We share a call to action from our friends at Church World Service and a note from our Executive Director.
Call to Action:
Join in a national call-in and social media call for action to tell our Senators and Representatives to #DefundHate and pass the #DreamAct.
Congress is currently considering whether to give President Trump $4.5 billion in additional funding to expand the ability to tear families and communities apart, detain an unprecedented 51,379 people, and further militarize communities living along the southern U.S. border. Billions of additional funding for an already bloated immigration detention and deportation force. Congress has the “power of the purse” and can reject this proposal and defund the deportation, detention, militarization machine.
And just yesterday, the Trump administration terminated the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. The consequences of ending DACA are devastating, immediate, and profound. DACA has allowed nearly 800,000 immigrant youth to live, work, and thrive in the United States. Congress needs to hear that your community supports immigrant youth and that it must take action to pass the Dream Act of 2017!
Please click here for sample social media posts & graphics, as well as actions happening this week to support immigrants around the country! For more information on how you can support DREAMers, please visit www.weareheretostay.org. For additional faith resources, please visit interfaithimmigration.org/dream.
Thank you – and please share!
Note from Michael Ramos, Executive Director, Church Council of Greater Seattle:
When the U.S. Chamber of Commerce says that the decision to eliminate DACA runs “contrary to fundamental American principles,” we realize that the hard-working, faith-filled and family-oriented DACA recipients have not only the moral weight of support from a majority of Americans, but also form an economic backbone for our nation. With 90% of 800,000 DACA recipients employed at an average salary of $37,000 per year and with an estimated contribution to the economy over the next ten years slated to be at $400 billion, keeping DACA would have been economic common sense for the common good. Far from creating perceived criminal or national security threats, or as the Attorney General put it, a program which “yielded terrible humanitarian consequences,” DACA represents the roots and wings of a nation whose labor has been used over the centuries, often under difficult or harsh circumstances – including ill-treatment, poor conditions, racism and the lack of the right to organize. Roots – except for the Native land on which we stand with respect, we have all had forebears who came from different countries, and on whom our economy has depended; and wings – the flourishing we see in the DACA recipients bespeak of the best of the “American way of life,” our highest aspirations and the promise of what active citizenship would look like, if they were only given their due as a matter of justice. How will Houston rebuild without undocumented, including DACA-recipient labor?
Deferred action is a well-understood legal principle. As The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., said, there are two types of laws, just laws and unjust laws. A just law honors questions such as, does it humanize situations or circumstances? Does it serve the public interest? Does it treat people in a dignified manner, equitably? Does it allow for due process and participation of those most impacted in shaping it? If the answer is no, then the law is unjust. The repeal of DACA is fundamentally unjust. In its brazenness – unnecessary, untimely and unwise – it is cruel. Indeed, as a potential entrapment, with people seemingly safe, productive and thriving now at grave risk of deportation, it is “shocking to the universal sense of justice.”
Advocacy toward Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CIR) and its essential American values of legalization and a pathway to citizenship, family reunification, justice on the job and due process goes back at least to the beginning of the 21st Century. Without progress on CIR, DACA has allowed some young people who came to the U.S. as children a step forward toward work, further education, military service and social and economic contributions to the national fabric. The removal of DACA and threat to nearly a million men and women and their families, yes, with dreams, leave people of faith and good will with two choices: pass legislation that gives DACA recipients the permanent status they deserve, through passage of the DREAM act; or defy implementation and enforcement of the tragedy of DACA elimination and its consequences, which surely will add to the sweeps, detention and deportation regime at work.
People of faith are forced to confront disorder and dis-ease even from federal authorities with the holy mandates of accompaniment, solidarity and the faithfulness of standing in the gap between racist and nativist policy initiatives and the inclusive table of beloved community. We thank DACA recipients for their leadership and their bravery. May we be moved to just action befitting our vocation and the times we are charged to embrace.