Presentation on theme: "Stopping Deportations of victims of trafficking, violence and family hardship."— Presentation transcript:
Stopping Deportations of victims of trafficking, violence and family hardship
As the faith community, we are called to accompany our community members, congregants and neighbors facing deportation
People of all faith traditions calling on Congress to pass immigration reform Deportations have risen dramatically during Families are inevitably broken apart Need to escalate efforts to keep families together x 438,000 in 2013
An Ancient Tradition of Faith Communities Hebrew temples, Christian churches, Underground Railroad Sacred Texts Leviticus 19:33-34 God calls people of faith to remember that they once were strangers in a strange land and they must, must welcome the stranger as an expression of covenant faithfulness Isaiah 1:17 We must “learn to do good, seek justice, rescue the oppressed, defend the orphan, plead for the widow” Luke 10:27 We are called to love our neighbor as ourselves The Sanctuary Movement in the 1980s Sought to remind US govt. of asylum and refugee laws not being followed for refugees from Central America Current Day Sanctuary Movement) Prosecutorial Discretion is available but a substantial gap exists between policies and priorities of President Obama’s administration and the practices of ICE field offices
Immediate Local Goal: As the faith community, we are called to accompany our community members, congregants and neighbors facing deportation. By offering sanctuary we can fight individual cases, advocate to stop deportations, and win deferred action at a case by case level to keep families together. Make sure that victims of domestic violence, gang violence, rapes and other crimes receive refugee or asylum status. National Goal: Comprehensive immigration reform Expanded Administrative Relief
“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.” “We are a church in the heart of a Mexican community in Chicago, and our work has always been “creating hope for those without hope, through the Gospel of Jesus Christ.”” “As in the tradition of the prophets and apostles, God calls the church to speak truth to power, liberate the oppressed, care for the poor and comfort the afflicted. We are responsible to a higher calling, a higher law, that takes precedent over our flawed and outdated immigration laws.”
Beatriz Santiago Ramirez, a single mother of two U.S.- born infants and victim of aggravated criminal sexual assault, Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Chicago, U-visa Daniel Neyoy Ruiz'S Deportation Case, Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson Marco Tulio, father of 4, sanctuary in Shadow Rock UCC in Phoenix (Order of supervision for a year) Chicago LGBT Asylum Support Program (CLASP) participants, Namaste UCC Chicago Woman from Honduras raped, trafficked in Mexico, now at border on immigration bond in detention
Beatriz Santiago Ramirez, a single mother of two U.S.- born young children. She is victim of aggravated criminal sexual assault who worked with law enforcement to testify and convict her rapist. While eligible for a U-visa, a paperwork technicality has prevented her from getting the relief she needed, and now she was in danger of immediate deportation. When she had no other options, she went to Our Lady of Guadalupe Mission in Chicago which provided sanctuary for Beatriz. She was supported by the faith community in Chicago. Finally her U-visa was granted, following numerous press conferences, letter writing and meetings with legislators.
Daniel 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. (Secure Communities Program) Daniel came the US14 years ago, seeking 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, is the primary financial provider for his family, and has no criminal history. He entered sanctuary at Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson. His case has been resolved and he received a stay of deportation which can be renewed.
Living Arrangements – sleeping, cooking and bathing arrangements. Help with shopping since the people can’t leave the church Legal Questions – is the church breaking the law? It’s up to interpretation. Reality – PR nightmare for officials to enter a house of worship and arrest a pastor Community Support - send gift cards, visit those in Sanctuary, pray, spend the night with those in Sanctuary, attend press events
Advocacy on behalf of individuals in Sanctuary Groundswell-mvmt.org Letters of support Obtain denominational support Communications Press releases Press conferences Involvement of legislators Department of Homeland Security Leadership of those in Sanctuary Courage and faith Respect for their needs, opinions and wisdom
Sign on to the Declaration of Sanctuary Movement 2014 Joint Public Declaration of Sanctuary Learn More sanctuary2014.org crln.org