Category Archives: Immigration

TAKE ACTION: National call-in days for immigrant justice, Dec. 9-12

from Justice for Immigrants

Justice and dignity for all immigrantsThe Justice for Immigrants National Call-In Days to Congress are this week, beginning on Tuesday, Dec. 9th and going through Friday, Dec. 12th, the Feast of Our Lady of Guadalupe, Patroness of the Americas.

On Dec. 9-12,  the toll-free number to use to call Congress is 1-855-589-5698 and our message is simple:

Please oppose including language in a federal funding bill that bars the President from using his authority to protect immigrants and their families from deportation.”

Executive authority to protect potentially millions of immigrants from deportation is under threat from federal lawmakers. Please ask your advocacy networks and supporters of immigrants to call their Representatives every day during the call-in period and convey our message.

IMMIGRATION: Letter to the President on family detention

In an effort to keep attention focused on the hundreds of children and their mothers fleeing violence in Central America who are being detained in family detention facilities, Pax Christi USA joined numerous other organizations in this sign on letter to President Obama.  With the announcement on executive action, we want to make sure the President hears from our communities about family detention.   The letter was delivered on Nov. 20.

Click here to read the letter.

IMMIGRATION: PCUSA signs letter opposing expansion of border security activities

Pax Christi USA has signed onto this letter to the House and Senate Armed Services opposing the expansion of the Department of Defense 1033 program for border security activities through the FY15 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The House passed NDAA, H.R. 4435, includes this expansion. As the House and Senate are currently pre-conferencing NDAA, with Senate plans to consider a bill after Thanksgiving, we do not want to see this expansion in any final agreement.

The letter was circulated by the ACLU.

IMMIGRATION: Groups call on Obama to protect border communities from further militarization

from the Southern Border Communities Coalition

NOTE: Pax Christi USA signed onto this letter.

Immigration rally

Last week, more than 70 national, state and local organizations sent a letter to President Obama urging him not to link vitally-needed administrative action protecting aspiring citizens from deportation with further militarization of border communities. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is an agency in crisis: CBP urgently needs a surge in accountability and oversight, not increased Border Patrol personnel or war equipment.

Adding border enforcement resources as part of executive action on immigration would send a misguided, unjust message to border regions and ignore the true reality of our communities. Border communities are safe, economically vibrant and diverse, but cannot tolerate more of the same damaging policies that have vastly over-resourced CBP while failing to invest in accountability. CBP personnel frequently mistreat and abuse the very people they are sworn to protect, many of whom encounter CBP personnel daily as they go to work, attend school, or run daily errands.

Rather than waste more money on the border-industrial complex, President Obama should use this moment to commit to a legacy of CBP reform that would improve the quality of life and restore trust for this and future generations of border residents.It’s high time the Administration move forward meaningful reforms that reflect the highest professional law enforcement standards, such agency-wide use of body-worn cameras, custody standards, and ending CBP interior enforcement operations that treat border residents with suspicion.

The full text of the letter, including a list of signers, is available at http://bit.ly/1p1LnM5.

STATEMENT: Pax Christi USA statement on the President’s immigration action

While some would argue that the recent announcement by President Obama on Immigration changes for 5 million immigrants is but a crumb from the table of the empire…Pax Christi USA applauds President Obama for his courage in using his constitutional authority to begin addressing a broken immigration system.

This executive action does lessen the fear of some of those living in the shadows and does provide some measures of safety and protection for 4 million of our brothers and sisters.

While we applaud the President’s courageous action, we know that there is much more to do to assure 7 million other immigrants that life in the shadow of fear is not a permanent state.

Pax Christi USA will continue to urge its members to press Congress to pass bipartisan comprehensive immigration reform that delineates a clear path to citizenship, reunites families and addresses the root causes that force migrants to flee their home to find safety and life elsewhere.

IMMIGRATION: Urge the president to expand deferred action for our undocumented community members

childrenattheborderbutton-smallAs President Obama prepares an executive order on immigration, urge him to inclusively expand deferred action for our undocumented community members.

Call the White House TODAY and every day until the President acts!

And tell Congress that you support the President taking action!

Immigrant rights groups and faith communities across the country have been urging the administration to take bold, concrete actions to stop the pain that families and communities face due to deportations. Such action has been promised and delayed, but it seems likely that President Obama will act soon. Every day the administration delays its executive order, more than 1,000 individuals are deported from their families and communities. The President’s action could look similar to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program in which undocumented individuals who came to the U.S. as children can apply to temporarily be able to travel and work legally. Such action may condition relief on having a child who is a U.S. Citizen or Lawful Permanent Resident (LPR), living in the United States for five or ten years, and/or other criteria. This could leave out a significant number of our community members who have lived here for less time, do not have U.S. Citizen or LPR family members, and individuals who have committed immigration infractions or crimes in the past but have accepted responsibility for their actions and turned their lives around. As people of faith, we do not define a person by how long he or she has been in the United States. We do not value family unity based on one family member’s immigration status. We believe in the power of redemption, repentance, forgiveness and rehabilitation, as all of us have made mistakes. Now is the time for the President to hear from us that administrative relief must be inclusive.

Some members of Congress have threatened to stop administrative action through legislation, legal action or blocking funding for implementation. It is important for Congress to hear from people of faith that we support the President expanding deferred action. President Obama has signed fewer executive orders than any president in 130 years. He has the authority to provide our undocumented community members opportunities to stay in the United States without fear of deportation. Deferred action is one of the many long-standing forms of prosecutorial discretion available to the Executive Branch. Indeed, every U.S. President has used their authority to offer temporary immigration relief to groups in need since at least 1956. Ronald Reagan used categorical grants of deferred action for large groups of undocumented immigrants in 1987, as did George H.W. Bush in 1990.  George W. Bush exercised prosecutorial discretion in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina for over 40 percent of the then-unauthorized population.

Tell the White House that you don’t want to see your community members left out of administrative action!

And tell Congress that you support the President using his authority to expand deferred action!

Call the White House at 1-866-961-4293. You can also call the White House Comment Line directly at 1-888-907-2053.

“I’m from (City, State, Congregation/Community) and as a person of faith, I urge President Obama to inclusively expand deferred action. The President must act boldly and act now. Administrative Action should not be limited to individuals who have been in the United States for a long time, or those who have family members here. We seek broad, accessible relief for all of our community members.”

Then call 1-866-940-2439 to be connected with Your Representative. You can also call the Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121 or find your Representative’s direct line at http://www.house.gov

“I’m from (City, State, Congregation/Community) and as a person of faith, I support President Obama expanding deferred action. The President has the authority to act boldly and act now. I ask Congress to support the President’s decision to expand deferred action and to promote its implementation.”

Keep up the pressure on social media!

Ex: .@WhiteHouse As a person of faith I want you to use your authority to grant inclusive relief to our undocumented community members. #Not1More family separated

Ex:.@Raul_Labrador As a person of faith from Idaho I support the @WhiteHouse decision to expand deferred action for our #immigrant brothers and sisters (Find you Representative’s Twitter handle at house.gov)

Follow @InterfaithImm on Twitter and “like” the Interfaith Immigration Coalition on Facebook to receive up-to-date alerts.

IMMIGRATION: I am opposed to the use of family detention

childrenattheborderbutton-smallPax Christi USA has signed onto this letter and encourages all of our members to take action also.

Dear President Obama,

As a Catholic, I am opposed to the use of family detention.  Detaining women and children who are fleeing persecution and violence demeans the God-given human dignity of these vulnerable people.

Many of the women and children confined at new detention facilities in New Mexico and Texas are survivors of domestic and targeted community violence.  These young women and their children have endured trauma and abuse in their home countries in Central America and also have experienced abuse along their migration journey.  They are coming to the United States for protection from violence and have been subsequently detained by our government. Alternatives to detention, like community-based models and case management, are effective at ensuring compliance with immigration court proceedings.  As a person of faith and a voter, I urge you to oppose any expansion to the family detention system and to begin implementing community-based alternatives to detention.

Click here to take action now!