possible $2.36 to $3.54 million in subsequent years — a number that far outpaces the cost of implementation. ESPAÑOL Las licencias de conducir ayudan a cubrir necesidades básicas. El derecho a la movilidad, a moverse libremente, esta inscrito en la Declaración Universal de los Derechos Humanos. Muchas otras necesidades fundamentales - trabajar, educación, y la dignidad humana - sólo son accesibles a través de una identificación válida y transporte adecuado. Casi 300 personas al ser encuestadas dijeron que debido a la falta de una licencia de conducir han: *Tomado trabajos con menos paga o menos horas *Tenido dificultad para alquilar un apartamento o casa *Tenido que renunciar a oportunidades de educación, una escuela mejor o una beca *Los niños tienen miedo de ser separados de sus padres por conducir sin licencia Nuestra Seguridad Pública Las calles y autopistas son más seguras 
cuando la persona detrás del timón tiene una licencia, seguro e identificación. Por ésta razón, policías y sheriffs alrededor del país están a favor de que éste derecho le sea otorgado a todas las personas. Las licencias sin marcar son necesarias para animar a todos los que manejan a obtener una. Las licencias marcadas perpetuarían en los inmigrantes el temor a la deportación y la separación familiar. Nuestra Economía Poder conducir legalmente permite a los inmigrantes contribuir a la economía local. El acceso a transporte es necesario para muchos inmigrantes trabajadores, empresarios, padres y estudiantes en Pensilvania. Residentes indocumentados de Pensilvania contribuyen un estimado anual de $139 millones en impuestos estatales. Durante el primer año de la promulgación de la legislación propuesta, ésta podría generar entre $2,760,000 y $4.14 millones solamente en el costo de la licencia, con la posibilidad de $2.36 a $3,54 millones en los años siguientes, -una cifra que supera con creces el costo de la implementación.
    8 of 100 Signatures
    Created by Desi Burnette
  • We Challenge Trump’s Evangelical Defenders To Live TV Debate About Faith & Public Policy
    As you can watch here (https://on.msnbc.com/2NX9ryx), MSNBC has offered to host this round table on faith in the public square. Please either respond to their producers who have reached out to you or let us know an alternate public venue in which you prefer to “give an answer for everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have,” as Scripture says we must always be prepared to do (I Peter 3:15). Sincerely, Bishop William J. Barber, II, Pres. & Sr. Lecturer, Repairers of the Breach Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis , Co-Director, Kairos Center for Religion, Rights & Social Justice Bishop Yvette Flunder, Presiding Bishop, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries Minister Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Director, School for Conversion
    4,797 of 5,000 Signatures
    Created by Repairers of the Breach PPC: NCMR
  • Faith Communities Condemn Family Separation at the Border
    The stories of family separation are devastating and show how the traumatic impact of separation will damage these children for life. 5-year old José was taken from his father after they arrived at the U.S. border in El Paso. His foster mother reports that the first few nights he cried himself to sleep and he now moans and moans as he tries to fall asleep. He keeps a stick-figure drawing of his family underneath his pillow. An 18-month-old baby girl is being fostered by Bethany Christian Services and was separated from her father who was detained. Her foster parent notes that she cries frequently especially when she changes settings [1]. Marco Antonio Muñoz, a Honduran father who was separated from his wife and child, committed suicide while in detention. Muñoz fled violence in Honduras. The administration’s unprecedented policy of family separation, including tearing an infant from a breastfeeding mom, is cruel and wrong. We reject increasing barriers to protection for asylum seekers and unaccompanied children, which impede our moral and legal obligations to offer protection to vulnerable populations. We reject curtailing access to asylum for survivors of domestic violence or gang violence. We also reject any legislative proposals that would curtail or end asylum protections, including for unaccompanied children; decimate family reunification; expand detention of children; and further infringe upon the rights and safety of border communities. The Executive Order signed by President Trump pertaining to family separation mandates that immigrant families be held in family detention and does nothing to reunify the thousands of families that have already been ripped apart [2]. Instead of terminating the administration’s cruel “zero tolerance” policies targeting vulnerable families, this order undermines real solutions to family separation while continuing to violate the rights of refugees seeking legal asylum. Suspending prosecutions of adults who are members of family units is not sufficient, because this is only planned until ICE can accelerate resource capability to detain more people. Family separation will persist, as any assigned jail time must be served in Department of Justice (DOJ) custody away from their children. Family detention is not a solution to family separation. As Attorney General Jeff Sessions referred to Romans 13 urging people to obey the law, we recommend reading the entire chapter that clearly asserts that loving others is the most important law. Romans 13: 9-10 (NRSV) reads “Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” As faith communities, we ask the the administration to support policies that protect and unite immigrants and families, and to terminate the family separation and “zero tolerance” policies that result in detention and prosecution of individuals for migration-related offenses. We call on the administration to respect international and U.S. law and ensure asylum seekers have an opportunity to seek protection. We ask Congress to do everything in its power to see the administration stop detaining and prosecuting parents, forcibly separating them from their children or holding them in family detention centers. Congress should reject any anti-immigrant, anti-family legislation like H.R.4760, the Securing America’s Future Act; the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act; or any other proposal that violates the sanctity of family unity. These bills drastically cut legal immigration, eliminate green cards for family reunification, increase detention and deportation, reduce access to asylum, and put more children and asylum seekers in jail or return them to deadly situations. These bills do not offer a workable path to citizenship for Dreamers already living among us. Children and young people should not be used as bargaining chips to advance harmful immigration proposals. Congress should cut funding for ICE and CBP that fuels family separation. We believe Congress and the administration should act to bring families together, not keep them apart. --- Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño is Bishop of San Francisco Area of The United Methodist Church and an Auburn Senior Fellow. [1] Reporting on these stories: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/us/children-immigration-borders-family-separation.html [2] The administration's executive order: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/affording-congress-opportunity-address-family-separation/
    832 of 1,000 Signatures
    Created by Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño Picture
  • All Rights for All, Without Borders
    Our current immigration policies based on the principles of deterrence violate the basic commitments of our different faith traditions, which 1) emphasize the sacred dignity of all humans; 2) see humanity as belonging to one family, thus no one is a stranger; 3) demand that society and individuals care for the needy and stranger among us; 4) demand truth, instead of the lies used by this current Administration concerning the character and personhood of brown people to justify draconian and cruel policies; and 5) call the faithful to fight for a just society free from the abuse and oppression of others. Even with President Trump’s partial policy reversal, we are concerned that the underlying dehumanization and criminalization of refugees and asylum seekers at the border remains in place. These policies violate both national and international law. Moreover, such inhumane practices continue this country’s original sin: racism defined by targeting and tormenting people of color in the name of supposed self-defense as rule of law. That many refugee children and families find abuse at the hands of our government instead of favor is merely the latest instance of the racism that infects our country’s soul. We abhor both the separation of families and the fact that families seeking refugee status are being incarcerated instead of receiving aid. We acknowledge that some of the people employed to carry out unjust orders despise the directives that the Trump administration has given them. So we call on one another to declare, unequivocally, the equal and full humanity of all who find themselves on our borders – regardless of their documentation status – for we are all members of God’s Creation. We encourage full participation in actions that resist these unjust policies. We remind this administration of the immense network which we represent and that our base is prepared to use its theological, political and legal resources to ensure the safety and wellbeing of these children and their families. Our diverse faith traditions speak with one voice, calling us to embrace refugees and secure their protection. Indeed, we deny our faith, ethics, and humanity when we remain silent or complicit in the death and dehumanization of others. Our convictions demand that all of us stand in solidarity with the oppressed in this struggle for liberation. --- Nuestras políticas migratorias actuales basadas en los principios de disuasión violan los compromisos básicos de nuestras diferentes tradiciones de fe, que 1) enfatizan la dignidad inherente y sagrada de todas las personas; 2) comprenden a la humanidad como perteneciente a una sola familia, que implica que por lo tanto, nadie es un extraño o una extraña; 3) demandan que la sociedad y las personas se sientan interpelado/as y comprometido/as con los extraño/as entre nosotros; 4) exigen la verdad y la justicia, en lugar de las mentiras utilizadas por esta Administración actual con respecto al carácter y la dignidad de las personas y comunidades de color para justificar políticas crueles e injustas; y 5) llaman a los fieles y personas de conciencia a luchar por una sociedad justa libre del abuso y la opresión de los demás. Incluso con el logro parcial de frenar la política de separación de las familias impuesta por el presidente Trump, nos preocupa profundamente que la deshumanización y criminalización subyacente de los refugiados y solicitantes de asilo en la frontera siga vigente. Estas políticas violan el derecho nacional e internacional. Además, tales prácticas inhumanas le dan continuidad a, y profundizan el pecado original de este país: el racismo caracterizado por la explotación y victimización de las personas de color en nombre de una supuesta defensa del estado de derecho. Que muchas niñas y niñas y familias de solicitantes de asilo y refugio sufran por el abuso a las manos de nuestro gobierno en lugar de la protección a la que tienen derecho, es simplemente la última instancia del racismo que infecta el alma de nuestro país. Aborrecemos tanto la separación de las familias como el hecho de que las familias que buscan el estatuto de refugiado estén siendo encarceladas y penalizadas en lugar de recibir la ayuda que merecen. Reconocemos que algunas de las personas empleadas para ejecutar y cumplir órdenes injustas desprecian las directrices que la administración Trump les ha impuesto. Llamamos a todas y todos a proclamar, proteger y defender, inequívocamente, la humanidad igual y plena de todas las personas que se encuentran en nuestras fronteras, independientemente de su estado migratorio, ya que todas y todos somos miembros de la comunidad mundial de la Creación de Dios. Alentamos la participación plena en acciones efectivas que resistan estas políticas injustas. Recordamos a esta administración la inmensa red que representamos y que nuestra base está preparada para usar y movilizar sus recursos teológicos, políticos, sociales, culturales y jurídicos para garantizar la seguridad y el bienestar de estas niñas y niños y sus familias. Nuestras diversas tradiciones de fe hablan con una sola voz, llamándonos a abrazar y darle la bienvenida a las personas que solicitan asilo y refugio y migran en búsqueda de una vida mejor, y asegurar su protección. De hecho, negamos nuestra fe, nuestra ética y nuestra humanidad cuando permanecemos en silencio o somos cómplices de la muerte y la deshumanización de los demás. Nuestras convicciones exigen que todas y todos nos solidaricemos con los oprimidos en esta lucha por la liberación. Original drafters and signers include Rev. Dr. Danielle Tumminio, Rev. Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre, Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, Rev. Dr. Peter Heltzel, Rev. Dr. Pamela R. Lightsey, Rev. Dr. Shannon Craigo-Snell, Rev. Dr. J. Kameron Carter, Rev. Traci Blackmon, Rev. Dr. Noel Castellanos, and Rev. Dr. Katharine R. Henderson.
    739 of 800 Signatures
    Created by Groundswell Movement Picture
  • Cancel the Deportation of Vicky Chavez! Let Her Stay in Salt Lake City, Utah
    With her first daughter, Vicky made the arduous journey from Honduras to the U.S. border in 2014, after receiving death threats in Honduras from her daughter’s father. After following the international process for asylum at the border, she has petitioned the U.S. government for asylum over and over, without ceasing, in order to win safety and legal residency in her new home, Utah, where the rest of her family lives. She has been fighting constantly to get legal asylum status, even while facing insufficient legal representation and an immigration court system that arbitrarily denies most asylum seekers. Vicky has never given up. Her current lawyer has filed to reopen her asylum case. She has no criminal record. Vicky has reconnected and reunited with the rest of her immediate family here in Utah. She had a second, beautiful daughter in 2017, and her family and friends have given her unconditional love and support as she raises her family in her new community. But in 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) decided they couldn’t leave this mother in peace to raise her girls and gain permanent status in the U.S. They decided she just had to be deported. If Vicky were sent back to Honduras, her life and the lives of her daughters would be in danger. So on January 30, 2018, mere hours before her flight to Honduras, she took sanctuary at First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City, Utah. Women with children should be a protected class for asylum. Like Vicky, victims of domestic violence in Honduras and similar countries have no recourse for getting relief; the Honduran government cannot or will not intervene against their abusers or the organized exploitation of women and children, which practically guarantees systemic endangerment of women and children. Honduras is on the brink of civil war. Election fraud and lack of confidence in the legitimacy of the Honduran government have frayed its ability to provide basic services or protect its citizens from the local systems of control that have developed in the vacuum of a weak central government. The country's security force has gained power due to U.S. prosecution of the international war on drugs, has committed widespread human rights abuses, and has enabled the formation of warring gangs. Women and children can find no social safety in these circumstances. The current U.S. standards for asylum are inadequate and need to be updated: they do not protect the lives of people who have been displaced from their countries of origin by non-state violence and violence exacerbated by U.S. foreign policy. I ask that you please cancel Vicky's deportation order and enable her asylum application to be successful. She needs to raise her girls in peace and stability, unafraid, surrounded by her family and friends in Utah, where she belongs. Con su primera hija, Vicky realizó el arduo viaje de Honduras a la frontera con Estados Unidos en 2014, luego de recibir amenazas de muerte en Honduras por parte del padre de su hija. Después de seguir el proceso internacional de asilo en la frontera, ella ha solicitado asilo al gobierno de los EE. UU. Una y otra vez, sin cesar, para ganar seguridad y residencia legal en su nuevo hogar, Utah, donde vive el resto de su familia. Ella ha estado luchando constantemente para obtener el estado de asilo legal, incluso cuando enfrenta una representación legal insuficiente y un sistema judicial de inmigración que arbitrariamente niega la mayoría de los solicitantes de asilo. Vicky nunca se rindió. Su abogado actual ha presentado una solicitud para reabrir su caso de asilo. Ella no tiene antecedentes penales. Vicky se ha vuelto a conectar y se ha reunido con el resto de su familia inmediata aquí en Utah. Tuvo una segunda y hermosa hija en 2017, y su familia y amigos le han brindado su amor incondicional y apoyo mientras cría a su familia en su nueva comunidad. Pero en 2017, el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE) decidió que no podían dejar a esta madre en paz para criar a sus hijas y obtener un estatus permanente en los EE. UU. Decidieron que solo tenía que ser deportada. Si Vicky fuera enviada de vuelta a Honduras, su vida y la de sus hijas correrían peligro. Así que el 30 de enero de 2018, apenas unas horas antes de su vuelo a Honduras, tomó refugio en First Unitarian Church en Salt Lake City, Utah. Las mujeres con niños deben ser una clase protegida para el asilo. Al igual que Vicky, las víctimas de violencia doméstica en Honduras y países similares no tienen ningún recurso para obtener alivio; el gobierno hondureño no puede o no va a intervenir contra sus abusadores o la explotación organizada de mujeres y niños, lo que prácticamente garantiza el peligro sistémico para las mujeres y los niños. Honduras está al borde de la guerra civil. El fraude electoral y la falta de confianza en la legitimidad del gobierno hondureño han debilitado su capacidad para proporcionar servicios básicos o proteger a sus ciudadanos de los sistemas locales de control que se han desarrollado en el vacío de un gobierno central débil. La fuerza de seguridad del país ha ganado poder debido al enjuiciamiento de Estados Unidos de la guerra internacional contra las drogas, ha cometido abusos generalizados contra los derechos humanos y ha permitido la formación de pandillas en guerra. Las mujeres y los niños no pueden encontrar seguridad social en estas circunstancias. Las actuales normas estadounidenses para el asilo son inadecuadas y deben actualizarse: no protegen la vida de las personas que han sido desplazadas de sus países de origen por la violencia no estatal y la violencia exacerbada por la política exterior de EE. UU. Le pido que cancele la orden de deportación de Vicky y permita que su solicitud de asilo sea exitosa. Ella necesita criar a sus hijas en paz y estabilidad, sin miedo, rodeada de su familia y amigos en Utah, a donde pertenece.
    1,731 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Kristin Knippenberg
  • The Open Internet is Under Attack. We Vow to Protect It.
    Two years ago, millions of us rose up in a movement to protect the open Internet, and we won. The open Internet is a space where all of us -- no matter the content of our beliefs, color of our skin, size of our wallets -- have an equal voice. We will not let President Trump's appointee overturn net neutrality protections. In this critical time, we need net neutrality now more than ever to fight and defend the future of our democracy. Our marches, vigils, petitions, and calls to action depend on organizing on an open Internet. So we vow to continue to champion faith and moral voices in the fight to protect the open Internet as a moral imperative. We, as people of many faiths and backgrounds, ask lawmakers to do the right thing as a moral imperative.
    1,298 of 2,000 Signatures
    Created by Valarie Kaur Picture
  • We Declare Revolutionary Love as the Call of Our Times
    We, 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.
    7,200 of 8,000 Signatures
    Created by Valarie Kaur Picture
  • 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.
    6,524 of 7,000 Signatures
    Created by Valarie Kaur Picture
  • Tell Senator Mark Kirk: Protect migrant child refugees fleeing violence and poverty
    Imagine you are a child seeking relief from violence and extreme poverty. You’ve left the only home you’ve ever known. You make it to America. You are tired, hungry, and disoriented. What happens next? Thank God you are covered by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA), which says you must be transferred into the care and custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) within a period of 72 hours. It also protects your basic rights to due process and ensures that you have a day in court to share your story. For migrant children from Mexico, who have not been granted the same protections under TVPRA, their arrival marks the beginning of another series of traumas. In a short span of hours, these children are “screened” by inexperienced border patrol agents, who decide whether or not the child deserves to stay. Kids as young as 5 years old are expected to coherently describe the violence and abuse they have experienced to these agents, who look just like the corrupt and violent police authorities they saw at home. Studies [1,2] reveal that 96% of Mexican children are summarily deported to the countries they escaped, despite many of them having legitimate claims or basis for relief. If the TVPRA is rolled back, this could be the plight of ALL migrant child refugees looking for safety and relief at our borders. As the situation of Mexican children shows, we cannot afford to rollback the TVPRA! OUR VALUES We at the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN) are part of the Unaccompanied Children’s Interfaith Ministry of Chicago. We witness the children’s stories, prayers, and dreams, and are compelled to protect them. Our scriptures command us to care for widows and orphans and we are driven by the demands of our faith to protect our neighbors in need, especially the little ones. Our values are also backed by international policy: The U.S. is required to provide protections and due process to refugees who are arriving at our borders, especially when they are children. Our representatives need to be reminded: Without the TVPRA, the U.S. will be endangering the safety of refugee migrant children and will be in grave violation of international conventions. TAKE ACTION This year, fewer children are expected to arrive in search of refuge, but the TVPRA remains under attack. This is unacceptable. Senator Mark Kirk has shown tremendous leadership in human rights issues before. Most recently, he co-formed the Senate Human Rights Caucus. Ask Senator Mark Kirk to be a champion for unaccompanied children! Tell him: Stand by these children and oppose any efforts and provisions aimed at circumventing the TVPRA and the right of migrant refugee children to due process and safety. We must show compassion and love towards unaccompanied children. [1] https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/120214-expeditedremoval_0.pdf [2]http://americanimmigrationcouncil.org/sites/default/files/UNHCR_UAC_Monitoring_Report_Final_June_2014.pdf
    938 of 1,000 Signatures
    Created by Lissette Castillo
  • Tell President Obama: You left out the migrant children and families
    On November 20th, 2014 President Obama announced modifications to immigration policy, providing temporary relief from deportation to many undocumented Americans, recognizing the values of family unity and the inalienable human rights of our immigrant sisters and brothers. The President's relief action, however, has left out the most vulnerable population: Children and others who have fled terror and violence, seeking safety and protection with family members living here in the United States. This year we witnessed one of the largest refugee crises in the Western hemisphere, with 69,000 unaccompanied migrant children, half of whom are girls, arriving at the US border. They are primarily from four countries: Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico. An equal number of adults, many traveling with their young children and families, also arrived this year. In every way, they are refugees. They are fleeing unspeakable violence and harm: death threats, rape, extortion by organized crime, and other forms of terror and violence. Honduras has the #1 murder rate in the world; El Salvador #4; Guatemala #5. Their governments either will not or cannot protect them from harm. Additionally, they have experienced terrible trauma on the perilous journey to the US border, often traveling on the tops of trains, overtaken by gangs and corrupt police forces. In every way, they are refugees; but the Obama administration is not treating them as refugees, but criminalizing them for seeking protection and safety. Instead of being housed by refugee agencies, they are arrested and detained in family immigration detention centers. See http://grassrootsleadership.org/facts-about-family-detention Instead of being welcomed and supported, our nation's resources are being used to deport them and send them back to danger. Their deportation cases are being expedited on "rocket dockets," forcing children and families to appear quickly in immigration court, in some cases with as little as one week or a few months. This gives impossibly little time to find an attorney and adequately prepare a viable aslyum case. Rocket dockets are compromising due process under national and international law. Immigrants are not provided attorneys, and many are unable to obtain or hire an affordable attorney in such a short time. 70% of migrant children cannot afford an attorney. Without an attorney, children as young as 2 years old, would be required to represent themselves before an immigration judge. 9 out of 10 children without attorneys will be deported. Asylum laws are outdated and do not adequately protect people fleeing from the kind of harm currently facing people from Mexico and Central America, such as persecution by organized crime, gangs, and narco traffickers. WHAT PRESIDENT OBAMA MUST DO: We are a nation that believes in providing safe haven for those facing persecution and threats to life. Pope Francis declared on July 15, 2014 “This humanitarian emergency requires, as a first urgent measure, these children be welcomed and protected." And that these measures “must be accompanied by policies that inform people about the dangers of such a journey and, above all, that promote development in their countries of origin.” The United Nations High Commission on Refugees (UNHCR) Senior Protection Officer, Leslie Velez, testified before the United States Congressional House Judiciary Committee, June 25, 2014, that the children require international protection. As people of faith and people of conscience, we see all children as our children. We believe that all children must be ensured international protection and be treated with dignity and respect. We believe we are called to care for all children, as if they were our own. President Obama just protected up to 5 million immigrants. Surely he can do the same for approximately 120,000 Central American and Mexican children, individuals and families who should be considered refugees and kept safe from harm. Some of us are Sanctuary congregations, joining together with other People of Conscience. We will not allow these child and refugee families to be sent back. If our government will not protect children, we, Sanctuary and people of conscience, will. Petition Co-Sponsoring Organizations: University Lutheran Chapel - Berkeley, The East Bay Interfaith Immigration Coalition, Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights- CLUE,
    381 of 400 Signatures
    Created by Deborah Lee
  • Migrant children require humanitarian response
    Our sacred scriptures say.... “You are not to abuse any widow or orphan. If you do abuse them in any way, and they cry to me, I will certainly heed their cry. - Exodus: 22: 21-23 “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. “ - Luke 18:16 As people of faith we see all children as our children. We believe that all children must be ensured international protection and be treated with dignity and respect. We believe we are called to care for all children, as if they were our own. The reasons these children have left their countries of origins are complex and interrelated and have been well documented by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees Report, “Children on the Run,” which has warned of this growing humanitarian crisis. The vast majority have come seeking refuge from surges of violence, and to be reunited with their parents and families living in the United States. Extreme poverty and economic forces, along with situations of surging violence has pushed many of these children out of their home countries. Many have endured horrific trauma and violence as they flee their countries often crossing multiple borders. It is heartbreaking and appalling to see and hear of the inadequate conditions in which children are being held along the US southern border. Children should never be held in detention facilities or makeshift holding centers. Policing and enforcement agencies should not be taking care of children. independent oversight and human rights monitoring must be allowed to ensure the safety and protection of these children. Children should be reunited with their families in the U.S. immediately. We as people of faith believe that these children must not be forgotten . We call on our government to act with purpose and humanitarian resolve. This petition is sponsored by Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice- California, the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Interfaith Center for Worker Justice in San Diego, the Cal-Pacific Immigration Taskforce of the United Methodist Church and attendees of the Let My People Work Conference in Los Angeles (June 9-11, 2014).
    5,192 of 6,000 Signatures
    Created by Deborah Lee
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