Black Immigrants & Refugees Central America Detention/Deportation Family Detention Human Trafficking Sanctuary Congregations Stories

Granger Releases Border Crisis Working Group Recommendations

WASHINGTON, DC (July 23, 2014) – Congresswoman Kay Granger (TX-12), Chairwoman of the House Working Group to address the national security and humanitarian crisis at the southern border, issued the following statement announcing the group’s recommendations and solutions.

“This morning, I presented to the House GOP Conference the recommendations of Speaker Boehner’s working group. I am proud of the set of recommendations and solutions that the working group has crafted over the last few weeks. These recommendations reflect the immediate crisis this country faces by providing common-sense, compassionate, but tough solutions.

“Our focus has been to ensure the safety of the children and it has remained a top priority throughout this process. In our personal meetings with the Presidents of Honduras and Guatemala they both stated that they wanted their children back, and we believe that is in the best interest of all the countries involved in this crisis. We look forward to working with these countries as they prepare to receive their children back. Read more.

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300+ Faith Groups Urge President and Congress to Protect Unaccompanied Children
Urgent faith letter delivered as Congress considers rolling back critical legal protections for children

WASHINGTON, D.C, (July 23, 2014)— Today, more than 300 faith-based organizations delivered a letter to President Barack Obama and Members of Congress urging protection, care and legal counsel for the thousands of Central American children who have fled escalating violence, conflict and exploitation in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.

Forty national faith organizations alongside 269 regional and local groups from 42 states wrote:

We strongly object to proposals to detain families with children and any move to roll back the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) in order to effect expeditious deportations. Forcibly and hurriedly returning people in need of international protection back to the dangerous situations they fled without adequate due process would undermine our obligations under international law and our position as a global humanitarian leader and would be a moral disgrace.

The letter articulates clear policy recommendations for Congress and the Administration and calls for:

  • Strengthening the humanitarian response in the U.S.
  • Legal counsel for all unaccompanied children
  • No roll backs to the provisions of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 relating to unaccompanied children
  • Cost-effective community-based alternatives to detention
  • Adequate services for children, refugees and all groups under the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement

In addition, the faith groups urge that the U.S. government must also address the root causes of the crisis faced by children in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. The letter calls for increased regional programs to reduce poverty, lack of opportunity, and violence so that children and families can live free from fear in their home countries.

This letter follows a petition on unaccompanied children now signed by more than 4,400 people of faith that was hand-delivered to Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.

Read the letter: http://bit.ly/uac-faith-letter

Faith-based immigration and refugee experts are available for additional interviews.

Contact: Sidney Traynham, straynham@cwsglobal.org, 703-909-6934

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Organize for Justice and Dignity on International Migrants’ Day

Endorse the Call for U.S. Ratification of the UN Migrant Workers Convention

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A Call for Immigration Reform and Citizenship

Fr. Hector Rodriguez and Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea

Washington, D.C. (December 20, 2013 ) — National Farm Worker Ministry (NFWM) board members Fr. Hector Rodriguez (Episcopal Church) and Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea (Christian Church, Disciples of Christ) visited the National Mall in Washington D.C., to show their support for those fasting for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR). Fast for Families: A Call for Immigration Reform & Citizenship participants were fasting from November 12 to December 12 to call attention to this issue.

Fr. Rodriguez and Rev. Stanley-Rea also visited legislative offices to demand swift passage of an immigration bill that includes a pathway to citizenship. For more information about NFWM.

 

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Fast for Families on the National Mall

Washington, D.C. (December 12, 2013) — More than 27 days have passed since the Fast for Families launched in front of the U.S. Capitol to send a clear and visible message to Congress about the moral crisis caused by our country’s broken immigration system and its impact on millions of families.

Thank you for your commitment and support, which helped spark a nationwide movement including more than 10,000 solidarity fasters from coast to coast and millions committed to act. Now, we need you more than ever for a community gathering on December 12th to announce the next phase of our campaign for immigration reform. Read moreSpanish.

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The President & First Lady Visit Those Fasting for Immigration Reform

Washington, D.C. (December 9, 2013) — The President and the First Lady visited the brave individuals who are fasting in the shadow of the Capitol, sacrificing their health in an effort to get Congress to act swiftly on commonsense immigration reform. The President and the First Lady gave their support for their fight for family unity during the Thanksgiving weekend, as families across the country come together to spend time with loved ones. Read more.

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December 9, 2013

Friends,

December 18 will be celebrated around the world as International Migrants’ Day.

migrants dayPlease join us in organizing activities to call for Justice and Dignity for ALL migrants in the U.S. and globally. This year, we encourage organizers to lift up our demands for an end to the detention and deportation of undocumented immigrants, and for a halt and rollback of border militarization.

Immigration reform remains stalled in Congress–but even with passage of some form of present proposals, many immigrants, especially those who would qualify for a legalization program, will remain vulnerable to punitive immigration enforcement policies and practices.

The challenge to secure rights-based policies and practices remains at the forefront of our movement.

In the coming days we will be asking for your support in our annual International Migrants’ Day statement and call to action. This year, we want to emphasize the need for relief for immigrant communities from the threat of detention, deportation and separation of families. President Obama, despite his denials, does have the authority to act to suspend these punitive practices.

Please take these actions:

1) Add your organization’s name to the pledge of support for U.S. ratification of the Migrant Workers Convention. This is part of our ongoing initiative to emphasize the importance of U.S. acknowledgement and respect for the human rights of migrants. Click here for more information about the Convention.

2) Click here to Add your individual name to the pledge of support for ratification of the Migrant Workers Convention.

3) Check out our informational page on International Migrants Day, including background information, downloadable flyers in English and Spanish, and more resources to help you organize your IMD activities.

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Fasting for immigration reform: Strikers go hungry in push for change

By Miranda Leitsinger, Staff Writer, NBC News

Lenka Mendoza, 42, from Peru, joined the “Fast for Families” on the National Mall to compel congressional action on immigration reform legislation. Photo by Pete Marovich / for NBC News

WASHINGTON, D.C. (December, 9, 2013) – When the hunger headaches get strong, Lenka Mendoza focuses on why she is fasting and dreams of what she would do if she won the right to legally live and work in the U.S.: She would return to her home country, Peru, to hug her cancer-stricken mom.

Mendoza, an undocumented mother of three who works as a motel housekeeper, is one of about a dozen activists fasting on the National Mall near the U.S. Capitol. The fasters want the House of Representatives to vote on legislation that would grant some 11 million undocumented immigrants a path to citizenship. The bill was approved earlier this year by the Senate but has met stiff resistance in the GOP-controlled House. Read more.

 

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Immigration reform fast ends with Fresno vigil

December 9, 2013 — About 100 people gathered Sunday at Fresno State’s Peace Garden to sing, pray and hold a candlelight vigil, marking the end of a nationwide monthlong fast in support of immigration reform.

Nearly a dozen, including local clergy, fasted and prayed for three weeks as part of the “Fast 4 Families” campaign, in support of a quicker path to U.S. citizenship for an estimated 11 million undocumented people in the country.

Pastor Natalie Chamberlain with the United Christian Church of Fresno said she gave up one meal a day in support for the campaign. She said she didn’t do a full fast because of her health. Read more 

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National Day to Fast, Act and Pray for Immigration Reform

Fast4FamiliesObamaDecember 2, 2013

Dear friends and allies of the Fast for Families,

We find ourselves in a critical moment as the fasters’ bodies grow weaker, but their resolve remains.  As Congress returns from their break, join us for the National Day to Act, Fast, and Pray when the Fasters will hold an important press conference and announcement at the tents on the National Mall this Tuesday, December 3, at 11:30 A.M.

We hope clergy and lay leaders can attend wearing stoles and collars when possible to show the support of the faith community.

More than 20 days have passed since SEIU’s Eliseo Medina, NAKASEC’s Dae Joong Yoon, DREAMer, Mi Familia Vota’s Cristian Avila, and Sojourner’s Lisa Sharon Harper have courageously fasted in the shadows of the Capitol to highlight the need for immigration reform with a path to citizenship for the 11 million aspiring Americans who suffer in the shadows everyday. The personal sacrifice of the Fasters has been an act of love, emblematic of the sacrifices that too many families have endured.

Join with the Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, director of Refugee and Immigration Ministries and others around the country to fast on the special day. Disciples will also lead the service at the fasting tent on Tuesday night.

Join the fast for 24-hour for National Days of Fasting Dec. 3- Sign up at http://www.onlineactions.org/page/s/join-fast Sponsor Fast4Families here http://fast4families.org/sponsors/ Share local actions as solidarity actions with Fast4Families here http://www.onlineactions.org/page/s/fast-echo-actions