Immigration

Immigration

Tue Jun 20, 2017

At a 535-person action held in Fairfax County and a 275-person action in Prince William County, VOICE won commitments from both jurisdictions that County Police will not act as agents of Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). Public school systems in both counties also committed to honoring Jewish and Muslim holidays by issuing new regulations that student absences related to the celebration of religious holidays will not affect attendance records. There will also be no tests or major school events scheduled during those holidays.


Wed Feb 12, 2014

Even with a Board that included a Supervisor elected by the Tea Party, PCIC leaders leveraged a unanimous vote (5-0) in support of a resolution making Pima an “immigrant welcoming county.”

Bud Foster of KOLD-TV reports that half the speakers were against the resolution.  However, he notes, “the opponents were not organized like the supporters were.  Most of this crowd [w]ere from the Pima County Interfaith Council.” In photo, PCIC leaders pre-meet before filing into the boardroom.  Fr. Tom Tureman of Most Holy Trinity Catholic Church and Rev. Randy Mayer of Good Shepherd of United Church of Christ spoke on behalf of the organization.

Over the last year, leaders of the Pima County Interfaith Council (PCIC) crafted the resolution, taking into account the concerns of their institutional base and those of Supervisors.  This is part of a state-wide strategy to demonstrate a constituency in Arizona that supports federal immigration reform.

County Officially Adopts “Immigrant-Welcoming” DesignationArizona Daily Star

Pima County Becomes Immigrant Welcoming CommunityKOLD-TV

PCIC Photo Gallery


Fri Nov 15, 2013

300 leaders of the Sound Alliance reached an agreement with King County Councilmember Rod Dembowski to support an ordinance that would change how the County handles ICE “detainer requests...” Read more here


Thu Apr 11, 2013

In civic academies on Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), Valley Interfaith leaders learned that there were almost no Spanish GED classes or testing sites in the County of Hidalgo and a lack of classes to prepare. This led some to travel hours to Brownsville – the only available site in the Rio Grande Valley.  Leaders worked with the McAllen Independent School System and St. Joseph the Worker Catholic Church to expand Spanish language GED preparation classes, and with South Texas College to begin Spanish GED testing in Hidalgo County. Today, more than 60 students are enrolled.  [Photo Credit: Steve Taylor, Rio Grande Guardian]

Valley Interfaith Plans to Expand GED En Espanol ProgramRio Grande Guardian

Wed Feb 27, 2013

150 PCIC leaders, DREAMers and their parents filled the Board Room at Pima Community College and cheered when the Board of Governors voted 4-1 in favor of in-state tuition discounts for DACA students.  Currently, hundreds of undocumented local students pay five times the in-state rate and are not eligible for financial aid.

PCIC leader Melanie Nelson spoke of the six Deferred Action Civic Academies held at her church, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, last fall. “These students have lawful status now, but they can’t afford the high tuition. Before DACA we had several attempted suicides in our parish.  Now they need an pathway to an education and a future,” she said. Before the vote, Jimmy Ojeda, a homeowner and parent, from St. John’s, and Monica Leon, a U of A graduate, from Casa Maria Catholic Worker shared their own immigration stories. The group’s goal is now to get the University of Arizona system to follow Pima’s lead.

Tue Jan 29, 2013

After leaders of OTOC’s Immigration Action Team challenged Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer to ensure that immigrants stopped by OPD officers receive fair treatment, OPD issued an official bulletin to all officers informing them that thematricula consular could be accepted as valid identification.  (The matricula consular is an identification card issued by consulates verifying the place of residence for foreign nationals.)  Photo shows leaders in early encounter with Chief Schmaderer.

OTOC leaders also met with the head of Douglas County Corrections and the regional director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about ways to reduce the number of immigrants with small children being detained in Douglas County jails while they await deportation hearings.  ICE has now implemented a new release program which allows up to 100 persons who would otherwise be detained to return home to their families while they await their hearings.


Thu Mar 17, 2011

Thanks to the leadership of AIM (Montgomery County), BUILD (Baltimore), and PATH (Howard County), the Maryland legislature passed the DREAM Act in 2011.  This historic legislation allows immigrant high school graduates with taxpaying parents to attend public universities at in-state tuition rates, regardless of immigration status.  For more information on next steps to preserve this victory: http://www.actioninmontgomery.org/currentcampaigns

In the News


California IAF, Immigration, Housing, Sheriff McDonnell, Mayor Eric Garcetti

One LA, with Mayor, Sheriff, Takes on Housing & Immigration

Friday, July 21, 2017
Angelus

500 One LA delegates from 28 member institutions assembled to hold themselves, and elected officials, accountable on a Sunday afternoon in July.  Delegates ratified a new strategy team, updated the bylaws, and pledged increased dues.

In response to compelling stories, and the presence of hundreds of delegates,  Mayor Eric Garcetti committed to working with One LA on concrete solutions to the affordable housing crisis, including a proposed linkage fee that would generate $75 Million per year towards affordable housing construction.  Garcetti not only became the first mayor of a major city to sign on to the national IAF-initiated “Do Not Stand Idly By” campaign for safer guns, he additionally pledged to persuade other mayors to sign on.

After several young people shared stories about their immigration experience, the President of the LAUSD school board, Ref Rodriguez, pledged to support One LA and the Superintendent’s efforts to create ways for the district to provide support to young “newcomers” (recent immigrant arrivals & unaccompanied minors).

Regarding the treatment of 190,000 immigrant victims of crime (mostly women and children) who qualify for and are awaiting U-visas, Sheriff Jim McDonnell committed to working with One LA and the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to place a stay on their deportations.  U-visas are reserved for victims of crimes who are wiling to assist in the investigation or prosecution of the criminal activity.

Additional officials in attendance who pledged their support included:  LA City Attorney Mike Feuer; Mitch Katz, director of LA County Health Services; LA Police Deputy Chief Robert Arcos; and Bishop David O’Connell, San Gabriel Region of the Archdiocese.


Texas IAF, Senate Bill 4, Immigration, Sanctuary Cities, Dallas PD

700 DAI Leaders Clarify Impact of SB4 with Dallas Police

Monday, July 17, 2017
Dallas Morning News & A Dia Dallas

Before a packed audience of 700 leaders of Dallas Area Interfaith, and on the one-year anniversary of the shooting that took the lives of five police officers, Dallas Area Interfaith continued the public conversation about community relationships with the police in the context of SB4.  In response to stories about immigrants fearful of reporting crimes they’ve witnessed to the police, Dallas Catholic Auxiliary Bishop Greg Kelly announced, “This is evidence of why SB4 is bad.”

Assistant Police Chief Gary Tittle was asked to clarify how SB4 could work, given  police need for witnesses and victim cooperation and the real fears immigrants have of reporting.  Tittle explained that crime victims, witnesses and people calling 911 are exempt from questions about immigration status.

The assembly took place even as Dallas Police Department interviews for a new police chief are underway.  Said Minister Jonathan Morrison of Cedar Crest Church of Christ, and DAI representative on the interviewing panel, “I think there is always progress anytime there can be first real dialog and conversation and when communities can begin to share of their struggles and we begin to see commonality in our struggles.”

Religious leaders of DAI are working to develop a relationship of mutual accountability with the Dallas Police Department to address fears faced by all sides.

[Photo Credit: Ron Baselice, Dallas Morning News]

North Texas Religious Leaders Step Up to Speak Out Against State’s SB4 Immigration LawDallas  Morning News

Inmigrantes Buscan Refugio en sus Iglesias Por Temor a Leyes Migratorias Como SB4Al Dia Dallas

Dallas Police Chief Candidates in Town for InterviewsFOX News

Dallas Police Asst. Chief Gary Tittle Responds to Question About SB4Diane Solis – Dallas Morning News

DAI Leaders Commit to Working with PoliceAllison Harris – FOX 4 News


Texas IAF, Bexar County, Immigration, Neighborhood Safety, SB4

COPS/Metro, with Bexar Sheriff & Judge, Rallies Vs. Anti-Immigrant Bill

Saturday, May 6, 2017
San Antonio Express-News

On Friday, COPS/Metro leaders stood with Bexar County and San Antonio elected leaders calling on Governor Abbott to not sign SB 4 (“sanctuary cities” bill) into law.  Speakers against the bill included Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar, San Antonio Police Chief William McManus, County Judge Nelson Wolff and state Sen. Jose Menendez.

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff argued that the bill would increase costs to the county and distract law enforcement efforts from addressing local violent crime.

‘What’s going to happen?’ he asked, as he predicted no officer would ask ‘an Anglo guy’ in a ‘two-piece suit’ for his papers but instead would target ‘the person with brown skin.’


Nevada IAF, Immigration Reform, Senator Cortez-Masto

NCG Engages Nevada Senator Cortez-Masto About Immigration System

Monday, April 17, 2017
Nevada Independent & Las Vegas Review-Journal

200 leaders of Nevadans for the Common Good were joined by US Senator Catherine Cortez-Masto for a civic academy on immigration at All Saint’s Episcopal Church.  People participated in the session in order to “learn the facts” about immigration, build relationships with each other and conduct public business with Senator Masto....


immigrants, drivers license, Ted Vaden, driving safety, St. Thomas More Catholic

Victory for Immigrant Drivers in North Carolina

Friday, April 7, 2017
The News & Observer

A year-long issue campaign culminated in a 600-person action on March 28th where the District Attorney, James Woodall, spoke to Orange County Justice United and publicly committed to a deferral program for unlicensed, yet otherwise safe drivers.

The program, which has the potential to save Latino drivers tens of thousands of dollars a year in court fines and fees, will assist Latino drivers in Orange and Chatham County who have paid roughly $1.3 million in citations after a change in state policy in 2006 rendered them ineligible to apply for or renew their licenses without a social security number.


Immigration, Know Your Rights, California IAF, Los Angeles

One LA Leaders Educate 1,000 & Launch Immigration Strategy

Friday, March 17, 2017
One LA

In the first three month of the year, One LA leaders engaged over 1,000 LA County residents through fifteen ‘Know Your Rights’ civic academies hosted by member institutions.  In partnership with One LA member Neighborhood Legal Services of LA, leaders educated participants on the the implications of recent presidential executive orders including the enforcement of immigration regulations, as well as the Muslim and Refugee Travel Ban.  ”Train the Trainer” seminars have also been organized to teach institutional leaders about the civil and due process rights to which all US residents are entitled, regardless of immigration status.

The newly re-energized Immigration Strategy Team is now crafting a vision / action plan they will take to LA County and state-elected leaders to ensure that all families, including blended immigrant families – those with US citizens and unauthorized immigrants – are protected and treated fairly.  This task force also plans to challenge unconstitutional orders and implementation practices by federal immigration and other law enforcement agencies.


Bishops, Religious, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Texas IAF

TMO, Religious Call for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Monday, March 6, 2017
Houston Chronicle & More

In the face of increased deportations and growing fears of family separation, TMO clergy and Texas Bishops held a joint press conference calling on Congress to pass comprehensive immigration reform with a path towards citizenship.  Catholic Cardinal Daniel DiNardo stood with United Methodist Bishop Scott Jones, Lutheran Bishop Michael Rinehart, Presbyterian pastor Rev. Lynne Hargrove, Episcopal pastor Rev. Uriel Osnaya, Baptist pastor Rev. John Ogletree and other clergy in a public stand against the deportation and separation of immigrant families....

 

immigrants, sanctuary city, Durham, Refugees, Immaculate Conception Church

Immigrant, Refugee Backers Pack Church to Affirm Durham as Inclusive

Sunday, March 5, 2017
The News & Observer

More than 1,300 Latinos, Muslims, refugees, immigrants, their families and supporters filled Immaculate Conception Catholic Church on Sunday to affirm Durham as a city of inclusion.

The event, which organizers insisted was not a protest, was hosted by the N.C. Congress of Latino Organizations and Durham Congregations Associations and Neighborhoods and conducted in English and Spanish.

“We hope that as we leave here, we’re not going to be leaving with confusion but rather with hope,” said Banlly Baquedano, a representative of Iglesia Hispana Emanuel and mother of two.


Know Your Rights, civic academies, Texas IAF, Clergy

EPISO/Border Interfaith Clergy To Immigrants: You Are Not Alone

Friday, March 3, 2017
El Paso Times

Civic academies put together by the El Paso Interreligious Sponsoring Organization (EPISO) and Border Interfaith are drawing upwards of 50 parishioners per session eager to learn how to use their civil rights to protect family members from deportation.

Organizers reminded immigrants that they have the right to remain silent, a right to an attorney and not to sign any document given to them by immigration agents without first talking to a lawyer.  They also advised family members not to open the door to US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents without a warrant....


SB4, Immigration Reform, cartels, priest, Fr. Kevin Collins, Texas IAF

Valley Interfaith Priest Concerned That SB4 Can Empower Cartels

Tuesday, February 7, 2017
Rio Grande Guardian

Following a press conference in which leaders of the Texas IAF Network of Organizations joined the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops to oppose the anti-sanctuary cities bill, SB4, Fr. Kevin Collins of St. Eugene’s de Mazenod Catholic Church and Valley Interfaith in Brownsville had more to say.

“If you cannot trust the police, who can you turn to?”  Collins argues that one unintended consequence of SB4 becoming a law is that organized crime will become more powerful if community policing is diminished by lack of trust...


Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, SB4, Sanctuary Cities, Bishop Joe Vasquez

Texas IAF Joins Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops Against Anti-Sanctuary Cities Bill

Friday, February 3, 2017
KXAN & Rio Grande Guardian

Said Bishop Joe Vásquez, on behalf of the Texas Catholic Conference of Bishops, “We reject the premise that persons who are merely suspected of being undocumented immigrants should be rounded up by state and local police agents.”

“This bill requires local police and sheriff’s deputies to enforce federal immigration laws as if their job of maintaining public order and the public safety weren’t difficult enough as it is,” said John Elford, senior pastor of University United Methodist Church and member of Austin Interfaith.


Immigration, Refugees, Trump Ban, Airports

Most Religious Groups Come Out Against Trump Refugee Order

Sunday, January 29, 2017
Associated Press

Rabbi Joel Mosbacher had just finished the morning's Shabbat service when he got an urgent message: Rabbis were needed at New York's Kennedy Airport. People were being detained under President Donald Trump's sharp travel restrictions on refugees. Would he come pray?

By sundown, Mosbacher was part a group of rabbis at the airport, playing guitar and conducting a Havdalah service marking the end of the Sabbath. About 2,000 people gathered to rally against the new policy.

"We know what it's like to be the stranger," said Mosbacher, a Reform rabbi at Temple Shaaray Tefila, noting that Jewish refugees were at times turned away from the U.S. "As a person of faith, it was so important to be there."


Howard County, Sanctuary Cities, Immigration Reform, Assembly

Over a Thousand Gather to Support Howard Becoming 'Sanctuary County'

Sunday, January 29, 2017
CBS Baltimore

Over a thousand people gathered on Sunday at the Wilde Lake Interfaith Center in support of making Howard County a Sanctuary County.

Leaders from PATH (People Acting Together in Howard) were joined by members of the County Council as well as Bishop Mark Brennan of the Archdiocese of Baltimore.

Members of the undocumented community spoke on the importance of this bill, as will members of the Muslim community and many other faith communities....

Additional press from ABC


Solidarity, Immigration, Refugees, Fr. James Manship

‘Solidarity Gathering’ In New Haven To Stand Up For Muslims, Immigrants

Wednesday, January 25, 2017
WSHU (NPR)

“We recognize that we cannot be all that we are called to be if someone is bullied, mocked, intimidated, oppressed, diminished in any way, because of unjust policies or laws, those excluded because of race, religion.”

Manship helped found the interfaith group CONECT, or Congregations Organized for a New Connecticut, in 2011.

The statewide group is starting committees to organize legal resources, job security, and sanctuary spaces for undocumented immigrants.


Marin Organizing Committee, Deportation, Eviction, Affordable Housing

MOC Confronts Deportation & Eviction Threats to Immigration

Tuesday, January 24, 2017
Catholic SF & Marin Independent Journal

Fierce winter rains were not enough to stop over 300 leaders of Marin Organizing Committe from convening to discuss the dual threats many immigrants face: deportation and loss of housing.

Leaders broke into small group meetings at San Rafael Catholic Church to share stories of deportation threats, surprise evictions (including a mother evicted 5 days after giving birth), and rents increased five times within one year, often after tenants complained about a stove burner not working or mold on the carpet.


Unaccompanied Minors, Refugee Children, Migrant Camps

Citizens UK Goes to Court to Protect Vulnerable Refugee Children

Saturday, October 15, 2016
The Guardian

Documents lodged in the high court on Friday criticise the government for failing to deliver an actual process to facilitate the transfer of child refugees under theDublin regulation, effectively forcing charities and volunteers to do the government’s job by carrying out the necessary legal and logistical work. “There is no functioning state system and what system there is, is currently almost entirely dependent on private actors,” the documents state.

Legal papers also reveal that the cases of 111 children eligible to come to Britain have simply not been processed because of the lack of an effective system.

The legal action, brought by Citizens UK, a grassroots network of more than 350 groups, argues that the Home Office has repeatedly failed in its duty to help unaccompanied child refugees trapped in the Calais camp, pointing out a “longstanding failure by the defendant [Home Office] and the French authorities to identify and protect children”....


Refugee Crisis, Masud, Afghan Boy, #refugeeswelcome

Citizens UK Calls on Government to Give Refugees Safe Passage

Wednesday, January 20, 2016
The Independent

Campaigners, politicians and celebrities listened to Christian, Jewish and Muslim leaders and laid white flowers as a tribute to the dead....

The event was organised by Citizens UK, which is supporting a court case testing whether four child refugees currently stranded in the “Jungle” will be allowed to safely join their families in the UK....

George Gabriel, from Citizens UK, said: “There are hundreds of people with genuine and valid claims to protection in Britain, including many children and young people who desperately need to be reunited with their loved ones.  


Refugee Crisis, Registration, DICO, Germany IAF, Christiane Schraml

IAF in Germany Responds to Refugee Crisis in Berlin

Tuesday, December 15, 2015
Radio

Christiane Schraml, a community organizer, reports from Berlin, where around 500 refugees arrive every day and find a very poor reception system, having to stand in line up to 10 hours in the cold only to register.

Christiane is currently trying to bring together German citizens and refugees to address the problems related to the refugees crisis, which in her word is an "administrative crisis", and now a political one.

DICO, a network of citizens platforms, is working with its citizens and refugees leaders to build trust between residents and newcomers, and ensure that city authorities address their problems.


DAPA, DACAm Executive Order, Comprehensive Immigration Reform, Socorro Perales

Valley Interfaith Calls on Congress, Calls on Immigrants

Thursday, February 26, 2015
Brownsville Herald and more
The press conference started with the story of  teacher in 2001, invited from Mexico to teach in MacAllen in 2001 -- then disinvited when 9/11 attacks led to dramatic changes in the treatment of immigrants....
 

Traffic Safety, Metro Alliance for the Common Good, Oregon IAF, Measure 88

MACG Packs Hall to Support Licenses for Undocumented Immigrants

Thursday, October 2, 2014
Catholic Sentinel

Metropolitan Alliance for Common Good leaders packed an assembly to hear stories from people impacted by Oregon’s driver’s license laws shared their stories and to advocate for Measure 88 on Oregon’s November ballot, which would allow undocumented immigrants to drive after fulfilling all other requirements.


Nebraska IAF, Commnity Organizing in Omaha, Joe Higgs, Sr. Erickson, Unaccompanied Minors

OTOC Religious Leaders Admonish White House Over Deportations

Friday, August 8, 2014
Omaha World-Herald

Less than a week after Omaha Together One Community (OTOC) leaders began circulating a statement in support of unaccompanied children at the border, 140 leaders signed on — including Nebraska Episcopal Bishop Scott Barker and NE Lutheran Bishop Brian Maas.

The campaign was precipitated by OTOC immigration action leader Sr. Kathleen Erickson....


Texas IAF, Community Organizing in Texas, community organizing in Austin, Unaccompanied Children, Migrant Children, Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Act

COPS / Metro Calls for Hospitable Treatment of Migrant Children

Thursday, July 31, 2014
San Antonio Express-News & Univision

Clergy and leadership from Methodist, Presbyterian, Episcopal, Lutheran, Catholic and Muslim congregations of COPS / Metro delivered a joint statement calling on the President and Congress to demonstrate hospitality to children arriving on the border from Central America.


Community Organizing in Texas, Community Organizing in Houston, Texas IAF, Immigration, Unaccompanied Children, Elizabeth Valdez

TMO, Houston Clergy Call for Protection of Unaccompanied Children from Central America

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Houston Chronicle

At a press conference organized by The Metropolitan Organization of Houston (TMO), religious leaders from Lutheran, Catholic, Episcopal, Methodist, Presbyterian, COGIC and Baptist denominations called on the President and Congress to “welcome” unaccompanied children from Central America and guarantee protections afforded to them in the Trafficking Victims Act of 2008.


Texas IAF, Community Organizing in Texas, organizing in Dallas, Unaccompanied Migrant Children, Unaccompanied Minors, Obama

DAI Calls on President to Protect Unaccompanied Children of Central America

Wednesday, July 30, 2014
Dallas Morning News

In defiance of legislative efforts to denude the Trafficking Victims Act of 2008 of legal protections for unaccompanied minors, Dallas Area Interfaith congregations and bishops called on the White House and Congress to do the opposite: to ensure legal protections for children arriving on our border and stop speed processing of children through immigration courts.

 

Community Organizing in Texas, Community Organizing in Dallas, CIR, construction workers, Water Breaks, worker safety

DAI Leads Charge on Water Breaks for Construction Workers

Friday, July 25, 2014
FOX 7 News

DAI leaders are supporting the rights of immigrants already in Dallas through a proposed City ordinance that would mandate water breaks for workers every four hours, bilingual signs explaining the ordinance posted at work and a fine levied on employers for every day there is a violation.  Said Fr. Joshua Whitfield with Sta. Rita Catholic, “a city ordinance would be creating a culture of safety and health in the Texas heat.”


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