Immigration Task Force of the C.O.P.S./Metro Alliance Welcome!
Interfaith Clergy urge President, Congress to enforce George W. Bush era Trafficking protections
Press Conference Schedule: Wednesday, July 30, 2014 at 10:00am, Sacred Heart Catholic Church, 2114 W Houston St.
For more information, contact the COPS/Metro office: (210) 222-2367
SAN ANTONIO – Diverse religious leaders across Texas will respond to the crisis of unaccompanied minors at press conferences this week.
“Over 180 religious leaders from Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California have written a letter to President Obama and members of Congress with three requests,” said Father Walter D’heedene, Sacred Heart Catholic Church:
1) The Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which applies to children who arrive at our borders, must be enforced and not repealed.
2) All refugees under the age of eighteen must have an attorney and must never be subject to expedited processing
3) Religious, human rights and civic groups must be allowed access to the detention centers and shelters for unaccompanied minors
Texas signers include Catholic, Jewish, Methodist, Presbyterian, Lutheran and Unitarian Universalist clergy and religious leaders.
In their joint statement, they remind our community that “our current treatment of these children violates our integrity as a nation and as people of faith: we must ‘… show kindness and mercy to one another, do not oppress the widow, the fatherless, the sojourner, or the poor, and let none of you devise evil against another in your heart.’ (Zechariah 7:9-10.)”
Clergy and leaders from Texas, Arizona, California and New Mexico IAF organizations will meet with their Congressional delegations about these requests.
Pray, Fast, and Advocate for Immigration Reform for 40 days from September 9 to October 18 The Mission Presbytery Immigration Task Force have signed on to this campaign of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition that we hope will transform our own hearts and the heart of our country for immigration reform. We are at a pivotal moment in the movement for immigration reform in our nation. As people of faith, we believe that we must engage our communities in prayerful action in solidarity with those whose lives are directly impacted by our unjust immigration policies, and whose lives can be made better by reform at the national level. TO PARTICIPATE: STEP 1: COMMIT Go to http://fastaction.us and click on “commit” to sign up as an individual. Then tell your local church contact or email firstname.lastname@example.org to get local updates. All who commit locally will receive an invitation to a “check in” short conference call on September 19 at 12 noon for us to report to each other how the process is going for each of us and to encourage one another. STEP 2: DECIDE ON A FAST Fasting, when coupled with prayer, turns our attention away from our own needs and toward God as it calls us into deeper solidarity with our suffering brothers and sisters. Will you fast for a day a week, or one meal a week? Or simplify enough to remind you of the needs of others? STEP 3: ENGAGE IN DAILY PRAYER Using resources from the website or your own ideas, set a time to pray each day for the immigrants among us and for the creativity, commitment and compassion needed to reform our broken system. Each week will have a different intention for prayer: Week 1: Promote Family Unity and End Deportations Week 2: Provide a Pathway to Citizenship for All Week 3: Care for Refugees and Asylees Week 4: Ensure Workers’ Rights Week 5: Address the Root Causes of Migration Week 6: Humanize and De-Militarize our Borders STEP 4: ADVOCATE Emails from “fastaction” will give us guidance as to how to make our voices heard, or find your own way. Small and large actions are needed to let our legislators know we care about immigrants who are in our communities. STEP 5: COMMUNICATE Use social media, word of mouth and the written word to tell friends and neighbors stories of immigrants and why you care about reforming the system.
The U. S. House of Representatives has taken up immigration reform, now that the Senate has passed a comprehensive bill. Some Representatives are considering separate bills. None of these address the “pathway to citizenship.” And, some representatives want no bill at all. House representatives will be home for recess, beginning August 6. At our Interfaith Immigration Assembly on June 2, we said we wanted a bill that would address:
- Family unity
- A pathway to citizenship
- Workers’ rights
- Due process and reform of detention policies
- Integration of immigrants into our society
- Humane enforcement
Let your Representative know. To contact: Representative Washington DC San Antonio District 20: Joaquin Castro 202-225-3236 210-348-8216 District 21: Lamar Smith 202-225-4236 210-821-5024 District 23: Pete Gallego 202-225-4511 210-927-4592 District 28: Henry Cuellar 202-225-1640 210-271-2851 District 35: Lloyd Doggett 202-225-4865 210-704-1080 District lines have changed. If you are not sure who your representative is, go to http://www.house.gov/representatives/find For more information about immigration and to volunteer, fill out the form below or contact June Kachtik at 210-342-0135 Online Petition: Estimado Miembro del Congreso: Estoy enviando esta carta porque soy uno de los muchos Americanos que cree que la inmigración es buena para nuestro país. Por favor apoye una reforma inmigratoria de sentido común para el bien de nuestro país, de nuestra economía y de nuestros trabajadores, y que a la vez:
- Mantenga la unión familiar
- Origine un proceso para inmigrantes indocumentados obtengan un estatus legal y la ciudadanía
- Proteja los trabajadores y provea entrada legal para futuros inmigrantes
- Facilite la integriación del inmigrante a la sociedad
- Restablezca el proceso legal de protección y reforme las políticas de detención
- Alinee el cumplimiento de las leyes de inmigración con valores humanitarios
- Respete los derechos humanos de todos
Dear Member of Congress, I am sending this letter because I am among a majority of Americans who believe immigration is good for our country. Please support commonsense immigration reform for the good of our country, our economy & our workers that will:
- Uphold family unity
- Create a process for undocumented immigrants to earn their legal status & eventual citizenship
- Protect workers & provide efficient channels of entry for new migrant workers
- Facilitate immigrant integration
- Restore due process protections & reform detention policies
- Align the enforcement of immigration laws with humanitarian values
- Respect everyone’s human rights