• We Challenge Trump’s Evangelical Defenders To Live TV Debate About Faith & Public Policy
    As you can watch here (https://on.msnbc.com/2NX9ryx), MSNBC has offered to host this round table on faith in the public square. Please either respond to their producers who have reached out to you or let us know an alternate public venue in which you prefer to “give an answer for everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope you have,” as Scripture says we must always be prepared to do (I Peter 3:15). Sincerely, Bishop William J. Barber, II, Pres. & Sr. Lecturer, Repairers of the Breach Rev. Dr. Liz Theoharis , Co-Director, Kairos Center for Religion, Rights & Social Justice Bishop Yvette Flunder, Presiding Bishop, The Fellowship of Affirming Ministries Minister Jonathan Wilson-Hartgrove, Director, School for Conversion
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  • Faith Communities Condemn Family Separation at the Border
    The stories of family separation are devastating and show how the traumatic impact of separation will damage these children for life. 5-year old José was taken from his father after they arrived at the U.S. border in El Paso. His foster mother reports that the first few nights he cried himself to sleep and he now moans and moans as he tries to fall asleep. He keeps a stick-figure drawing of his family underneath his pillow. An 18-month-old baby girl is being fostered by Bethany Christian Services and was separated from her father who was detained. Her foster parent notes that she cries frequently especially when she changes settings [1]. Marco Antonio Muñoz, a Honduran father who was separated from his wife and child, committed suicide while in detention. Muñoz fled violence in Honduras. The administration’s unprecedented policy of family separation, including tearing an infant from a breastfeeding mom, is cruel and wrong. We reject increasing barriers to protection for asylum seekers and unaccompanied children, which impede our moral and legal obligations to offer protection to vulnerable populations. We reject curtailing access to asylum for survivors of domestic violence or gang violence. We also reject any legislative proposals that would curtail or end asylum protections, including for unaccompanied children; decimate family reunification; expand detention of children; and further infringe upon the rights and safety of border communities. The Executive Order signed by President Trump pertaining to family separation mandates that immigrant families be held in family detention and does nothing to reunify the thousands of families that have already been ripped apart [2]. Instead of terminating the administration’s cruel “zero tolerance” policies targeting vulnerable families, this order undermines real solutions to family separation while continuing to violate the rights of refugees seeking legal asylum. Suspending prosecutions of adults who are members of family units is not sufficient, because this is only planned until ICE can accelerate resource capability to detain more people. Family separation will persist, as any assigned jail time must be served in Department of Justice (DOJ) custody away from their children. Family detention is not a solution to family separation. As Attorney General Jeff Sessions referred to Romans 13 urging people to obey the law, we recommend reading the entire chapter that clearly asserts that loving others is the most important law. Romans 13: 9-10 (NRSV) reads “Love your neighbor as yourself. Love does no wrong to a neighbor; therefore, love is the fulfilling of the law.” As faith communities, we ask the the administration to support policies that protect and unite immigrants and families, and to terminate the family separation and “zero tolerance” policies that result in detention and prosecution of individuals for migration-related offenses. We call on the administration to respect international and U.S. law and ensure asylum seekers have an opportunity to seek protection. We ask Congress to do everything in its power to see the administration stop detaining and prosecuting parents, forcibly separating them from their children or holding them in family detention centers. Congress should reject any anti-immigrant, anti-family legislation like H.R.4760, the Securing America’s Future Act; the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act; or any other proposal that violates the sanctity of family unity. These bills drastically cut legal immigration, eliminate green cards for family reunification, increase detention and deportation, reduce access to asylum, and put more children and asylum seekers in jail or return them to deadly situations. These bills do not offer a workable path to citizenship for Dreamers already living among us. Children and young people should not be used as bargaining chips to advance harmful immigration proposals. Congress should cut funding for ICE and CBP that fuels family separation. We believe Congress and the administration should act to bring families together, not keep them apart. --- Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño is Bishop of San Francisco Area of The United Methodist Church and an Auburn Senior Fellow. [1] Reporting on these stories: https://www.nytimes.com/2018/06/07/us/children-immigration-borders-family-separation.html [2] The administration's executive order: https://www.whitehouse.gov/presidential-actions/affording-congress-opportunity-address-family-separation/
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  • All Rights for All, Without Borders
    Our current immigration policies based on the principles of deterrence violate the basic commitments of our different faith traditions, which 1) emphasize the sacred dignity of all humans; 2) see humanity as belonging to one family, thus no one is a stranger; 3) demand that society and individuals care for the needy and stranger among us; 4) demand truth, instead of the lies used by this current Administration concerning the character and personhood of brown people to justify draconian and cruel policies; and 5) call the faithful to fight for a just society free from the abuse and oppression of others. Even with President Trump’s partial policy reversal, we are concerned that the underlying dehumanization and criminalization of refugees and asylum seekers at the border remains in place. These policies violate both national and international law. Moreover, such inhumane practices continue this country’s original sin: racism defined by targeting and tormenting people of color in the name of supposed self-defense as rule of law. That many refugee children and families find abuse at the hands of our government instead of favor is merely the latest instance of the racism that infects our country’s soul. We abhor both the separation of families and the fact that families seeking refugee status are being incarcerated instead of receiving aid. We acknowledge that some of the people employed to carry out unjust orders despise the directives that the Trump administration has given them. So we call on one another to declare, unequivocally, the equal and full humanity of all who find themselves on our borders – regardless of their documentation status – for we are all members of God’s Creation. We encourage full participation in actions that resist these unjust policies. We remind this administration of the immense network which we represent and that our base is prepared to use its theological, political and legal resources to ensure the safety and wellbeing of these children and their families. Our diverse faith traditions speak with one voice, calling us to embrace refugees and secure their protection. Indeed, we deny our faith, ethics, and humanity when we remain silent or complicit in the death and dehumanization of others. Our convictions demand that all of us stand in solidarity with the oppressed in this struggle for liberation. --- Nuestras políticas migratorias actuales basadas en los principios de disuasión violan los compromisos básicos de nuestras diferentes tradiciones de fe, que 1) enfatizan la dignidad inherente y sagrada de todas las personas; 2) comprenden a la humanidad como perteneciente a una sola familia, que implica que por lo tanto, nadie es un extraño o una extraña; 3) demandan que la sociedad y las personas se sientan interpelado/as y comprometido/as con los extraño/as entre nosotros; 4) exigen la verdad y la justicia, en lugar de las mentiras utilizadas por esta Administración actual con respecto al carácter y la dignidad de las personas y comunidades de color para justificar políticas crueles e injustas; y 5) llaman a los fieles y personas de conciencia a luchar por una sociedad justa libre del abuso y la opresión de los demás. Incluso con el logro parcial de frenar la política de separación de las familias impuesta por el presidente Trump, nos preocupa profundamente que la deshumanización y criminalización subyacente de los refugiados y solicitantes de asilo en la frontera siga vigente. Estas políticas violan el derecho nacional e internacional. Además, tales prácticas inhumanas le dan continuidad a, y profundizan el pecado original de este país: el racismo caracterizado por la explotación y victimización de las personas de color en nombre de una supuesta defensa del estado de derecho. Que muchas niñas y niñas y familias de solicitantes de asilo y refugio sufran por el abuso a las manos de nuestro gobierno en lugar de la protección a la que tienen derecho, es simplemente la última instancia del racismo que infecta el alma de nuestro país. Aborrecemos tanto la separación de las familias como el hecho de que las familias que buscan el estatuto de refugiado estén siendo encarceladas y penalizadas en lugar de recibir la ayuda que merecen. Reconocemos que algunas de las personas empleadas para ejecutar y cumplir órdenes injustas desprecian las directrices que la administración Trump les ha impuesto. Llamamos a todas y todos a proclamar, proteger y defender, inequívocamente, la humanidad igual y plena de todas las personas que se encuentran en nuestras fronteras, independientemente de su estado migratorio, ya que todas y todos somos miembros de la comunidad mundial de la Creación de Dios. Alentamos la participación plena en acciones efectivas que resistan estas políticas injustas. Recordamos a esta administración la inmensa red que representamos y que nuestra base está preparada para usar y movilizar sus recursos teológicos, políticos, sociales, culturales y jurídicos para garantizar la seguridad y el bienestar de estas niñas y niños y sus familias. Nuestras diversas tradiciones de fe hablan con una sola voz, llamándonos a abrazar y darle la bienvenida a las personas que solicitan asilo y refugio y migran en búsqueda de una vida mejor, y asegurar su protección. De hecho, negamos nuestra fe, nuestra ética y nuestra humanidad cuando permanecemos en silencio o somos cómplices de la muerte y la deshumanización de los demás. Nuestras convicciones exigen que todas y todos nos solidaricemos con los oprimidos en esta lucha por la liberación. Original drafters and signers include Rev. Dr. Danielle Tumminio, Rev. Dr. Miguel A. De La Torre, Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño, Rev. Dr. Peter Heltzel, Rev. Dr. Pamela R. Lightsey, Rev. Dr. Shannon Craigo-Snell, Rev. Dr. J. Kameron Carter, Rev. Traci Blackmon, Rev. Dr. Noel Castellanos, and Rev. Dr. Katharine R. Henderson.
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  • Help Debora Return Back Home
    What will happen to my young children if I am deported? My name is Debora Barrios. I am a resident of New York and I have taken sanctuary so I can have the time to fight to avoid being permanently separated from my children. Kener is 10 and Berenice is just 2 years old. The thought of not being here for my children is unbearably painful. Who will kiss them good night or to be there for them when they return home from school? Who will take care of them when they are ill, or hurt, or have to face life’s disappointments? I'm asking you to help me so I can stay in the United States with Kener and Berenice. My hope is that I can do that and continue to be a productive, employed, law-abiding member of our society. Since I first arrived in the United States in 2005, I have become fully employed and have taken on a role as a community leader. I have lived in New York for 13 years, and have worked there as a cashier, then cleaning offices, and now I am proud to be an Administrative Assistant at an Early Childhood Education Program. I have also volunteered at the Community Resource Center to help those in need in my community while I take care of my own family. My children need their mother at home to ensure they are not separated. I want to help them achieve their dreams and become productive members of society. Kener hopes to be an engineer for NASA building rocket ships. He is also in a soccer league and thrives on his mom cheering him on at his games. Berenice, while just 2, loves accompanying her brother to his games as well. I am so proud that they love and care for each other. If I am deported, it would be terrible to imagine them separated. I am afraid to take them with me because they will be not safe or have a healthy, bright future. By staying here they will get proper nutrition, good medical care and a wonderful education. Please help me by signing this petition so I will be allowed to appear before a Judge. For the 13 years, since I first arrived, I have never had the opportunity to properly present my case. If I am allowed to do that I believe my appeal will be looked on favorably. I have worked so hard to be a good community member and truly hope that counts and that the Judge will help me to ensure my children’s future. Thank you for your help in advance.
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  • NYU Took In Students After Hurricane Maria -- They're Not Ready To Go
    NYU participated in the Hurricane Maria Assistance Program (HMAP) and has hosted 57 students for the Spring 2018 semester. At least 25 students have expressed a desire to stay. In a letter addressed to President Hamilton, students say: "We humbly request that you consider the reality under which HMAP was first conceptualized, compare it to the one we face today, and then consider our proposal to extend the program from its original one-semester plan to a two-semester plan." The students received an email response declining the request, and they have not felt heard, so they have now taken to the media. These are the facts: Puerto Rico continues to struggle 7 months after the hurricane. There are communities in the dark, access to healthcare is limited, including mental health services, which are desperately needed as evidenced by the climbing rates of suicide and self-reported rates of depression and anxiety. Cutting HMAP pushes students into a chaotic environment which will not allow them to thrive, much less focus on school work. This social injustice is a travesty and indicative of the 2nd class citizenship Puerto Ricans have traditionally experienced. A power outage just last month left over 800,000 residents in the dark. This alone is undeniable evidence of the precarious situation our citizens still face on the island, and many families fear for their safety.
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  • Clemency for Sherwin McLean
    Sherwin McLean is a loving father who needs your help. Sherwin has lived in the US since he was 6 years old, but criminal convictions from 20 years ago threaten his legal status. These crimes are mistakes from Sherwin's past that should not make him deportable. It is inhumane to tear him away from his children and deport him to a country he has never known as a result of his past mistakes. Sherwin is a role model to his children Shaneice (12) and Logan (7). Shaneice and Logan are bright, loving, and smart young children. Sherwin has instilled a love of learning in them both and takes an active role in their education. Sherwin and his wife Trish work hard to give their children the best future possible. When ICE detained Sherwin from 2015-2016, Shaneice and Logan suffered extreme emotional and psychological distress. Every night they cried for their father, begging to see him again. Sherwin has always had an active role in his children's lives, and since his release he has not missed a single moment to spend time with his children. It would be inhumane to tear Sherwin from his children once again. Sherwin deserves to see his children grow, and it is his dream to see them graduate from school. If Sherwin is deported, this family will be torn apart. Please sign this petition to voice your support to grant him clemency so he can stay in this country with his family.
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  • Cancel the Deportation of Vicky Chavez! Let Her Stay in Salt Lake City, Utah
    With her first daughter, Vicky made the arduous journey from Honduras to the U.S. border in 2014, after receiving death threats in Honduras from her daughter’s father. After following the international process for asylum at the border, she has petitioned the U.S. government for asylum over and over, without ceasing, in order to win safety and legal residency in her new home, Utah, where the rest of her family lives. She has been fighting constantly to get legal asylum status, even while facing insufficient legal representation and an immigration court system that arbitrarily denies most asylum seekers. Vicky has never given up. Her current lawyer has filed to reopen her asylum case. She has no criminal record. Vicky has reconnected and reunited with the rest of her immediate family here in Utah. She had a second, beautiful daughter in 2017, and her family and friends have given her unconditional love and support as she raises her family in her new community. But in 2017, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) decided they couldn’t leave this mother in peace to raise her girls and gain permanent status in the U.S. They decided she just had to be deported. If Vicky were sent back to Honduras, her life and the lives of her daughters would be in danger. So on January 30, 2018, mere hours before her flight to Honduras, she took sanctuary at First Unitarian Church in Salt Lake City, Utah. Women with children should be a protected class for asylum. Like Vicky, victims of domestic violence in Honduras and similar countries have no recourse for getting relief; the Honduran government cannot or will not intervene against their abusers or the organized exploitation of women and children, which practically guarantees systemic endangerment of women and children. Honduras is on the brink of civil war. Election fraud and lack of confidence in the legitimacy of the Honduran government have frayed its ability to provide basic services or protect its citizens from the local systems of control that have developed in the vacuum of a weak central government. The country's security force has gained power due to U.S. prosecution of the international war on drugs, has committed widespread human rights abuses, and has enabled the formation of warring gangs. Women and children can find no social safety in these circumstances. The current U.S. standards for asylum are inadequate and need to be updated: they do not protect the lives of people who have been displaced from their countries of origin by non-state violence and violence exacerbated by U.S. foreign policy. I ask that you please cancel Vicky's deportation order and enable her asylum application to be successful. She needs to raise her girls in peace and stability, unafraid, surrounded by her family and friends in Utah, where she belongs. Con su primera hija, Vicky realizó el arduo viaje de Honduras a la frontera con Estados Unidos en 2014, luego de recibir amenazas de muerte en Honduras por parte del padre de su hija. Después de seguir el proceso internacional de asilo en la frontera, ella ha solicitado asilo al gobierno de los EE. UU. Una y otra vez, sin cesar, para ganar seguridad y residencia legal en su nuevo hogar, Utah, donde vive el resto de su familia. Ella ha estado luchando constantemente para obtener el estado de asilo legal, incluso cuando enfrenta una representación legal insuficiente y un sistema judicial de inmigración que arbitrariamente niega la mayoría de los solicitantes de asilo. Vicky nunca se rindió. Su abogado actual ha presentado una solicitud para reabrir su caso de asilo. Ella no tiene antecedentes penales. Vicky se ha vuelto a conectar y se ha reunido con el resto de su familia inmediata aquí en Utah. Tuvo una segunda y hermosa hija en 2017, y su familia y amigos le han brindado su amor incondicional y apoyo mientras cría a su familia en su nueva comunidad. Pero en 2017, el Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas (ICE) decidió que no podían dejar a esta madre en paz para criar a sus hijas y obtener un estatus permanente en los EE. UU. Decidieron que solo tenía que ser deportada. Si Vicky fuera enviada de vuelta a Honduras, su vida y la de sus hijas correrían peligro. Así que el 30 de enero de 2018, apenas unas horas antes de su vuelo a Honduras, tomó refugio en First Unitarian Church en Salt Lake City, Utah. Las mujeres con niños deben ser una clase protegida para el asilo. Al igual que Vicky, las víctimas de violencia doméstica en Honduras y países similares no tienen ningún recurso para obtener alivio; el gobierno hondureño no puede o no va a intervenir contra sus abusadores o la explotación organizada de mujeres y niños, lo que prácticamente garantiza el peligro sistémico para las mujeres y los niños. Honduras está al borde de la guerra civil. El fraude electoral y la falta de confianza en la legitimidad del gobierno hondureño han debilitado su capacidad para proporcionar servicios básicos o proteger a sus ciudadanos de los sistemas locales de control que se han desarrollado en el vacío de un gobierno central débil. La fuerza de seguridad del país ha ganado poder debido al enjuiciamiento de Estados Unidos de la guerra internacional contra las drogas, ha cometido abusos generalizados contra los derechos humanos y ha permitido la formación de pandillas en guerra. Las mujeres y los niños no pueden encontrar seguridad social en estas circunstancias. Las actuales normas estadounidenses para el asilo son inadecuadas y deben actualizarse: no protegen la vida de las personas que han sido desplazadas de sus países de origen por la violencia no estatal y la violencia exacerbada por la política exterior de EE. UU. Le pido que cancele la orden de deportación de Vicky y permita que su solicitud de asilo sea exitosa. Ella necesita criar a sus hijas en paz y estabilidad, sin miedo, rodeada de su familia y amigos en Utah, a donde pertenece.
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  • Justice for Martinez Family
    It is important that families like the Martinez family are not separated by broken immigration policies. It is crucial that U.S. citizen children like those of the Martinez family are not separated from their parents and family members. U.S. children should not have to be going through the psychological traumas of family seperation. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Es importante que familias como la familia Martínez no estén separadas por políticas de inmigración. Es crucial que los niños ciudadanos de EE. UU. como los de la familia Martínez no estén separados de sus padres y familiares. Los niños de EE. UU. no deberían tener que pasar por los traumas psicológicos de la separación de la familia.
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  • Release Rogelio Tejada back with his wife and kids
    Rogelio is a father of 3 beautiful children who love and need him oldest daughter is 17 who lost her mother last year in a tragic death he is the only living parent that she has this poor child is traumatized with not having any bio parents around her. His Step daughter is in her teens at 13 she really does not express much only you will her listen to his favorite songs in he room and get emotional behind closed door his son is 9 and is a Rogelio Jr. this little man is always expressing to his mom I miss my Papi when is Papi coming home, I want to play outside wit him and play my game with me. Rogelio Mother lives here in Colorado and has ben diagnosis with Cancer Rogelio was her care giver. Rogelio also suffers from a Traumatic Brain injuries in which he has hard time getting memories out as well as words he was in physical and speech therapy before ICE took him now he has to do his own therapy because the facility does not offer this for the inmates. when Rogelio got detained he was not given the meds that he need, one for his diabetes and two for his brain injury. Rogelio has been in the united states for 30 years went to americian schools and graduated from an americian highschool supported his family and before his injury had his own business Tejada Tree service that was successful before getting detained by ice due to his brain injury he would over see the business. Please sign this and bring this wonderful man home to his family Rogelio and his family would be in extreme hard ship if he was to get deported due to the culture change and the children being young and there stages of development..
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  • Release Eliseo Jurado, Colorado father, back to his family
    *** Sigue en espanol*** On January 11, 2018, ICE detained the husband of Sanctuary leader Ingrid Encalada Latorre. Eliseo Jurado has lived half his life in the US. His father is a US citizen and his mother a permanent resident. His son, Anibal who is two years old, and his step-son Bryant, who is nine, are both US citizens. Eliseo is the breadwinner for his family and has supported Ingrid as she fought her deportation. He owns his own framing company and has literally helped build a new Denver. Nothing new has happened in Eliseo’s life. There was no reason for ICE to target him now. ****************************** Hoy, el ICE detuvo al esposo de la líder del Santuario, Ingrid Encalada Latorre. Eliseo Jurado ha vivido la mitad de su vida en los Estados Unidos. Su padre es ciudadano estadounidense y su madre es residente permanente. Su hijo, Anibal, que tiene dos años, y su hijastro Bryant, que tiene nueve años, son ambos ciudadanos estadounidenses. Eliseo es el sostén de su familia y ha apoyado a Ingrid mientras luchaba contra su deportación. Es dueño de su propia empresa de enmarcado y, literalmente, ha ayudado a construir un nuevo Denver. Nada nuevo ha sucedido en la vida de Eliseo. No había ninguna razón para que ICE lo atacara ahora.
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  • Tell ICE to immediately release detained dreamer Osman Aroche Enriquez (A#207612730). #FreeOsman
    More than 10,000 DACA recipients like Aroche Enriquez have already lost their status because Congress has failed to act. Just last week, Congress failed to include the Dream Act in the continuing resolution that will fund the government for two weeks. Every day the Congress delays is another day of uncertainty for 800,000 young people. We pray that ICE and Congress find the courage to do the right thing and not only release Osman immediately, but also pass the Dream Act by the end of the year.
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  • Carmela Libre: Stop the Deportation of Carmela and her 4 Children now!
    SANCTUARY/SANTUARIO On December 13th, 2017, Carmela, Fidel, Keyri, Yoselin and Edwin took the prophetic and bold step to enter into Sanctuary at Church of the Advocate, a member congregation of New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia. “I am taking Sanctuary to fight for my family, to protest our deportation orders and the injustices of the immigration systems. Everybody deserves to live with dignity and safety,” said Carmela. El 13 de Diciembre del 2017, Carmela, Fidel, Keyri, Yoselin y Edwin tomaron el paso audaz y profético de tomar Santuario en la iglesia Church of the Advocate, miembro del Nuevo Movimiento Santuario. “Estoy tomando Santuario para luchar por mi familia, para protestar nuestras ordenes de deportacion y las injusticias de los sistemas de inmigracion. Todos merecemos vivir con dignidad y seguridad,” dijo Carmela. CHURCH OF THE ADVOCATE/IGLESIA CHURCH OF THE ADVOCATE Drawing on its long legacy of organizing for social justice, the Church of the Advocate is responding to the mounting attacks on immigrants and other communities of color by joining the movement to build Sanctuary for all. The Church is on the National Register of Historic Places, is a National Historic Landmark, and is well known for providing spiritual enrichment, social services, and community programming in Philadelphia. It is also the site of the ordination of the first female priests in the Episcopal Church in 1974. Basada en su largo legario de organizar por la justicia social, la iglesia Church of the Advocate está respondiendo a los ataques contra los inmigrantes y otras comunidades de color uniéndose al movimiento para construir Santuario para todxs. La Iglesia esta el en Registro Nacional de Lugares Históricos, es un Sitio Nacional Histórico, y es muy bien conocida por proveer enriquecimiento espiritual, servicios sociales, y programación comunitaria en Filadelfia. También es el sitio de ordenación de las primeras sacerdotisas en la Iglesia Episcopaliana en 1974. CONTEXT/CONTEXTO Deportations continue to wreak havoc in immigrant communities as the Trump Administration has increased immigration arrests by 45%. The federal administration explicitly targets “Sanctuary” cities such as Philadelphia, and it has stripped young people, refugees, asylees, and other populations from conditional relief programs like Temporary Protected Status (TPS) and DACA. Asylum law, even when applied to its full extent, does not protect the lives of people who have been displaced from their countries of origin by violence and poverty exacerbated by U.S. foreign policy. Las deportaciones continúan causando estragos en las comunidad inmigrantes mientras la Administración de Trump ha incrementado los arrestos de inmigrantes por el 45%. La administracion federal explicitamente ataca a las ciudades “Santuario” como Filadelfia, y ha robado a lxs jóvenes, refugiadxs, recipientes de asilo, y otras poblaciones de programas de relieve condicional como el TPS y DACA. Las leyes de asilo, aun cuando son bien aplicadas, no protegen las vidas de las personas que han sido desplazadas de sus países de origen por la violencia y la pobreza exacerbada por la política exterior de los Estados Unidos.
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