Posts Tagged ‘Interfaith Immigration Coalition’

Join the Interfaith Fast Action for Immigration Reform

No Comments | Share On Facebook| Join the Interfaith Fast Action for Immigration Reform Share/Save/Bookmark Sep 05, 2013

All summer long, you have been standing on the side of love with immigrant families. From California to Florida to New York (where Rev. Susan Karlson recently got arrested to raise awareness about the dire need for immigration reform), you are putting your faith in action!

Now, with Congress returning from their August Recess next week, we must escalate our work for immigrant justice. There will be many ways to plug into over the next few months and we’ve just revamped our resources page. Click here to learn more and get involved.

We are also really excited to announce that Standing on the Side of Love is joining with the Interfaith Immigration Coalition in a rolling Fast Action for Immigration Reform during the month of September.

Imagine hundreds of thousands of people of different faiths fasting and praying together in an act of solidarity and hope. Join us for a spiritual fast that will enable us to take on some of the suffering of our broken immigration system and focus more clearly on reflection and action for change. Demonstrate your solidarity with immigrant communities by fasting for just one meal, a day, or every week, or you can fast by abstaining from caffeine or social media or whatever would be spiritually important to you. All our denominations will be spreading the word, sharing our stories, and creating a huge moral movement for immigrant justice.

Click here commit to join with thousands of others across the country for the interfaith Fast Action for Immigration Reform.

Standing on the Side of Love will be co-hosting a webinar this coming Monday to help kick off the fast, where you can learn about the current status of immigration legislation and how to raise awareness. Click here to sign up for the webinar.

Together, we will ensure that our voices are heard in the halls of Congress. We will get just, compassionate immigration reform passed this year!

In faith,

Rev. Noel Andersen, UCC Minister, Interfaith Immigration Coalition Grassroots Chair, & Church World Service Grassroots Coordinator
Jennifer Toth, Standing on the Side of Love Campaign Manager

PS: Heads up–we are also gearing up to join local immigrant rights organizations in a National Day of Action for Dignity and Respect on October 5.

The message above went out on Thursday, September 5, 2013 to Standing on the Side of Love supporters. You can sign-up for these emails here.

We Will Not Rest

No Comments | Share On Facebook| We Will Not Rest Share/Save/Bookmark Jul 17, 2013

Though many of us are in the middle of summer vacations, the work for immigrant justice doesn’t stop.

If you have just an hour or two in the next week, check out these upcoming webinars from our partners. You will get an up-to-the-minute update on the status of the legislation and a briefing on how immigration reform will particularly impact women.

What’s Next for Women & Immigration Reform
Hosted by We Belong Together 
Thursday, July 18th, 1:00-2:00pm ET

Join the webinar for a discussion on the highs and lows of the final Senate bill, what to expect as reform efforts move forward in the House of Representatives, and what our exciting plans are for both on-the-ground and online mobilization.

RSVP to and log in here.

How Immigration Reform Can Reduce Abuse and Exploitation for Immigrant Women
Hosted by the Interfaith Immigration Coalition 
Thursday, July 25th, 12:00-1:00pm ET

Many undocumented women are vulnerable to abuse and exploitation both in their own homes and in the workplace. Join the webinar to learn more about specific challenges that immigrant survivors of abuse face and why legalization and immigration reform is necessary to meet those challenges.

Click here to RSVP.

We cannot rest until Congress fixes our broken immigration system. Let’s keep up the momentum for change!

In faith,

Meredith Lukow
Program Assistant
Standing on the Side of Love

The message above went out on Wednesday, July 17, 2013 to Standing on the Side of Love supporters. You can sign-up for these emails here.

The Road from Phoenix: Compassionate Immigration Reform

No Comments | Share On Facebook| The Road from Phoenix: Compassionate Immigration Reform Share/Save/Bookmark Feb 25, 2013

This spring, we have a once-in-a-generation opportunity to pass compassionate, comprehensive immigration reform. As people of faith, we must raise our voices for an immigration reform bill that promotes justice and compassion, and that keeps families together. Last year, we stood on the side of love in Phoenix, faithfully witnessing against the harsh practices and policies directed against immigrants and their families. What we did in Phoenix was meaningful, but now what? What is next on the Road from Phoenix?

Congress will likely pass Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) legislation this year and whether it is compassionate in addition to comprehensive depends on how much we and other faith communities influence the outcome.

No matter where you live, you can make a difference in this debate. The first step is to commit to doing an in-district lobby visit, i.e. neighbor-to-neighbor meeting, with your members of Congress. In-district visits are one of the most effective ways to ensure that your voice is heard. Click here for our step-by-step guide to doing an in-district lobby visit.

Your members of Congress will be in their home offices for a “state work period” from March 25 to April 5, so call now and make an appointment to meet with them ASAP. It’s easy to make an appointment to speak with your legislators, and a small group from your community can have a real impact.

Never done a lobby visit before? No worries! Join the Interfaith Immigration Coalition webinar on Monday, March 4 at 4pm ET for an informative presentation on neighbor-to-neighbor visits. Click here and scroll down to “Step 3″ for more details.

With your help, people of faith will play a key role in ensuring that immigration reform is compassionate, and reflects the worth and dignity of all people. Commit to doing an in-district lobby visit today!

In faith,

Susan Leslie
Lead Organizer
Standing on the Side of Love

PS: The first 50 congregations to sign-up will receive a packet of Standing on the Side of Love goodies to support their work–click here to register your in-district visit today!

The message above went out on Monday, February 25, 2013 to Standing on the Side of Love supporters. You can sign-up for these emails here.

Restoring Trust in Massachusetts

No Comments | Share On Facebook| Restoring Trust in Massachusetts Share/Save/Bookmark Feb 13, 2013

This post was written by Jesse C. Jaeger, Executive Director of UU Mass Action.

On Wednesday, January 23rd, UU Mass Action participated in the Thirty Days of Love by helping our local immigrant rights partners organize a lobby day in support of the Massachusetts Trust Act. The Trust Act will end Immigration Custom and Enforcement’s co-opting of local law enforcement, which breaks down relationships in all of our communities.

In May 2012, Immigration Custom and Enforcement (ICE) implemented the Secure Communities (S-Comm) program statewide in Massachusetts despite the objections of immigrant rights groups, faith groups, many local law enforcement official,s and even Governor Patrick. ICE tells us that S-Comm makes our communities safer by deporting criminals who are undocumented. However, ICE’s own statistics show that this in not the case. Since its implementation, nearly 200 individuals have been deported through the S-Comm program–60% of those people have committed no crime at all (aside from their immigration violation) and another 10% have only committed minor infractions such as traffic violations or minor misdemeanors. Only 3 in 10 of those deported have committed the types of crimes that ICE touts as the reason for S-Comm. The national statistics, while not as bad, are still pretty grim: 83,000 people were deported using the S-Comm program in 2012 and 50% of had committed no crime or a minor traffic violation or misdemeanor.

The truth is that S-Comm does the exact opposite of its intended purpose. S-Comm makes our communities less safe. Nationwide thousands of families have been torn apart–taking parents away from U.S. citizen children, removing bread winners from homes, and throwing many into the hands of already strained local social service providers. S-Comm has also driven a wedge between immigrant communities and local law enforcement, making those communities much less likely to report crimes such as domestic violence, theft, and assault. S-Comm tears at the bonds of love and trust that hold our communities together, calling for a response from the faith community.

That is why UU Mass Action is working to engage Massachusetts Unitarian Universalists in the national Restoring Trust campaign and have played a leading role in getting the Massachusetts Trust Act filed. The Trust Act breaks the bond between ICE and local law enforcement, allowing a trusting relationship to form between police and immigrant communities and making it much harder for ICE to break up law abiding immigrant families.

Massachusetts Trust Act Team

We met directly with state legislators to ask them to sign on as co-sponsors of the bill. Together, we also mapped out a strategy for the next six months of the campaign. Over the coming weeks, UU Mass Action will continue to build the interfaith coalition in support of the Trust Act by asking congregations and religious leaders to sign on to the letter of support and leading a series of workshops across the state.

There are other active statewide Trust Act campaigns in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Oregon, and California, and many more local campaigns. Visit the Interfaith Immigration Coalition website today to see if there is a Trust Act campaign near you and learn more about how you could help start a campaign in your community.

Day 11: Breaking Bread & Building Bridges

No Comments | Share On Facebook| Day 11: Breaking Bread & Building Bridges Share/Save/Bookmark Jan 29, 2013

Today is Day 11 of the Thirty Days of Love. Today’s action is to prepare to participate in the “Breaking Bread and Building Bridges” campaign. Click here for more resources, family actions, and more! Click here to sign up for the daily Thirty Days of Love emails.

My name is Ivone and as a recent Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) recipient, I write this piece on behalf of the millions of undocumented immigrants residing in this country. We all wish to have similar opportunities like the one that I was given through DACA, based on our character and not our places of origin.

I cannot forget that I am part of a larger group of individuals who reside in your communities, provide you with customer service at stores and restaurants, and are part of the same congregations that many of you attend. We are people who have established longstanding roots and relationships and have the same kind of dreams, beliefs, and desires as you. We are asking for your support and participation with a new initiative that the interfaith community has launched called Breaking Bread and Building Bridges.

The Breaking Bread and Building Bridges campaign consists of a series of events designed to create and strengthen relationships of solidarity between faith communities and immigrants’ rights groups. Groups are encouraged to hold local events such as potlucks, vigils, and detention visitations as a way to effectively educate, organize, and advocate for just immigration policies.

Click here for more info on Breaking Bread and Building Bridges!

At a time when there’s been a meaningful shift in public opinion on such a polarized issue, our efforts are part of a larger strategy to lift up the voices of the faith community at the local level. We are the ones helping to turn the tide for immigrants’ rights in the U.S.

Our campaign is important because it provides an opportunity for communities across the country to become involved in advocating for just and humane immigration reform this year. We are creatively engaging in a number of activities that will allow people’s voices to be heard all the way to Washington, D.C., where decision makers need to hear from us. As public witnesses, you have a unique opportunity to help frame the issue going forward. The need for comprehensive immigration reform in this country is more pressing than ever and by becoming involved, you are helping to amplify the local voices of those who are directly affected to create the change we need!

If you are ready to join this life-changing movement, I strongly encourage you to help make a difference by participating in the Breaking Bread and Building Bridges events. Click here for useful resources that can help guide you every step of the way.

It’s amazing the ripple effect that is created when people come together around a cause for the common good of our nation. Help us magnify this effect across the country today by holding a Breaking Bread and Building Bridges event!

With much gratitude for your support,

Ivone Guillen

Ivone serves as the Co-Chair for the Interfaith Immigration Coalition, a partnership of faith-based organizations committed to enacting fair and humane immigration reform.