• Tell The Obama Administration: Stop Luis From Being Deported & Keep Your Promise
    We 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.”
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  • Tell the Obama Administration: Save Rosa from being deported
    In 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.
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  • Migrant children require humanitarian response
    Our sacred scriptures say.... “You are not to abuse any widow or orphan. If you do abuse them in any way, and they cry to me, I will certainly heed their cry. - Exodus: 22: 21-23 “Let the children come to me, and do not hinder them; for to such belongs the kingdom of God. “ - Luke 18:16 As people of faith we see all children as our children. We believe that all children must be ensured international protection and be treated with dignity and respect. We believe we are called to care for all children, as if they were our own. The reasons these children have left their countries of origins are complex and interrelated and have been well documented by the United Nations High Commission on Refugees Report, “Children on the Run,” which has warned of this growing humanitarian crisis. The vast majority have come seeking refuge from surges of violence, and to be reunited with their parents and families living in the United States. Extreme poverty and economic forces, along with situations of surging violence has pushed many of these children out of their home countries. Many have endured horrific trauma and violence as they flee their countries often crossing multiple borders. It is heartbreaking and appalling to see and hear of the inadequate conditions in which children are being held along the US southern border. Children should never be held in detention facilities or makeshift holding centers. Policing and enforcement agencies should not be taking care of children. independent oversight and human rights monitoring must be allowed to ensure the safety and protection of these children. Children should be reunited with their families in the U.S. immediately. We as people of faith believe that these children must not be forgotten . We call on our government to act with purpose and humanitarian resolve. This petition is sponsored by Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice- California, the Interfaith Coalition for Immigrant Rights, Interfaith Center for Worker Justice in San Diego, the Cal-Pacific Immigration Taskforce of the United Methodist Church and attendees of the Let My People Work Conference in Los Angeles (June 9-11, 2014).
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  • Tell Secretary Jeh Johnson: Close Daniel Neyoy Ruiz's Deportation Case
    In 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.
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  • LIVE OUT THE VISION FOR A GLOBAL ETHIC
    Twenty 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.
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  • You're Invited: Immigration Roundtable on Friday, July 19th
    This 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
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  • Colorado Immigration Reform Buy-cott
    Our 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
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  • Suspend Deportations & Stop Tearing Families Apart
    As 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.
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  • May 24: Conversation with Senator Rand Paul about Immigration Reform
    In 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
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  • Kentucky DREAMers: Patagundi Brothers
    We'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!
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  • Kentucky DREAMer: Maria Karen Lopez
    My 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!
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  • Kentucky DREAMer: Marco Saavedra
    My 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!
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