Posts Tagged ‘Immigration’

Today is Human Rights Day: Take Action for Dignity at the Border!

No Comments | Share On Facebook| Today is Human Rights Day: Take Action for Dignity at the Border! Share/Save/Bookmark Dec 10, 2014

Today is International Human Rights Day, and the SSL campaign is excited to partner with No More Deaths, a Ministry of the UU Church of Tucson. No More Deaths is entirely volunteer run, and they have been doing important work helping end death and suffering on the U.S.-Mexico Border. Let’s take action together today to #stoptheshakedown!

Hundreds of thousands of immigrants each year are dumped at the Mexico border and permanently expelled without their most basic belongings: their money, identification documents, cell phones, important phone numbers, photos and keepsakes. From the border they must find a way to travel to their place of origin in Mexico—with nothing. You can act right now to help stop this travesty.

No More Deaths’ new report Shakedown: How Deportation Robs Immigrants of their Money and Belongings (released today!) exposes the sometimes neglectful, sometimes predatory practices of the Border Patrol, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and private prison companies that deprive immigrants of their personal property. President Obama’s executive action will do nothing to change these practices, and could intensify them.

The Border Patrol nowadays sends migrants detained at the border to criminal court, where they can be sentenced to prison for months for “illegal entry.” Then the Border Patrol destroys their belongings, including all their non-US currency, before they are even released. This is not seized property that is being confiscated: these are detained personal effects that are the lawful property of their owners.

Many immigrants of Mexican origin find themselves penniless when they are deported to Mexico, but not because they lack funds. Money they were carrying when detained, money they earned from work while detained, and money sent to them by family members is often not returned to them in cash. Instead, they are sent packing with a domestic US check that cannot be cashed in Mexico or a prepaid debit card that cannot even be activated there. This is theft, pure and simple. Click here to listen to Manuel Jose Hernandez talk about his experience.

Please join us in saying that the shakedown must stop.

People deported to Mexico face serious threats to their safety. So taking away their money and belongings doesn’t just violate their property rights, it also places them at heightened risk. They are not able to buy a bus ticket to leave the volatile border region, not able (without ID) to receive travel money that their family wires to them, or even not able to call their family for help.

We must #StopTheShakedown that is placing so many people at risk. Please join us in taking the following actions:

1.    Send a quick fax and email to the Secretary of Homeland Security, Jeh Johnson. —December 18 is International Migrants Day, a day to honor the rights of migrant workers, including their property rights. Can we send 2,000 messages by December 18?

2.    Call Johnson’s office at 202-282-8495 and leave a message: “I am calling to ask Secretary Johnson to make sure that no more people get deported without their money or belongings. This is a violation of people’s rights and puts them in an unnecessarily dangerous situation.” This phone number is an answering machine, so let’s fill it up.

3.    Start a conversation in your community or church about this little-known reason to oppose the deportations that continue to ravage our communities. #Not1More!

Thank you,






Hannah Hafter (seen here with Rev. Kathleen McTigue on the SSL/UUCSJ Border Trip, October 2014)

No More Deaths


Faith Leaders Call on Obama to End Inhumane Immigration Enforcement

1 Comment | Share On Facebook| Faith Leaders Call on Obama to End Inhumane Immigration Enforcement Share/Save/Bookmark Aug 27, 2014

President Barack Obama
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Avenue
Washington, DC  20500


Dear Mr. President,

On July 31, over 100 faith leaders and immigrant rights activists were arrested in front of the White House to urge you to end the inhumane immigration enforcement policies that are destroying families and fracturing our nation. Congress’s refusal to enact immigration reform has ensured that deportations of immigrants continue at an alarming rate. Only administrative action will stop the deportations now.

As you consider executive action to protect immigrant families, we implore you to include three things:

  1. Stop deportations immediately. Every day, roughly over 1,100 people are being forced from their homes and sent back to countries of origin that many fled for fear of poverty, hunger, and violence. Deportations are not the solution to fixing the immigration system. Stop the deportations. Stop this injustice.
  2. Expand deferred action to immigrant workers and families. You can use the power of the presidency to keep families together by granting deferred action as you did for the “Dreamers,” the children brought to this country by their parents seeking a better way of life for their families.
  3. Protect unaccompanied children who have sought refuge within the United States border. Give the children who are fleeing violence in Central America due process hearings to be considered for refugee status. Detentions and deportations are not the answers. Mercy and relief for children desperate to escape gang- and drug-related violence are needed now.

The world waits to see how you will handle our broken immigration system. Will you take the first step to finding a humane solution?

As a nation of immigrants, we must stand on the side of love with immigrant families. As a religious community, we cannot ignore the moral call to help those who are suffering. And as citizens of the world, we must respect the inherent worth and dignity of all.


In faith,

Rev. Peter Morales
President, Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Geoffrey A. Black
General Minister and President, United Church of Christ

Bishop Minerva G. Carcaño
The United Methodist Church, Los Angeles Area

Rev. Dr. Susan T. Henry-Crowe
General Secretary, Board of Church and Society, the United Methodist Church

Rev. John L. McCullough
President and CEO, Church World Service

Rev. Dr. Sharon Watkins
Minister and President, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)


This letter was sent to the White House today, providing important follow-up to support the coalition of clergy and faith leaders who took action and engaged in civil disobedience to urge deferred action for the immigrant community and refugee status for children at the border on July 31, 2014.


Thank you to the July 31 UU Arrestees

1 Comment | Share On Facebook| Thank you to the July 31 UU Arrestees Share/Save/Bookmark Aug 07, 2014

We are standing on the side of love with the 31 Unitarian Universalist clergy and leaders who got arrested as part of the July 31 Pray for Relief actions in front of the White House to stop deportations.

While many of the people arrested echoed the sentiment that theirs was a small sacrifice compared to the daily struggles many immigrants face, we are grateful for their witness nonetheless!

Thank you to these brave souls.

1. Rev. Lora Brandis, UU Justice Ministry California

2. Rev. Evin Carvill Ziemer, Central East Regional Group, UUA

3. Laura Davis, Palomar UU Fellowship

4. Rev. Barnaby Feder, Champlain Valley UU Society

5. Rev. Susan Frederick-Gray, UU Congregation of Phoenix

6. Rev. Fred Hammond, UU Congregation of Tuscaloosa

7. Carolyn Howe, First Parish Northborough, UU

8. Dee Idnani, UU Congregation of Fairfax, VA

9. Rev. Carie Johnsen, UU Community Church

10. Rev. Beth Johnson, Palomar UU Fellowship

11.  Rev. Susan Karlson, NYC New Sanctuary Coalition

12.  Rev. Amy Kindred, UU Fellowship of Charlotte County, FL

13.  Rev. Linda Lawrence, UU Congregation of Phoenix

14.  Yvonne Marlier, Unitarian Society of Germantown

15.  Rev. Kent Matthies, Unitarian Society of Germantown

16.  Rev. Kathleen McTigue, UU College of Social Justice

17.  Paul Mitchell, UU Justice Arizona Network

18.  Rev. Linda Olson Peebles, UU Church of Arlington and UUMA

19.  Rev. Amanda Poppei, Washington Ethical Society

20.  Rev. Jeanne Pupke, First UU, Richmond

21.  John Reed, United First Parish Church

22.  Rev. Cathy Rion Starr, Unitarian Society of Hartford

23.  Rev. Christina Sillari, First Parish, Portland, Maine

24.  Suzi Spangenberg, Seminarian, UU Fellowship of Laguna Beach

25.  Carol Stowell, UU Congregation of York

26.  Rev. Jan Taddeo,  UU Congregation of Gwinnett

27.  Rafaelina Veras, UUCY

28.  Rev. Wendy von Zirpolo, UU Church of Marblehead

29.  Laura Wagner, UU Mass Action

30.  Sandra Weir, UU Congregation of Phoenix

31.  Ross Wells, Washington Ethical Society

PHOTOS: Deportation protest at the White House

No Comments | Share On Facebook| PHOTOS: Deportation protest at the White House Share/Save/Bookmark Aug 01, 2014