Harnessing Love’s Power
to Stop Oppression

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A Toolkit: How You Can Help Stop Deportations

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Nov 22, 2011

The message below went out to Standing on the Side of Love supporters on Tuesday, November 22, 2011. You can sign-up for these emails here.

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I am excited to share with you a new way to help you stand on the side of love with immigrant families.  The Interfaith Immigration Coalition, a national partnership of faith-based organizations working for immigration reform and other fair and humane immigration policies, has assembled a page of resources including an Advocacy Toolkit that will help equip interfaith teams to change how migrant families are treated all across the country.  The Toolkit was developed in collaboration with the National Day Laborers Organizing Network (NDLON), Church World Service, and other members of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC), and is available now on the IIC website.  The Unitarian Universalist Association is one of 32 organizations, including Muslims, Jews, Sikhs, and many mainline Christian denominations, that are members of the IIC.

The Toolkit equips you with resources to organize interfaith teams to call on elected and appointed officials in your community.  The purpose of these calls is to change your community’s policy on when detainer requests from Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are honored by local officials.

You have heard a lot about the so-called Secure Communities program.  The stated purpose of this program is to identify, detain, and deport undocumented immigrants who have committed serious crimes.  Tragically, thousands of people who have not committed serious crimes have been detained and deported under this program.

According to ICE, their officers make immigration enforcement decisions “only after an individual is arrested for a criminal violation of state law, separate and apart from any violations of immigration law.”  But thousands of people who haven’t violated state law have been detained in local jails at ICE’s request and then deported.  Detainer requests from ICE should not be honored for minor infractions and immigration violations.

Cook County, Illinois, Santa Clara County, California, and Washington, D.C., have decided to not honor all detainer requests.  These communities have made the decision to not honor “detainer requests” unless the person in question has been convicted of a violent or serious state crime.  We believe that hundreds of other counties, cities, and perhaps even states can be inspired to follow their lead. We believe that interfaith teams can help provide the information and inspiration needed.

The Toolkit provides you with resources to organize your community and ask your local leaders to change their policy on detainer requests.  In addition to the Toolkit, we will be offering webinars to help leaders like you organize and conduct calls on local officials.  If you are interested in a webinar you can sign up on the IIC website and be notified when they are scheduled.

Please download the Toolkit at the link below today and join in this major new interfaith initiative to change how migrant families are treated in our communities:

ADVOCACY TOOL KIT ON SECURE COMMUNITIES

The Toolkit was developed under the auspices of the Steering Committee of the IIC, a 32 member interfaith coalition.  Accompanying the Toolkit is a national map that will identify where interfaith teams have formed or are in the process of forming.  You can put your team on the map by filling out the online form next to the map.

If you have any questions about the Toolkit, please contact your faith community’s regional or national immigration advocacy leaders.  You are also welcome to contact me.

In faith,

CR MLUC Min 4x6_7791

Rev. Craig C. Roshaven
Witness Ministries Director
Unitarian Universalist Association

2 Responses to “A Toolkit: How You Can Help Stop Deportations”

  1. Craig, I’ve contacted the three key UUSJ folk on this issue to see which of them should get on this. I’m strongly encouraging it to be just one in light of the 15 limit. Thanks for the post and invite. Terry

  2. R Young says:

    In my OPINION, working to end deportation is a battle that not only shifts resources away from our citizens; it promotes illegal behavior with a lack of consequences for actions. The right to be a citizen in the U.S. should be awarded first to those that have applied and patiently await; not just handed out to those people that are basically “cutting in line” so to speak. ALL human beings should be treated with respect and dignity but even as children we are taught that there are consequences for our actions and it just so happens that deportation is the consequence for being an illegal immigrant.

    There is so much wrong with the state of our nation right now and focusing on any number of those items would be a better use of our time, attention and money. I myself am a devout Christian and work for a Christian non-profit organization and I do not see this particular immigrant issue, in MY OPINION, as one that should be a priority. There are many citizens that have no jobs, no money or food, losing their homes and have little to no way of fully supporting their families. At the non-profit organization where I work, we have more people seeking help every day and yet less money to help them with. There are plenty of our nation’s citizens that are not breaking the law by living here illegally that need aid. They have to pay taxes and purchase healthcare insurance (unless they qualify for Medicaid) and auto insurance; they have to pay their hospital bills and they have to go through the system properly in order to receive any government help.

    Now, we can still love our fellow human beings as the Lord would demand and still deport them. One has nothing to do with the other. In fact, I strongly believe in deportation for all illegal immigrants; not just those that have committed a criminal offense. Why do people think that if they are devious and lucky enough to sneak into the country that they should have the right to stay; as well as the expectation of being entitled to government benefits and aid while not paying a dime as a taxpayer. A completely logical and factual statement would be: ALL illegal immigrants have committed and continue to commit crimes in the United States. They are living and working here under false pretenses and committing tax fraud on a continual basis. This country, our people, foundation donations and grants can’t even help all of the American Citizens that need assistance, much less spending the precious resources that we DO have fighting for a cause to aid those that knowingly break our laws every day. It seems as if it should be very simple; when caught living here illegally, one should get deported immediately. It has nothing to do with love or not loving. In the Bible – Mark 12:17, Jesus says, “Give to Caesar what is Caesar’s and to God what is God’s.” I believe in this verse the discussion was of money/taxes, but basically the laws of government are not always intertwined with our faith and capacity to love.

    Of course deportation should be humane, that goes without saying, but it should be a definitive consequence across the board. Not doing so is rewarding unethical and illegal behavior and will only set a precedence that will result in more immigrants entering the country illegally because in essence we are telling them that it’s okay because if you get caught there aren’t any consequences; and in fact you may get rewarded. Not to mention the fact that it is unfair to those around the world waiting for years for their paperwork to be accepted so that they may legally move to America. To allow those that have come across our northern and southern borders (living here illegally) to just automatically stay because they managed to sneak and elude, is unfair to those immigrants that are going through the proper LEGAL channels.

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