Tag Archives: Immigration

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!

CHILDREN AT OUR BORDER: PCUSA signs onto letter calling for provisions to adjust root causes of forced migration

childrenattheborderbutton-smallPax Christi USA has signed onto a letter drafted by a number of human rights, faith-based and humanitarian groups addressed to Conferees on the State Foreign Ops portion of the Omnibus appropriations bill which will be negotiated for passage next month.  The letter seeks to encourage Conferees to include provisions that would address the root causes of forced migration from Central America of children and families, specifically endorsing certain funding lines.

The letter begins:

As faith-based, humanitarian, labor, and human rights organizations, we are greatly troubled by the humanitarian crisis in the Northern Triangle of Central America that has compelled the migration of families and children, often unaccompanied, to the United States.  This crisis deserves a response that is both compassionate and sustainable.  As you finalize your conference negotiations of the omnibus legislation, we urge you to retain provisions of the FY15 State and Foreign Operations bills that seek to address some of the factors driving children, families, women, and men to abandon their homes in the Central American region…

The letter will be delivered this week.

IMMIGRATION: Letter on actions to improve rights, accountability of immigration enforcement

Pax Christi USA has signed onto a letter sent to the Obama Administration discussing five steps they should take without delay to address crucial gaps in human rights, civil rights, accountability and transparency in the context of immigration enforcement.

Click here to read the letter.

IMMIGRATION: A Call to Specific and Concrete Action on Immigration

Pax Christi USA has signed the petition below from Ruben Garcia, PCUSA Teacher of Peace, and our friends at Annunciation House in El Paso, TX. We encourage all members to sign on as well.

06558_134_134bThe arrival of thousands of families and unaccompanied minors from Central America to the South Texas border has pushed the immigration issue to the forefront of debate in the national discourse. News stories of arriving mothers with children alongside tens of thousands of unaccompanied minors have triggered off a fierce national debate. How the U.S. deals with the immigration issue will enduringly brand the character of the nation for generations to come and it is the defining civil rights issue of the day. Calls for immigration reform have been incessant and they have come from churches, human rights organizations, professionals and academics, Chambers of Commerce, elected officials, labor unions, and voters all across the nation. Legislative inaction, a relentless and myopic focus on enforcement only, the criminalization of immigration, and dramatic increases in funding for “boots on the ground” have created an intolerable reality for refugees and immigrants and adversely affected the nation’s economy, security, and especially its human rights record and stature among the community of nations…

Click here to read and sign the petition.

STATEMENT: Pax Christi USA official statement on the delay on an immigration plan

Pax Christi USA joins its voice with the many that had great hopes that President Obama, in September, would use his executive authority to address the broken U.S. immigration system as he had promised. Those hopes have been seriously dashed over the weekend by the President’s announcement that he will delay his decision until after the November elections, lest the decision have an impact on those seeking re-election. In essence, the President has yielded to political pressure and has bartered with the lives of immigrant children and families.  PCUSA finds this not only profoundly disappointing, but also unacceptable for a country that boasts such high ideals.

This delay simply means more hardship and suffering for those who have endured more than their share of trauma: threats of deportation for those who have lived here for years, returning children to countries of origin amidst death threats, the continuation of 1,000+ daily deportations and the inhumane conditions and screening at detention facilities.

We ask President Obama to have a change of mind and heart, to put an immediate end to splitting apart immigrant families, and to provide safety and care for the children who are alone.