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Join I mmigration Legal Updates

February 3, 2017

NOW'S THE TIME TO SHARE YOUR LOVE FOR IMMIGRANTS AND REFUGEES 

Your voice and heart are greatly needed in this "month of love" to show your welcome and support for refugees and immigrants!

As you know, President Trump signed three Executive Orders on January 25 and 27 that greatly impact and are causing enormous fear among refugees and immigrants in our congregations and throughout our nation, among refugees seeking protection among us but now unable to arrive, and among all of us who work and live as neighbors among them and their families. In these midst of such significant changes, there are many ways we as faithful Disciples can encourage both refugees and immigrants-as well as the development of policies that welcome them.

Our Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Disciples Immigration Legal Counsel, Week of Compassion, and Global Ministries are developing a "landing page" of resources to assist you in providing support for immigrants and refugees in the coming months. We will update this page constantly-so we hope you will check it often! You may find this site at: www.discipleshomemissions.org/new-refugee-immigration-restrictions-our-churchs-response

TODAY, please find additional information, and IMMEDIATE ACTIONS AND RESOURCES for your congregational engagement and study! below:


Here is a brief summary of each Executive Order:
  •  The first Executive Order directed the secretary of homeland security to begin planning, designing and constructing a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border, hire 5,000 additional Border Patrol agents, construct and operate additional detention facilities near the border, end the historical protocol whereby immigration enforcement agencies release immigrants caught for being in unlawful status while they await their immigration hearing, additionally quantify aid to Mexico, and take actions to empower state and local law enforcement to act as immigration officers.
  • The second EO, among other provisions, prioritized certain undocumented immigrants for removal, directed hiring of 10,000 additional immigration officers, prohibited federal funding to locales where area officials have chosen for the safety and non-discrimination of their communities to not automatically turn over undocumented immigrants to federal enforcement, sanctioned countries which refuse to accept deportees sent back from the U.S., and reinstated the "Secure Communities" program (previously discontinued) which enables state and local law enforcement to act as immigration agents. 
  • The third EO suspended the U.S. Refugee Admissions Program for 120 days, barred the entry of all "immigrants and nonimmigrants" from Iraq, Iran, Sudan, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Syria for 90 days, cut the number of refugee arrivals into the U.S. this year from 110,000 to 50,000, prioritized refugee claims made on the basis of minority religious persecution, changed the roles of states in refugee placement, and directed the implementation of an entry-exit tracking system for entrants-plus other actions.
In response, we invite you to act and learn in the following ways:

  1. "SIGN UP"--yes, literally PREPARE AND SHARE WELCOME SIGNS--for refugees and immigrants) to show your messages of support! Choose this welcome sign, in Spanish/English/Arabic (originally designed by a Mennonite pastor in Harrisonburg, VA.) to communicate your welcome for refugees and immigrants: https://immanuelmennonite.files.wordpress.com/2016/11/welcomesigns.pdf. And, go here: for sample Refugees Welcome signs, which can be printed or adapted for your desired purposes: www.discipleshomemissions.org/Refugees-Welcome-Signs-samples.pdf 
  2. JOIN OUR MONDAY, FEBRUARY 6TH NATIONAL GRASSROOTS CALL WITH ALL FAITH PARTNERS, from 4-6 P.M. EASTERN to receive updates, planning, and organizing for actions! Opportunities will be given during the call for you to "virtually gather" with other partners in your geographical area! Please register here:
    RSVP -- or go directly to this site: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScsXhcaUGHYV2PbcS0p5B7PP4hVici6MnX4Jt6tzT4cAgvkYA/viewform?c=0&w=1 to register and be a part of this important webinar! Only together will we be able to protect our immigrant and refugee sisters and brothers, keep families together, and make change happen. So, gather your networks together and let's plan and strategize and work together! To join the webinar, you will go to http://join.me/faith4immigration and follow the directions for audio and visual. For audio only call, dial  +1.202.602.1295, Access Code: 354-977-836#.
  3. USE YOUR VOICE (and signs!) to HOST A PRAYER VIGIL, PRESS CONFERENCE, SUPPORT MARCH, OR OTHER EVENT in your area to lift up the voices and testimonies of immigrants and refugees, to pray for communities and read scripture that calls us to "welcome the stranger," and to share information to educate others about the great benefits of immigrant and refugees in our churches and communities, and about the long term security of the U.S. refugee program. Go here https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/RIM-2017-Toolkit-Community-Response-to-Trump-Attack-on-Refugee-Program.pdf for talking points, and a toolkit of sample ways to assist with your efforts to share your voice of welcome for the stranger in your midst.
  4. BUILD UNDERSTANDING OF AND INTERFAITH RELATIONSHIPS OF SOLIDARITY WITH LOCAL MUSLIM COMMUNITIES feeling fearful in this time. Follow the #WeAreOneAmerica campaign on Twitter and Facebook to participate in one of dozens events around the country being held February 3-13 to build interfaith partnerships, and demonstrate solidarity. More are likely soon to come, as well! Then, share your pictures with
    sstanley@dhm.disciples.org, so others can celebrate the partnerships you are building!  Also, consider studying resources such as these to build understanding as an individual, family, or congregation:
--"My Neighbor is Muslim: Exploring the Muslim Faith, " a seven-part study guide for communities and congregations to build understanding about Islam, and developed through the Lutheran Social Service of Minnesota. Go to: http://lirs.org/myneighborismuslim/ to download a copy, and/or to order a limited number of hard copies.
 
--"Christian-Muslim Dialogues," a five part series of panel discussions, links to lectures, articles, and additional resources for answering interfaith questions and building peaceful partnerships. Go here: https://fullerstudio.fuller.edu/christian-muslim-dialogues/ to access and download free materials!
 
--The Jesus Fatwah: Love Your (Muslim) Neighbor as Yourself, a dvd and discussion guide from the "Living the Questions" resource series. Download some free materials, and purchase resources for home or group use here: http://www.livingthequestions.com/xcart/home.php?cat=493

5.   LEARN ABOUT WAYS FAITH COMMUNITIES ARE SUPPORTING IMMIGRANTS WHO ARE FEARING FAMILY SEPARATION:
--Build your understanding about the broadly used term "Sanctuary Cities," and various ways communities can support immigrants at: https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2016/03/RIM-2017-Sanctuary-Ten-Key-Points-ILRC.pdf
    --See a host of resources in English, with some in Spanish, at: http://www.sanctuarynotdeportation.org .

    --Learn about the background of how faith communities have historically offered-and are needed NOW to offer--protections for immigrants and families at risk of detention and/or deportation. Go to http://www.interfaithimmigration.org/resources/toolkits/ and click on "Sanctuary Movement Toolkit" for resources from our Interfaith Immigration Coalition partnership.

    --Consider also joining the "Matthew 25 Movement" to welcome the stranger. See the Matthew 25 Immigration Toolkit here: https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/wp-content/uploads/2017/02/RIM-matthew25-toolkit-immigration.pdf
     
    6.  WRITE AND DELIVER VALENTINES as a show of your love for refugees and immigrants this month!! Final Valentine designs will be available soon which you can download and sign to: 1) Send to friends to show your support for refugees & immigrants, and 2) Send to your LEGISLATORS to voice your support for refugee and immigrant rights. Stay tuned to receive these ASAP! See an initial draft design here: https://www.discipleshomemissions.org/missions-advocacy/refugee-immigration-ministries/
     
    7.  REQUEST A MEETING NOW WITH YOUR CONGRESSIONAL LEADERS who will be home during the week of February 18-26, and DELIVER YOUR MESSAGES AND VALENTINES to your member of Congress and/or their staff as they return to their homes during these days of recess. Go here:   http://www.interfaithimmigration.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/03/Neighbor_to_Neighbor-Toolkit-final.pdf for our newly updated toolkit for how to prepare for and make a strong visit!
     
    8.  Finally, SIGN YOUR NAME as a faith leader, if you have not done so already, to join more than 3,500 around the country in expressing your support for welcoming refugees. Go here to see a copy of the letter:
     http://www.interfaithimmigration.org/3500religiousleaderletter/ 
    and sign here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLScxnWhLCI54pTxWKXkgU97bUDSff3_ENjUTPquJx3U1tkEXFw/viewform
     
    Thanks so much, and please continue to stay in touch about additional resources our office can provide in this critical time!
Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea
Director of Refugee & Immigration Ministries
Disciples Home Missions
Five Thomas Circle, N.W. (202) 957-7826 (Cell)
@StanleyRea


Refugee & Immigration Ministries is a ministry of Disciples Home Missions in Partnership with the Christian Church Capital Area and the Disciples Center for Public Witness

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