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.
Ask the Department of Homeland Security: "Where's the Discretion? Grant Arturo a Stay!"The Metro Denver Sanctuary Coalition welcomed Arturo into sanctuary October 19th at First Unitarian Society of Denver. We are putting into action our commitment to welcome and accompany our immigrant neighbors into our community because we are called upon to love our neighbors as we love ourselves. Arturo is our neighbor, and his threat of deportation is a threat to our entire community. We do not accept anyone's right to tear apart loving families in our community. We have chosen to bring Arturo into sanctuary because it is just, and believe the injustice of our immigration policy is an offense against our community and our faith. ARTURO'S SITUATION Arturo is a loving husband, father of two children and small business owner who has lived in the US for 15 years. His home is here in Colorado with his family where he can fulfill his dream of seeing both his daughters off to college one day. He and his family have exhausted every resource and legal recourse to stay together over the last four years and need your participation to stay together now. Arturo Hernández has been married for 16 years and has two daughters- Mariana, a 15 year old in the process of qualifying for Deferred Action and Andrea, 9 year old U.S. citizen. He and his family have lived in Colorado for 15 years. Here is a video from his daughter about his petition: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A3iP9SPnD0Y&feature=youtu.be Arturo is a small business owner and started his company as a subcontractor in the construction industry in 2008. He provides employment for an average of 8 to 9 people annually, and he also contributes to a bible study in the Catholic Church as well as service projects. In 2010, Arturo was unfairly arrested by local police, but was proven innocent in court and all charges were withdrawn. Unfortunately, even though he was acquitted, he was detained by immigration and deportation proceedings continued. ICE continues to deny Arturo’s appeals, saying that the suffering of his family is not reason enough to stop his deportation. How can we accept this immoral answer? When Arturo’s sick father died in Mexico last year, Arturo could not be with him for fear of aggravating his immigration status and placing the stability of his family in jeopardy. How can we stand by and witness this pain? Because of the significant suffering his deportation would cause his daughters, his wife and the families of his employees, we ask that his deportation be stopped immediately and that he be granted a stay of removal so he can stay with his family. We urge you to Sign and Share this petition asking Immigration to grant Arturo a stay of removal. Such action would not only be in line with the teaching of our faith traditions, but true to the values of our communities and nation. TAKE ACTION We ask that you join us in asking Secretary Jeh Johnson to close Arturo’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 communities and congregations. Sign and share the petition today.
OREGON LABOR AND IMMIGRANT RIGHTS LEADER FACES CHARGES FOR 15 YEAR OLD DEPORTATIONIn September 2014 immigration agents came to the house of labor leader and Oregon immigrant rights organizer Francisco Aguirre house looking to take him into custody to deport him. When he did not open the door and asked for a warrant, they left. For the next two months, Francisco took Sanctuary in a local Portland church, while his family, advocates, and faith leaders organized a campaign to stop his deportation. But a two months into the sanctuary fight, immigration decided to seek a felony charge for “re-entry” into the United States for Francisco, in collaboration with the U.S. Marshall’s office. ICE is pursuing Francisco despite his many contributions to Oregon, where he is raising 3 children and where he has lived for almost 20 years. Francisco has been a long-time organizer at VOZ Worker’s Rights and Education Project, where he works with low-income workers and helps them fight for fair labor rights. He has helped claim stolen wages for workers, has been involved in improving health and safety labor standards, and is a musician who signs for social justice-related causes. Francisco is also one of the pioneers of advocating for the rights of day laborers across the country working closely with the National Day Laborer Organizing Network. Since his story became public, ICE has declared Francisco a “criminal alien” who is “considered a public safety threat and a priority for removal” in relation to two prior and isolated convictions. Twenty years ago Francisco pled ‘no contest’ to a drug-related charge, and was deported. The charge itself is questionable, and Francisco maintains his innocence. As he has explained, the only reason took a plea was due to encouragement by his public defender without knowing that ICE would take this as an admission of guilt and use it to deport him. Under today’s law, this would be considered misrepresentation and potentially grounds to re-open the case. Francisco came into ICE’s radar when last July Francisco was pulled over and charged with a DUI. Once in court, because there was no one harmed in the incident, and because this was his first driving offense, Francisco was given the chance to enroll in a Diversion program. Those who know Francisco well, know his dedication for social justice and his passion to advocate for the improvement of his community. Contrary to ICE’s claims, his community and his family do NOT believe that these convictions make that Francisco is a “public safety threat.” Please sign the petition to support Francisco and help stop his deportation.
Tell The Obama Administration: Stop Angela From Being DeportedAngela’s home is in Philadelphia, where she has raised her 2 children, Arturo, age 11, and Mariana, age 8. She is an active leader in her church and the immigrant rights movement. The US has been her home for 12 years, and now Angela and her family need our support to stay together. SANCTUARY On November 18, 2014, Angela took the prophetic and bold step to enter into Sanctuary at West Kensington Ministry Church, a member congregation of New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia. Angela explains that, “I have taken this decision for my own life, my family, and the entire immigrant community. I have lived in fear for over 10 years and I can’t continue living this way.” OUR VALUES We are called to stand in solidarity with Angela’s leadership. As people of faith, we cannot witness the inhumanity of deportation and stay silent. All families are sacred and each individual deserves justice, dignity, and hospitality, regardless of their immigration status. TAKE ACTION By signing this petition, you are taking action to stand in solidarity with Angela Navarro and all people suffering because of the US’ inhumane mass deportation system. Please sign and share Angela’s petition asking: 1) Department of Homeland Security Secretary Johnson to stop Angela’s deportation 2) Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to stop Angela’s deportation 3) President Obama that he must immediately end all deportations and create humane immigration policies that reflect our faith values of justice, dignity, and hospitality for all. ------- SANTUARIO Angela, nacida en Honduras, ha vivido 12 años en los Estados Unidos. Su hogar es en Philadelphia, donde ha criado a sus niños, Arturo de 11 años de edad, y Mariana, de 8. Es una líder en su iglesia y en el Movimiento Nuevo Santuario. Es una empleada ejemplar, y su patrón apoya su liderazgo en el movimiento por los derechos de los inmigrantes. Angela es parte de nuestra comunidad: la amenaza de deportarla es una amenaza contra todos nosotros. Con sus palabras, “He tomado esta decisión por mi propia vida, por mi familia y por toda la comunidad inmigrante. He vivido con miedo por más de 10 años y no puedo seguir viviendo así.” El 18 de Noviembre de 2014, Angela ha dado un paso audaz y profético, entrando al Santuario en la Iglesia del Ministerio de West Kensington, una congregación miembro del Movimiento Nuevo Santuario de Philadelphia. NUESTROS VALORES Seamos solidarios con el liderazgo de Angela: como gente de fe, no podemos presenciar la inhumanidad de la deportación y permanecer en silencio. Todas las familias son sagradas, y todo individuo merece justicia, dignidad, y hospitalidad, cualquiera sea su situación migratoria. ACTUA HOY MISMO Al firmar esta petición estás demostrando su solidaridad con Angela Navarro y todos los que sufren por culpa del inhumano sistema de deportaciones en masa de los Estados Unidos. Por favor, firme y comparta la petición de Angela. Al firmar usted está pidiendo que: 1. El Secretario del Departmento de Seguridad Interna (Homeland Security) Jeh Johnson, pare la deportación de Angela: 2. Que ICE (Aplicación de Leyes de Inmigracion y Aduanas) ordene anular la deportación de Angela. 3. Que el Presidente Obama termine inmediatamente con todas las deportaciones y cree una politica humana de inmigración, que refleje nuestra fe y nuestros valores de justicia, dignidad y hospitalidad para todos.
Tell the Obama Administration: Stop the Deportation of Asylum Seekers Hilda Ramirez and her son IvanHilda Ramirez is an asylum seeker in danger of deportation to a country where her family will be subjected to violence, discrimination, and extreme poverty. A 28-year-old Mayan mother from San Marcos, Guatemala, Hilda fled to the United States with her 9-year-old son Ivan after facing threats of violence. Arriving at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2014 hoping to find safety, she was instead detained at the border and jailed at the Karnes detention center with her son in inhumane conditions for 11 months. There, Hilda participated in a courageous hunger strike with another 77 immigrant moms to shut down family detention centers.1 Hilda was eventually released on bond and forced to wear an ankle bracelet. After several months of staying in an Austin shelter for immigrants, the danger of impending ICE raids became overwhelming, leading Hilda and Ivan to seek Sanctuary in St. Andrews Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas while she fights deportation orders for herself and her young son. Although she was previously unable to win her asylum case, she continues to appeal her case with the assistance of legal counsel. After the recent decision from the Obama administration to target Central American asylum seekers for immigration raids and deportation, many immigrant communities have been left in a state of fear. As a result, many families and individuals in danger of losing their lives and loved ones are looking for safe haven and support with legal services. Already, more than 120 people have been apprehended in the raids, 77 people immediately deported, including parents with U.S. citizen children.2 Another round of raids has been announced, but no one knows where or when they will happen. OUR VALUES Families like Hilda and her son should not be targeted by immoral and unjust ICE raids. They should be provided the safety they seek, not met with further violence and discrimination. With continued raids announced, it is more important than ever that we stand with Hilda, Ivan, and all our immigrant brothers and sisters living in danger of deportation and separation. On February 9th, 2016, Hilda and Ivan took the prophetic and courageous step to enter into Sanctuary at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church in Austin, Texas. Hilda explains that, "I feel safe here. I don't think immigration agents will break down the door and take me away. That is why I came here." Sanctuary is a place where God’s love and protection is a living reality. Our faith demands that we treat refugees as neighbors. Our faith demands that we open our doors, even when others are shutting theirs. As people of faith and people of moral courage, we cannot stand idle in midst of the inhumanity of raids, deportation and detention. We must be in solidarity with Hilda, Ivan and our immigrant neighbors who are facing similar situations where a deportation could have fatal consequences when returned to their countries of origin. All families are sacred and each individual deserves justice, dignity and hospitality, regardless of their immigration status. TAKE ACTION By signing this petition, you are taking action to stand in solidarity with Hilda and Ivan, and all people suffering because of the United States’ inhumane mass deportation system. Your support of immigrants and refugees as a person of faith or a person of moral courage can help us put pressure on the Obama administration to use their power to end unjust and inhumane raids and deportations. Watch the video of our press conference at St. Andrews Church: https://vimeo.com/154776260  "Mothers held at Texas detention centre go on hunger strike to demand release," The Guardian. April 1, 2015.  "U.S. authorities begin raids, taking 121 illegal immigrants into custody over the weekend," The Washington Post. Jan. 4, 2016.
Tell Chicago ICE: Don't deport Jose Juan, father of 5My church took emergency moral action when Jose Juan was placed in deportation proceedings and ordered to leave the country and his family by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Chicago Field Office. "Abandoning my children is not a choice I can make. I live for them, and I will fight to stay with them,” says Jose Juan. As people of faith, we opened our doors to Jose Juan and offered him a sanctuary so that he can continue to fight to stay with his family. On behalf of University Church, my congregation, and signers of this petition, I urge you to reconsider Mr. Moreno’s request for use discretion, and allow him to stay with his family. I understand that Mr. Federico Moreno has a charge for an “aggravated” DUI, and that the aggravated charge is solely because as an undocumented immigrant he had no access to a driver’s license and that Illinois law unfairly punishes those without one. As people of faith, we also understand that we are more than our mistakes and that all of God’s children deserve second chances. Faith compels us to respond to injustice, to welcome the stranger, and to promote families staying together. My church first offered Sanctuary to immigrants fleeing violent war in Guatemala and El Salvador in 1985. Now, because of cruel US immigration enforcement practices, my church has once again opened its doors for Sanctuary. As a church, we have seen firsthand the loving and generous sacrifices Jose Juan makes for his family each day. As people of faith, we call on you to stop his deportation to allow this family to stay together.
Dear Candidates for President, Senate, and Governors: Will You Advance a Moral Agenda?Our moral traditions have a firm foundation upon which to stand against the divide-and-conquer strategies of extremists. We believe in a moral agenda that stands against systemic racism, classism, poverty, xenophobia, and any attempt to promote hate towards any members of the human family. We claim a higher ground in partisan debate by returning public discourse to our deepest moral and constitutional values. Please add your name to call on our 2016 presidential candidates, senate candidates, and governors to advance a moral agenda.
Together, We Can Create a Nation Where Everyone Thrives. Join Us.WE SAY ENOUGH! We are sick and tired of being sick and tired. As communities of faith and conscience, we have a moral obligation to call out evil in high places, to challenge the lies we are being fed, and to refocus our nation’s attention on the conditions that are leaving people and places locked up, locked out and left behind. Any hope for a new future demands that there be a reckoning -- a moment to unapologetically expose the ugly truths of our nation’s past and present. We declare that moment is now. WE ARE ENOUGH! We are the ones we have been waiting for. As determined spirits, fired by an unshakable faith in a bold, transformative vision for the future of our nation, we have the power to alter the course of history. We will not stop, nor will we be satisfied until every person in this country enjoys full access to the opportunity to thrive and live a life of dignity. WE DEMAND ENOUGH! We reject the fraudulent narrative of scarcity. We know there is more than enough for everyone to thrive. We stand in the sacred truth that sharing in the earth’s abundance ensures there will be plenty for all. We will no longer tolerate systemic racism, nor continue to accept the self-interested, unbridled greed and hoarding of wealth that creates conditions where millions of our people are forced to live without enough -- economically and socially. We insist on a better future for our nation. A future that doesn’t depend on chance, but on avenues of opportunity where our children attend quality schools, our communities are safe and our families are whole. A future where we can leave our homes without fear of death, detention or deportation. A future that guarantees good jobs with living wages. One with bold investments that strengthen our communities. We demand ENOUGH for all of our families to thrive. We Say ENOUGH! Join the refrain. Join the movement. Together we can define a new moral agenda for our next President and the future of our nation.
Release Uriel Rosales MartinezUriel’s health is deteriorating in the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia. The Center is unable to provide adequate health care to him, and both the stress of being away from family members and fear of a fatal return to El Salvador are complicating his condition. Recently, Uriel has had trouble urinating and has been fainting. After surgery, his urinary problems persist with gall bladder inflammation exacerbating the pain and discomfort he is in. We are extremely worried for Uriel, who is only 19 years old. Uriel has been in custody for more than 180 days and this is too long for someone to face as he has already suffered so much. Uriel faced threats in El Salvador to join a gang. Other members of his family who refused to join gangs have been killed. The gangs are especially interested in Uriel because he is very good in karate. He has won various international competitions including, the Caribbean and Central American games. Uriel’s claim on asylum is more than real; we will continue to appeal until his credible fear is recognized in the courts. Uriel’s brother is a leader in the Justice for Farmworkers Campaign in Long Island and New York State. Allies in the cause are allies to Uriel, as well. Now we must stand beside Uriel and his brother.
You Can Stop Frank Barker From Being DeportedYou can stop Frank Barker from being deported. Who is Frank Barker? A father. A grandfather. An uncle, a sibling, a son. A healthcare worker, with degrees in psychology and sociology. A recovering addict, clean for seven years. A volunteer. A formerly incarcerated man putting his life back together. Twice-promoted to manager of Housing at Aligned Services of NYC, ASCNYC. An HIV-positive survivor. A vital part of his community. Frank Barker is many things, but to the Obama administration, he is only a number: one of the eleven million people living in fear of our unjust deportation system. And if we don’t act now, Frank may very well join the over 1000 people deported from their loved ones every single day. Can you help Frank and his family breathe free? Frank needs a temporary stay of removal to delay his deportation. Here’s how you can help: •Write a letter of support using the template below and send it to The New Sanctuary Coalition of NYC; •Sign the petition below; and •Share this request far and wide to help keep Frank with his family. Forty years ago, Frank was brought to the U.S. from the Caribbean at age nine (born in Nevis). Since his arrival, he earned two degrees and has worked in healthcare since 1986, raising a beautiful family: his daughters Kristan and Myah. His grandsons, J’cion and Ja’kei, parents, siblings, and numerous nieces and nephews—all are U.S. citizens; count on Frank for financial, emotional, and spiritual support. Along the way, he’s made mistakes—substance dependence that led to several convictions. He served his time, got clean and is now a better man for it. To make amends and give back to our community, he began volunteering for Aligned Services Centers of NYC (ASCNYC), an organization that cares for sick people without homes. Through his passion and hard work, he was hired, and has since been promoted twice and is now their Housing Placement Manager. In spite of these contributions to our community, ICE locked Frank up for 12 months, only releasing him because they did not want to pay for his health care. Frank is sick—he takes 15 pills a day—and needs to be closely monitored by his doctors to stay alive. A deportation now could very well be a death sentence. It doesn’t have to be. We can keep Frank here, at his job and with his loved ones. Please take action today: write a letter, sign the petition, and share Frank’s story with your friends. Help Frank Barker and his family breathe free.
No Justice without a 9th Justice: Tell the Senate to appoint a Supreme Court Justice now!Today as in the past, we need the Supreme Court to maintain immigrant rights, voting rights, women’s rights, civil rights, workers’ rights, and marriage rights for all who call America home. But the delay in Senate consideration of Judge Garland’s nomination leaves a vacancy on the Supreme Court – jeopardizing our freedom, equality, and access to justice. As people of faith from different and diverse faith traditions, we know from firsthand knowledge that millions of our neighbors and their livelihoods are on the line. We call upon the Senate to take action because we recognize and honor the sacred task with which our nation’s Supreme Court justices are charged. Within our western religious canon, we are guided by the words of King Solomon – wisest of judges – who conferred his Proverbs with this purpose: “That (people) may know wisdom and instruction, understand words of insight, receive instruction in wise dealing, righteousness, justice, and equity.” (Proverbs 1:2-3) Today the work of justice in our nation is at risk of being thwarted and wise guidance being denied its people by the continued refusal of the Senate leadership to hold hearings. As representatives of many religious and spiritual traditions, we therefore, respectfully urge the Senate to fulfill its duties as outlined in the Constitution by holding a fair, timely, and comprehensive hearing for Chief Judge Merrick Garland. In faith and in shared hope for our democracy,
Suspend Deportations & Stop Tearing Families ApartAs Congress takes up the work of including the 11 million among us who call the US home but are yet to be fully included because of their immigration status, more than 1,100 people are deported - separated from their families and loved ones - each day that the debate goes forward. Now that a bi-partisan framework has been presented in Washington, it only makes sense to provide relief from the fearsome specter of deportation for those who would be included in the bill presented by both parties. A suspension of deportations while Congress considers immigration reform would make it possible for undocumented people to more fully participate in the civic process where their fate is being decided and move us down the road to citizenship and remove the barriers of deportation and unjust enforcement. Dear President Obama, In all our faith traditions we are taught to love our neighbor. Therefore, we applaud your leadership to see to the passage of immigration reform that would make the US a more welcoming nation and fully recognize the humanity of all those who call it home. Please use your authority to suspend deportations while Congress seeks immigration reform. We believe you have the moral responsibility to do what is in your power to keep families together and reduce the suffering caused by unjust deportation. Signed: Rev. Minerva Carcaño, Bishop of the Los Angeles Episcopal Area, California-Pacific Conference for the United Methodist Church and the official spokesperson for the United Methodist Council of Bishops on the issue of immigration Additional principal signers include: Rev. Peter Morales, President of the Unitarian Universalist Association Rabbi Sharon Brous, Founding Rabbi of IKAR Rev. Otis Moss III Pastor, Trinity United Church of Christ Rev. Dr. Katharine Henderson, President of Auburn Seminary Rev. Michael-Ray Mathews, Director of Clergy Organizing, PICO Network Rev. Donna Schaper, Senior Minister, Judson Memorial Church *Institutional affiliations are provided for identification purposes only This campaign was launched alongside the “Not One More Deportation” work with NDLON, the National Day Laborer Organizing Network, which improves the lives of day laborers in the United States. Learn more here: http://www.ndlon.org/en/about-us.
Keep Froylan with his family, approve his stayMy husband Froylan Gandara Delgado has been fighting for his family his whole life. If he is willing to fight for his children, allow him to stay! Not every man will do the same for their family. He would risk his life for us. We have been through so much pain and suffering already. I pray immigration will grant his stay of deportation. Please sign and share this petition to help us stay together! Froylan Gandara Delgado’s home is Denver Colorado. In 1979, at 14, he decided he wanted to pursue the “American dream” and be able to care for his parents financially. In early 1984, after 5 years of being away from his mother and father, he decided to return to Mexico. While he was there, we met and married. After a few months, we decided we wanted to provide a better life for ourselves and together came to the United States. Froylan and I had 5 U.S citizen children. Froylan worked construction to support our family and I stayed home to care for our children. In 2001 he was laid off from work and received a call from a relative, letting him know that his mother was ill. He was afraid and worried, he decided that he needed to go. Froylan had a work permit but nothing that allowed him to come and go. After 2 weeks in Mexico he attempted to come back to us. To cross back safely, he took his brother’s passport. He was caught and banned for 5 years. Desperate to be with his children, the very next day he attempted to cross and was successful. Years went by and he continue to provide for us, he worked night and day. In 2007 a longtime friend of Froylan’s was trying to finance a vehicle and did not have the credit. He asked Froylan to sign for him and promised to pay the truck off. Being the caring and loyal friend that my husband is, he helped and the two signed together. His friend did not follow through on his promise. In 2009 Froylan, after trying unsuccessfully to negotiate a payment schedule, was given a court date for failure to pay. The friend said that he would show up to court and take care of what he was responsible for. Once again Froylan was lied to and, unbeknownst to Froylan, an arrest warrant was issued. In November of 2009, while driving to work Froylan was pulled over for a cracked windshield. The officer berated and insulted Froylan, and then discovered there was an arrest warrant. Froylan was detained and deported just 3 days later. That day my family fell apart, I felt like I had fallen in a dark hole, we were struggling financially at the time and without my husband’s support I was on the verge of losing the only home we had. I had never worked, I had no experience, who was going to want to hire someone like me? The pain and worries overwhelmed me, I felt like it was too much to handle on my own, I became depressed. My husband lived in Mexico for 6 years, making sure to call every night to talk to his children. The nights that he didn’t have money to call was like holding your breath for an entire day. Every time we visited we would take the bus down to Zacatecas and the minute we entered Juarez I was afraid because I knew my daughters and I were no longer safe. When I could not afford to go all the way to where he was, we would meet in the border cities of Mexico. Alone in the United States I had to work to provide for my 11 and 4 year old daughters. My 11-year-old was heartbroken when she found out her father was taken away and her mother had to work long hours. She needed to help take care of the responsibility in the house and for her younger sister. She felt alone and ignored. She began to cut her arms and isolate herself in her room. When she turned 13, I received a call from my daughter’s school letting me know that she was being transported to the hospital because she was having suicidal thoughts. I cried the whole way there from work. She said to me that she felt like she had no faith in humanity. She didn’t think it was fair that she couldn’t have her father with her. She was too young to mentally support herself and she fell into depression. I started taking her to see a therapist. In August of 2014, our youngest daughter Natalie was diagnosed with Vogt-Koyanagi-Harada disease, this disease was causing her to lose her eye sight and was accompanied with glaucoma and cataract on both her eyes. I knew there was something wrong with her. I told her doctor to check her but they insisted it was allergies. By the time a new doctor had a chance to look at her he told me that I had basically taken my daughter blind to him. When Natalie found out she was going to need treatment for her eye sight condition she became worried and began to cry saying that she needed her father. As if it wasn’t hard enough to leave my daughters to work, but now they both needed me. How could I be there financially and be able to care for their needs? I broke down and called Froylan. My husband knew that we needed him desperately. He told me that he will see us soon. Froylan said that he couldn’t just sit there, he needed to comfort his daughters and to provide for his family. He attempted to try to cross the border and was caught. He was in prison for 8 months and we hired a lawyer. With the lawyers help and God’s, he received a 1 year permit. Since he has been back life has been even better than before. My husband loves his grandkids. They all love him and love to run to hug and kiss him when he comes home from work. I am currently not working and am able to take care of my daughters. Our older one will start college soon. She has been happy and more social. Natalie had another surgery for both her eyes and continues medical treatment but is happy that her dad is back. Our 3 oldest are happy to have him back but they know that it could soon end and we’d have to face that 6 year nightmare all over again. Sincerely, Adela Banuelos
President Obama: It’s time for emergency moral action for immigrant familiesWhile we as people of faith are fighting to keep immigrant families together, the Supreme Court just denied millions of undocumented children and parents their God-given right to stay united with their families. That’s a setback for our entire nation and puts millions of families in danger of being separated, disrupting communities and our economy. The Court’s split decision means that millions continue to live in fear of deportation. We need the Court to rehear the case. And we need common sense policies that move us forward together, united to uphold our nation’s values of integrity and family unity. Though this decision is a moral failing of the justice and political systems, it is not the finish line. As people of faith, are standing alongside our immigrant brothers and sisters and taking action to keep families and communities together. We are calling on the Department of Justice to immediately request a rehearing, which the Supreme Court may grant, for the DAPA / DACA+ case, Texas vs. United States. And on November 8th, we vow to go to the polls to vote with fierce love for all families and the belief that no one should ever live in fear of being torn away from their family and community. Meanwhile, we call on President Obama to immediately stop the raids targeting Central American asylum seekers and put a moratorium on all deportations for the rest of his term and until the DAPA / DACA+ case is reheard in the Supreme Court and decided upon. With one voice, united as people of faith, we call on President Obama to use his power to stop deportations and honor the human dignity of each of our immigrant brothers and sisters.
#KeepErikHome: Ask Immigration to release him and allow him to stay with his family.Erik has lived in the US for more than 15 years. As a young man in the 1990s he was a victim of a crime and he helped police convict the person who held a gun to Erik's head. After that traumatic event, Erik made some mistakes, one of which led to him being convicted of being involved in a theft. After those events, he cleaned up his life, married and had two children. "Erik is the person who is always helping others. He never asks for help" says his youngest sister. Erik cares for and maintains the house of an elderly and disabled woman in his neighborhood. He's the first person his family calls when they need something. His daughters both need him, particularly as they face learning challenges and his support keeps them trying at school. His step-son also relies on Erik as a role model. Please sign this petition to keep Erik with his family and to ask Immigration to look at his whole life, not just the mistakes he made so many years ago.
Reunite Michel and Heidi with their Mother MyrnaIt is important that we keep our families together. Children flourish when they have their parents with them. It is important for the family and it is important for the community. Michele is 9 years old and Heidi is 14. This is a very critical time of their young lives and they need to have their parents with them. Michele cries every night to be with her mother. The only reason that Myrna cannot be with her daughters is that she does not have a piece of paper that says that she is allowed to enter into the US. Both Michel and Heidi are United States citizens but they cannot legally petition for their mother to come into the country because they are too young. And the fact that they are too young also means that this is the time they need their mother the most. Why are they being punished just for being young and children? Here's how you can support Michel, Heidi and their mother Myrna. 1) Sign the petition to reunite Michel, Heidi and their mother Myrna. 2) You can donate for this campaign by going to the NY New Sanctuary website and clicking on the donate button http://newsanctuarynyc.org/index.html. Add a memo to Reunite Michel/Myrna. 3) You can mail a check to help to New Sanctuary at 239 Thompson St NY NY 10012 and write Reunite Michel/Myrna on the memo line
Tell the Obama Administration: Stop the Raids on Central American RefugeesOn January 2, the Department of Homeland Security began to raid homes of Central American mothers and children who entered the United States seeking asylum in states across the country. ICE officers showed up at their doors unannounced, deceiving them to gain entry, waking up sleeping children, and taking away the families to detention centers, where mothers and children will spend months jailed until they are deported back to the dangerous situations they fled. Raids are a traumatizing experience, especially for those already suffering from the distress of rape, murder, domestic violence, and deadly poverty in the countries they have fled. These raids are being used as scare tactics against the immigrant community — resulting in fear of being separated from their families, fear that keeps mothers from sending their children to school, fear that keeps workers from returning to much-needed jobs, fear that has a domino effect on all of our communities. What is happening to our brothers and sisters in Central America is a humanitarian crisis, and must be met with a compassionate response that integrates respect for human rights, finds and heals the root causes of migration, and provides safe haven for the families and individuals in need of safety and compassion. OUR VALUES Faith communities have a long-standing history of providing sanctuary and accompaniment for our immigrant brothers and sisters. Back in the 1980s when Central Americans were fleeing the horrific violence of civil war, they came to our country seeking asylum but were met with deportation orders and were sent back to the death squads they sought to escape. And so communities of faith did the only thing we could: We formed an underground railroad and declared sanctuary for Central American refugees. During the Sanctuary Movement of the 1980s, over 400 congregations were involved and thousands of refugees were protected from deportation. Leaders in this movement ended up suing the U.S. government for failing to follow their own asylum laws — and they won. The U.S. government agreed to stop all deportations to Central America, granted refugees from these areas temporary protected status, and reformed their refugee law. More than 30 years later we find ourselves in the same situation with the U.S. government once again violating their own asylum law and international human rights standards. And once again we feel as if we have no choice but to do everything we can to resist these recent actions by the Department of Homeland Security targeting asylum seekers for deportation, because once again, human lives are on the line. Last year, the Sanctuary Movement was rebirthed at Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, and over 300 congregations and synagogues joined them in a pledge to protect mothers, fathers, and individuals with the courage to defy the deportation orders threatening to separate them from their families and communities. Every day we are talking to a new congregation who wants to get involved and every day we are hearing of a new family devastated — that’s why we’re asking the Obama Administration to stop the raids and deportations now! The movement will continue to grow stronger until there is not one more family living in fear of deportation.
Tell Politicians: Refugees fleeing violence need help, not hateAs people from diverse religious traditions we are united in the core value of welcoming the sojourner and loving our neighbors. Just as the Israelites wandered through the desert to escape slavery in Egypt, and as Mary and Joseph traveled from place to place before finding a stable in the inn for the birth of Jesus, today’s refugees face similar struggles. We must stop conflating terrorism with Islam; the form of violent extremism practiced by ISIS is not part of the Muslim tradition. Islam is a religion that promotes peace, not violence. As the Qur’an reads, “Whosoever kills an innocent human being, it shall be as if he has killed all mankind, and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind…” Qur’an 5:32 The United States has a proud history of resettling refugees of all faiths. Keeping Syrian refugees out of this country based on their nationality or religion sends the wrong message to the rest of the world about who we are as Americans and dishonors our historic legacy of welcoming. We are a welcoming country with a religiously diverse society and our resettlement program must continue to reflect this. To not do so only feeds into ISIS’ propaganda and makes us all less safe. To be clear, the U.S. process for admitting refugees prioritizes security concerns. The United States handpicks the refugees who resettle here, going through multiple layers of security checks and making them the most thoroughly vetted group of people to enter the United States. Security screenings are rigorous and involve the Department of Homeland Security, the FBI, the Department of Defense and multiple other intelligence agencies. However, despite the proven safety of the U.S. resettlement program, more than half of U.S. Governors have signaled they would like to refuse entry to Syrians. It is important to recognize that states cannot unilaterally block resettlement -- governors do not have the legal authority to determine who lives in their states. Syrian refugees are legally admitted to the United States and therefore have the right to move freely throughout the country. To stop someone from entering a state due to their nationality is an attack on fundamental rights that we as Americans hold true and is against everything that we stand for as a nation of immigrants proud of our history of welcoming. We reject the notion that our country or state can exclude certain refugees based on nationality or religion and ask our Governor and our Congresspersons to welcome all refugees including Syrians as they desperately flee violent persecution.
Dear Presidential Candidates: #WeMakeAmericaGreatAs people of faith and moral courage, we believe all people are part of one family, and that we need to act together to build a world that respects everyone’s dignity. We reject the messages of candidates whose platforms, language, and campaigning exclude, discriminate against, and perpetuate violence towards members of our communities because of their citizenship status, gender, race, or sexuality. Many 2016 presidential candidates have chosen to build their campaigns on fear. Their use of xenophobic, racist and derogatory language has activated nationalist and white-supremacist groups throughout the country, inspiring further hate speech and violent hate crimes against immigrants and people of color. More so-called “moderate” presidential hopefuls have failed to stand up against these dangerous ideas. Some have defended the racist term “anchor babies” to describe infants born to undocumented parents, recommended we track immigrants like FedEx packages, and suggested we send air-strike drones to the U.S.-Mexico border. Our Values As people of faith and moral courage, we are called to welcome the sojourner and love our neighbor. We are appalled by the ugly, divisive, and cowardly tactics from candidates running for the most powerful office in our country. The United States was founded on the moral principles of liberty and justice for which civil rights leaders have struggled to make a reality for generations. We can’t move backwards to policies that resurface segregation. Instead we must move forward, with moral principles that value the diversity of all people and make America great. This includes immigrants, both new and established, and a range of identities in gender, faith, sexuality, race, and ethnicity that enrich our communities and strengthen the values we hold as people of faith and people of good conscious. Our vision of a better and more just world means calling on all political leaders to recognize the inherent value of all people, regardless of citizenship status, race, ethnicity, gender, or sexuality. Please sign this petition if you are ready to dump the divisive language and policy proposals pushed by extremist candidates, so that together, we can make America great!
Pope Francis: America needs your faithful message of care for the EarthPope Francis, your first visit to America comes at a critical time. As you have powerfully stated, many people, including some “committed and prayerful Christians,” tend to “ridicule expressions of concern for the environment,” while “others are passive.” Many of the same people, including candidates for our presidency and elected officials, are stirring old embers of racial and religious prejudice and fear in an effort to get attention and votes. When we, as Americans of many faiths, think of our children and grandchildren, we feel the urgency of this moment even more, because, as you say, “the world we have received also belongs to those who will follow us.” We affirm that the cries of pain we feel are interconnected - from the demonization of immigrants, to racial animus, to economic inequality, to ecological destruction -- and we hope that your visit can help ignite a moral (r)evolution that shows us a better path. Multi-faith leaders are developing a plan to help congregations around the country translate your call into action, and we will gather to announce that plan at the National Cathedral in Washington, DC, the same day you address Congress. Many others are hosting vigils and prayer services to welcome your message of hope and inclusion. Thank you for your visit, Pope Francis. May God guide and empower you to speak the truth to those in power.
Tell ICE: Stop Deportation of Jewish Homeschooling FamilyNo mother should be forced to flee her homeland in order to homeschool her children because of anti-semitic bullying. Yet, Petra Albrecht was not free in Germany to homeschool her children because Germany’s outdated laws have banned homeschooling since World War I. German families who choose to homeschool their children face legal action, including prison, the loss of custody of their children and fines. Petra had chosen to homeschool her youngest child Jayson because he was experiencing anti-Semitic bullying in school, in a country where a least one-fourth of the population remains openly anti-Semitic even post World War II. She lost her parental rights and was forced to flee to the U.S. But here the family has come across more hardship. Petra and Nicole were picked up by Immigration Enforcement and have been in U.S. immigration detention for 11 months, in separate facilities. Jayson was sent back to Germany alone, and is being held in an orphanage in or near Berlin, though he had an open asylum case. The German government refuses to tell the family his exact whereabouts, and the U.S. government refuses to release Petra and Nicole. OUR VALUES To be Jewish is to be an immigrant. The Albrecht family continues a history of Jewish migration that reaches back to the Old Testament and our exodus from Egypt – stories we retell on holy days. That’s why one of Judaism’s central teachings is to “welcome the stranger” as you would a friend. We’re calling on all people of faith and moral courage to stand with Petra, a mother separated from her children, and demand immigration enforcement officials release and reunite her with Jayson and Nicole. In his last letter to his family before being extradited to Germany, Jayson wrote, "I promise you that we will be together again soon..."
Stop Darlin from being deported! Pare la deportacion de Darlin!Darlin's wife and children need him home in Philadelphia. His wife Juana has a severe heart problem that requires open heart surgery and cannot work. Darlin's emotional and economic support for his family - all of whom are citizens - is critical. Darlin is part of the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia community, and we all want him in Philadelphia where he belongs. Darlin is supported by New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia and the Congress of Day Laborers/New Orleans Worker Center for Racial Justice. If he is deported, Darlin's wife and children cannot return to Honduras to live with him because of his wife's severe health condition. The government support the family receives because of his wife's medical conditions is not enough to meet the financial needs of the family. Darlin was involved in a fight and served a 12-month sentence for a misdemeanor charge in a Philadelphia jail. We believe that Darlin already paid for his crime and to deport him back to Honduras not only is a double punishment, but further punishes his family. We believe in second chances for all people and that Darlin has already repented personally and through the criminal justice system. Further punishment goes against our faith values and will only cause more suffering. Darlin is a loving father and husband who has the support of the Philadelphia community. Please stop his deportation!
Tell Senator Mark Kirk: Protect migrant child refugees fleeing violence and povertyImagine 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.  https://www.aclu.org/files/assets/120214-expeditedremoval_0.pdf http://americanimmigrationcouncil.org/sites/default/files/UNHCR_UAC_Monitoring_Report_Final_June_2014.pdf
Brooklyn College: Stop Defamation of ReligionPamela Geller is an infamous anti-Muslim zealot who instead of targeting extremists has made a career harassing mainstream Muslim Americans. Hatred against minority groups (Blacks, Gays, Jews and others) is increasingly unwelcome on campuses around the country. Unfortunately, Geller's organization, Stop the Islamization of America (SIOA), was designated as a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) but that does not stop New York's MTA and other mass transit systems from accepting her defamatory ads on trains and buses and platforms. Despite mass transit's reluctance to post all the ads because of the trouble they could incite or provoke, courts have forced MTA and SEPTA (in Philadelphia) to post Geller's ads because of their readings of 1st Amendment protections. Sad to say, Geller and her lawyers have distorted the principles of free speech by ranging far beyond political critique to outright lies designed to equate Islam (a religion of 1.2 billion people) with Nazism and with Savagery. This campaign has a harshly negative effect on Muslims living in New York and in other locations featuring her messaging. nor is it conducive to encouraging Muslims to work in partnership to confront the challenge we all face. Such anti-Muslim prejudice is often cited as a reason for the worsening cycle of violence abroad, perpetrated by Muslims and non-Muslims alike. For example, terrorist Anders Breivik referenced Geller's hate blog a dozen times in his manifesto before he killed more than 70 people in two attacks in Norway, seeking to justify his attacks. A clear link exists between anti-Muslim messaging and harassment. Students of Brooklyn college should be protected during this time and also hear a message of support from the President's Office. As an educational institution, Brooklyn College is a space for free debate but the school (its administration and the student community) should ensure a level of quality as well as accuracy of information. This can be accomplished through organizing debates on the claims and distortions made by Ms Geller and other Islamophobes; disseminating accurate information regarding diverse faith traditions, cultures and ethnic groups; and investigating any financial and social relationship between hate groups and the academic institution.
Migrant children require humanitarian responseOur 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).
LIVE OUT THE VISION FOR A GLOBAL ETHICTwenty years ago, more than 100 global faith and spiritual leaders declared a shared vision of the world’s critical challenges, and what we can do in harmony to eradicate these problems. While we celebrate this pioneering global ethic, the work toward true interreligious and human harmony continues. Our generation lives in the face of the same struggles: Continuous war, division, poverty, hunger, violence, ecological danger, and political dysfunction toward achieving true, lasting harmony. And yet, the world is still populated by a groundswell of caring, collaborative, and eager people. The innovators of contemporary interfaith trailblazed; their declaration to fix a world languishing presented a CALL TO ACTION we as millennials are better equipped to accept than any generation before. It is time for a fundamental change of hearts and minds, to act harmoniously with one another and our earth, transcendent of boundary and creed. THE GROUNDSWELL FOR A BETTER FUTURE BEGINS WITH THIS PLEDGE. SIGN AND DECLARE: We are interdependent. We take individual responsibility for all we do. All our decisions, actions, and failures to act have consequences. We consider humankind our family. We commit ourselves to a culture of non-violence, respect, justice, and peace. We must strive for a just social and economic order in which everyone has an equal chance to reach full potential as a human being. Earth cannot be changed for the better unless the consciousness of individuals is changed first. We pledge to increase our awareness by disciplining our minds, by meditation, by prayer, or by positive thinking. Without risk and a readiness to sacrifice there can be no fundamental change in our situation. Therefore we commit ourselves to this global ethic, to understanding one another, and to socially beneficial, peace-fostering, and nature-friendly ways of life. WE INVITE ALL PEOPLE, RELIGIOUS, SPIRITUAL, AND ETHICAL, TO DO THE SAME. Signing is easy, but committing takes guts. Will you: 1) Commit to and sign the Global Ethic!* ( Full text of the Towards a Global Ethic declaration is downloadable by clicking on "Campaign website" on the left sidebar. 2) Share how you will live out the global ethic for a better future for all. 3) Start a conversation with your teachers, faith leaders, family partners, and especially those with whom you seek to find common ground: like your grandparents, co-workers, and in-laws! 4) Ask your neighbors to sign, too. Use Facebook, e-mail, and around the old-fashioned water cooler . Tip: If a debate erupts, steer the conversation toward your common core values. 5) Pick a partner, pick a common cause, and pick a time to act together. 6) Let go of hate. Live out the vision.
You're Invited: Immigration Roundtable on Friday, July 19thThis summer, the time is upon us to call for compassionate immigration reform that keeps families together and creates a pathway to citizenship. As faith leaders, we have a unique and critical role to play in creating urgent moral pressure for a system that respects the sacredness of the family, and preserves the dignity of each human being. At the Immigration Roundtable luncheon on July 19th, we'll share stories and strategies for how to heal our broken immigration system, and preserve the unity of families being torn apart right in our own backyards. In particular, we're blessed to be joined by Carl Ruby of the national group Bibles, Badges, and Business, who will lead us – Christian leaders, law enforcement, and business owners – in a roundtable discussion. RSVP here and we'll reserve you a spot at the table. Carl Ruby - Bibles, Badges, and Business Charles Knox - Pastor, Iglesia Nueva Vida Isabel Taylor - Horse farm owner and Multi-Cultural Liaison for LFUCG (Lexington-Fayette Urban County) Government Maria Karen Lopez - Kentucky Dreamer Coalition
Colorado Immigration Reform Buy-cottOur immigration system is broken, serving neither immigrant families nor the interests of our country, and fixing it is an economic and a moral imperative.The Jewish collective memory speaks to our people as immigrants from the moment Abraham was called to “Go forth from your homeland," and down through the millennia. Today millions of people live, work and raise families in the United States without the protection of basic civil rights or labor protections, without access to many services, and in constant fear of persecution and deportation. Now we have the opportunity to right decades of wrongs. Bend the Arc is targeting our efforts where we can make the most difference, as social justice advocates, and as Jews. What we are doing: Bend The Arc, in partnership with Colorado Progressive Coalition, NAACP, CIRC, Rights For All People and the Main Street Alliance, is organizing a state-wide immigration reform buy-cott from August 5 to August 11, as a way of demonstrating strong support and raising awareness for the immigration reform legislation currently making its way through Congress. HOW YOU CAN JOIN: To join us, 1st – sign this petition to Rep. Coffman by filling out the form at the right. It'll help us show widespread support for immigration reform and keep in touch with you about important campaign updates. 2nd – shop at our buy-cott business partner, Fat Frog Cafe (see map below). And 3rd – share this page with your friends, family, and networks using the Facebook, Twitter and Email buttons on the left. What is a buy-cott? A buy-cott is the opposite of boycott! Whereas in a boycott, consumers are asked to avoid spending money in a certain way, in a buy-cott consumers are urged to do just the opposite: spend money at local businesses that are adding their voice in support of the immigration reform effort. Why is immigration reform a key issue in the 6th congressional district? The 6th congressional district is a diverse district, home to over 54,000 immigrants. Over half of these immigrants are citizens of the U.S. and are eligible to vote. The remaining immigrant residents are active members of their community, families, and business owners, and are impacted by the current, broken immigration system. We need to support a pathway for those remaining immigrants who want to live in the land the have adopted. The current system inhumanely tears apart families, robs our communities of brilliant young minds who had no say in the decision to immigrate, and prevents talented individuals from social and economic contributions. Let Representative Mike Coffman know we support immigration reform that treats people with humanity by signing this petition and visiting Fat Frog Cafe the week of August 5. Buy-cott Businesses: Fat Frog Cafe, Littleton https://maps.google.com/maps?oe=UTF-8&hl=en&client=safari&ie=UTF-8&q=fat+frog+cafe&fb=1&gl=us&hq=fat+frog+cafe&hnear=0x876c588622ba2b9b:0x8441e0688ba2e678,Aurora,+CO&cid=0,0,13971435199263799468&ei=SqjuUYPXKMKiyAH_mIHIBw&ved=0CDAQ_BIwAA
May 24: Conversation with Senator Rand Paul about Immigration ReformIn this very special opportunity, we will be in conversation with our Senator Rand Paul – to ask him about his positions and to share our stories about the urgency of immigration reform. We are closer to reforming our broken immigration system than we have been for many years. However, the outcome is far from sure. At this historic moment, we have a unique role to play in making sure Kentucky helps achieve a fair immigration system that reflects the values of compassion and justice. We'll need to fill the room to show our Senator that people across Kentucky demand leadership on this important issue. *Please RSVP and share this page with others who care about healing our country and our immigration system.* Organized by: The Campaign for Legalization with Dignity A project of the Office of the Immigrant – Solidarity and Information (OISI) http://www.groundswell-movement.org/wp-content/uploads/2013/05/legalization-with-dignity.jpg
Kentucky DREAMers: Patagundi BrothersWe're the Patagundi brothers. We have lived in Kentucky since 2008. Here is our personal story ... Here is how immigration reform affects us, our family, and our neighbors ... My family arrived to the U.S. legally in 2002 on visas, as our father was trying to do things "the right way" by applying for a work permit, he was rejected three times for his work visa. After getting bad legal advice, as he was returning to India he was caught by ICE members and deported back to India. Because of our father enduring some health problems, our mother decided to go back to India to take care of him, as she left us brothers in the states by ourselves. It's been over 6 years that we haven't seen our father, and 2 years since seeing our mother. This Immigration reform bill would allow my parents to come back into the states and reunite with us. There will not be another year that we will go without seeing our mother on Mothers day, or our parents missing out on our milestones such as; our college graduations. Today, we're part of a movement made of DREAMers, undocumented families in Kentucky and across the country, and allies – all committed to compassionate and just immigration reform. We stand together as Americans, as neighbors, as brothers and sisters. The time is now!
Kentucky DREAMer: Maria Karen LopezMy name is Maria Karen, I have lived in Kentucky since I was 11 years old with my family. I come from a very large, Mexican family that enjoys getting together every weekend. On Sundays I drive from Louisville to Mt. Sterling (2hours) to attend church with everyone; and enjoy a delicious meal afterwards. Since I have been doing my studies at the University, it was not until Obama issued Deferred Action where I was permitted to get get a driver's license to drive freely without the fear of getting pulled over. With this immigration reform my parents could have this same peace of mind when they drive. Furthermore, we would all be able to go back to Mexico to visit family members who we have not seen in more than 18 years. Today, I am part of a movement made of DREAMers, undocumented families in Kentucky and across the country, and allies – all committed to compassionate and just immigration reform. We stand together as Americans, as neighbors, as brothers and sisters. The time is now!
Kentucky DREAMer: Marco SaavedraMy name is Marco Saavedra. I have lived in the United States since I was 3 years old. My family came to the United States in 1993 in search for work & education. We were subsistence farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico & my young parents believed there would be more opportunity in New York. Through scholarships I was able to attend Deerfield Academy & then Kenyon College. Since graduating with an undergraduate degree in sociology I have worked to stop deportations in Ohio, Kentucky, & throughout the country. The desperate need for change is most visible amongst the detained & separated families I have grown to know. Changes in immigration law would allow my parents to see their family after 20 years of separation. It would allow for my cousins to continue onto higher education. It would allow my nieces & nephews to grow without the fear of losing their parents. Ideally changes in law would coincide with a personal conversion of welcoming the stranger. Today, I am part of a movement made of DREAMers, undocumented families in Kentucky and across the country, and allies – all committed to compassionate and just immigration reform. We stand together as Americans, as neighbors, as brothers and sisters. The time is now!
MAY 19: NIA Worship Experience to Affirm Our Love of God and the StrangerWe are closer to reforming our broken immigration system than we have been for many years. However, the outcome is far from sure. At this historic moment, Christians have a unique role to play in the achievement of a fair system that reflects biblical values. For More Information: Rev. Anthony Everett - email@example.com Steve Pavey - firstname.lastname@example.org Rev. Chal Knox - email@example.com
MAY 16: Christian Leaders Immigration LuncheonWe are closer to reforming our broken immigration system than we have been for many years. However, the outcome is far from sure. At this historic moment, Christians have a unique role to play in the achievement of a fair system that reflects biblical values. First United Methodist Church 200 W High St Lexington, KY For More Information: Steve Pavey - firstname.lastname@example.org Rev. Chal Knox - email@example.com
MAY 17: Biblically-Based Advocacy Strategies for Immigration ReformWe are closer to reforming our broken immigration system than we have been for many years. However, the outcome is far from sure. At this historic moment, Christians have a unique role to play in the achievement of a fair system that reflects biblical values. Estamos casi al punto de lograr una reforma de nuestro sistema inmigratorio roto. Pero nada es seguro. En este momento historico, tenemos un papel muy importante como cristianos. Nosotros podemos asegurar que alcanzaremos un sistema justo lo cual refleja los valores biblicos. Location: Embrace UMC (Epworth Campus) 1015 N. Limestone Lexington, KY For More Information: Steve Pavey - firstname.lastname@example.org Rev. Chal Knox - email@example.com
Support Compassionate and Just Immigration Reform“I was a stranger and you welcomed me…” – Jesus (Matthew 25:35) Dear Kentucky Legislators, As our nation debates immigration reform, our faith compels us to advocate on behalf of the immigrants who are part of our churches and our communities. When we open our Bibles, we read of God’s special concern for the immigrant (Deut.10:18, Psalm 146:9), and we take to heart the command to take special care of the immigrant, particularly as we ourselves are people with an immigrant history (Lev. 19:33-34, Ex. 23:9). When we look up from our Bibles, we see how immigrants—including many who are presently undocumented—are integral parts of our faith, school, and work communities. Together, we are neighbors and children of God. When one of us suffers, we all suffer (1 Cor. 12:26). Together, undocumented immigrants in Kentucky and their allies, want to create opportunities for all to be right with the law, embrace the responsibilities of citizenship and preserve their families. Presently, the law provides no avenue for this vision of compassion, justice, and hospitality to be possible. For these reasons, we urge you to support reforms to our nation’s immigration laws that meet these principles. As we are called to do, we pray for "kings and all those in authority" (1 Tim. 2:2), including you, our legislators in Kentucky, who have the opportunity to do the right thing. As you work on immigration reform, know that you have our support and our prayers to make the best decision possible for our brothers and sisters in Kentucky and the nation. We will be working to further educate and mobilize Kentucky’s congregations and faith leaders (your constituents) around this pressing issue. Toward that end, we invite you to join with people of faith across Kentucky who are taking the “I Was a Stranger…” challenge, which takes its name directly from Matthew 25:35, where Jesus says that by welcoming a stranger, we may be welcoming Him. Dive into Scripture by reading a short passage of Scripture each day for 40 consecutive days that speaks to God’s heart for immigrants and to pray for the immigrants in their community. See for yourself what God has to say on this issue, and open your heart and mind to seeing how these Scriptures speak to you. Thank you for your service to Kentucky and for taking the time to consider steps to preserve Kentucky’s families, communities, and moral commitment to the dignity of each person. Respectfully, Kentucky People of Faith
April 10: Rally for Immigration Reform & Legalization with Dignity in Lexington, KentuckyFor too long, our communities have suffered under a defective and outdated immigration system that stifles our economic growth, makes political scapegoats out of immigrants, and tears families apart. The time is now for justice. The time is now for citizenship! Por demasiado tiempo, nuestras comunidades han sufrido bajo un sistema migratorio defectuoso y anticuado que ahoga nuestro crecimiento económico, explota a los inmigrantes y destroza familias. Ahora es el momento para la justicia. Ahora es el momento para dar ciudadanía a todos! EVENT DETAILS We will gather at Triangle Park downtown Lexington at 11am. The program begins at noon. FOR MORE INFORMATION phone: 859-270-5307 email: OISIKy@gmail.com
Tell Senator Schumer: Protect LGBT Families in Immigration BillDear Senator Schumer: As New Yorkers and as leaders of diverse faiths and backgrounds, we write to you today with thanks and a reminder. Senator Schumer, we acknowledge and applaud your sincere friendship with the lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) community over many years. You stood on the right side of history when it wasn’t as popular as it is today and no one will forget that. Today, we call upon you to lead again by including equal protections for LGBT Americans and their families in comprehensive immigration reform legislation. Same-sex bi-national couples should not be forced to choose between their love for America and their love for each other. These couples are our congregants, friends, and leaders in our communities. They are created in the image of God, just like all people, and should be protected as equals by the law. As President Obama, the Congressional Hispanic Caucus, and so many others have said, LGBT Americans and their families deserve the dignity of the same family immigration rights as all other Americans. You have supported that cause, too, but at the moment, you have not made it clear that this important provision will be included in the original immigration legislation. Not including LGBT protections in the original draft of the bill sends the wrong message and risks that those critical protections will not be included. It also sends the dangerous message that it is acceptable to continue to discriminate against certain groups of people and would be incredibly damaging to those who support LGBT rights and immigration reform. The dignity of LGBT people, who we love and value, must not be traded behind the closed doors of legislative negotiations. They deserve a vigorous, public, and moral advocate in their U.S. Senator. As the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrote from Birmingham Jail, “an injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” We, the undersigned leaders in New York’s faith community, urge you to publicly endorse the inclusion of LGBT protections in the immigration bill and to include the principles of LGBT equality represented in the Uniting American Families Act in the first draft you are generating with your Senate colleagues. This moment in history is an opportunity to cement your legacy as a champion for the civil rights of all Americans. This is God’s work. Please don’t let us, or our LGBT brothers and sisters, down. Sincerely, The Undersigned This campaign is a partnership of Bend the Arc: Jewish Action, Empire State Pride Agenda, Auburn Seminary, and Groundswell.
President Obama: Ensure Health Equity for ImmigrantsEvery year, millions of Americans are locked out of our country’s health care system because of federal policies that prohibit some immigrants, including legal permanent residents, from obtaining health benefits. These are bad policies that cost lives and money. They are policies that were not remedied during health care reform. They should be addressed now, as the country moves forward to fix the broken immigration system.
Tell The Obama Administration: Stop Misael From Being DeportedMisael came to our church seeking sanctuary because he is facing deportation after being racially profiled and pulled over in Phoenix — he did not even receive a ticket for any traffic violation. Misael made the difficult journey to the U.S. from Guatemala 9 years ago to provide for his family. As the eldest child, he took on the responsibility to care for his parents and younger siblings, hoping to raise his family out of poverty and provide a path to higher education for his brothers and sisters in Guatemala. Misael's drive and strong work ethic landed him a stable job as a roofer for the past 6 years, where his hard work and sweet spirit have made him a valued employee. His dedication to service extends beyond his family to his community here in Phoenix, where Misael serves as the keyboard accompanist during church services. If Misael is deported back to Guatemala, it’s not just him who suffers injustice: Misael's parents and younger siblings lose the main provider for their household, his employer loses a valued worker, and his church and community will lose a beloved neighbor. Our church has offered Sanctuary as an emergency action inspired by our deepest faith values in the face of a broken and outdated immigration system. We will continue to provide Sanctuary to Misael while we ask the Obama administration to close or put a stay on his deportation order until he can obtain legal status. CAN WE HELP? Yes. Misael's consistent employment and commitment to his community make him eligible for “prosecutorial discretion” by ICE — they have the power to drop his deportation proceedings. But if current rumors of executive action hold true, Misael may not be eligible for deferred action when it comes. As President Obama gets closer to taking action, we need to push for compassionate reform that extends relief to all 11 million undocumented immigrants living in fear of separation by supporting those who may not qualify, like Misael. OUR VALUES Deportations that create the suffering of thousands of families are not a policy of God. God's work expands love, justice, peace, and joy in our lives and in our communities. That's why our congregation welcomed Misael into Sanctuary. As people of faith, we stand with Misael and act with compassion and justice. All other political, economic, legal arguments and rhetoric fail in the light of this human being and his need. TAKE ACTION Join us in asking Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson and the Obama administration to close or put a stay on Misael’s deportation order and to take immediate action to declare a moratorium on deportations.