May 2018 Newsletter
In the absence of comprehensive immigration reform at the national level, state, county, city and local groups are considering sanctuary as an option.

“Sanctuary cities” and “taking sanctuary” are two ways that activists and city governments have pursued inclusive policies and practices to assist undocumented immigrants facing deportation.
Currently there are about 370 cities and 5,528 county level policy ordinances related to undocumented immigrants living within their boundaries. There are also about 800 churches (out of about 350,000 religious congregations) in the US offering sanctuary and 41 people actively in sanctuary.

Sanctuary Myths
  • People living in sanctuary cities or states cannot be deported.
  • U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agents are legally prevented from entering a house of worship to remove someone with a deportation order.
  • Taking sanctuary in houses of worship guarantees a path to citizenship.

Sanctuary Realities
  • Current sanctuary policies and practices do not physically protect people from ICE actions such as deportation.
  • Those in support of sanctuary may seek to limit the ability of local police to communicate and collaborate with federal immigration officials.
  • Sanctuary policies can uphold the human rights and dignity of immigrant communities.
  • Places of sanctuary affirm the right of immigrant communities to exist and work to keep families together.

Alternatives to Sanctuary
  • Legislative advocacy & petitions
  • Involvement in local interracial, immigrant rights, and/or interfaith coalitions
  • Building a relationship with a local community organizing or advocacy group that represents and is led by members of a marginalized group


Sources :
Immigration Resources
A Discernment Guide for Congregations
A resource from the Office of Public Witness of the Presbyterian Church USA; provides an introduction of what sanctuary is, a history of sanctuary, a discernment process, biblical reflections, stories of people in sanctuary, and other resources. Read more.
For more Immigration resources, click here.
Sanctuary Movement
A 10 minute documentary from PBS, that reports on the current sanctuary movement from Southside Presbyterian Church in Tucson, Arizona where it first began, including an interview with the church’s pastor, Rev. Alison Harrington as well as Roy Beck of Numbers USA, a lobbying group that works to reduce the number of immigrants to the US.
For more Immigration resources, click here.
Gospel Without Borders
A documentary from Ethics Daily, that separates myth from fact, examines what the Bible says about treatment of the "stranger," shows the experiences of immigrants, and provides ways for Christians to advance the common good. Watch the trailer.
For more Immigration resources, click here.
Immigrant Voices Make Democracy Stronger
A 13 minute TED Talk featuring Sayu Bhojwani, who shares her story of becoming an American citizen -- revealing how her love and dedication to her country turned her into a driving force for political change. She argues that in politics, representation matters and that we should elect leaders who reflect our country's diversity and embrace its multicultural tapestry. "We have fought to be here," she says, calling immigrant voices to action. "It's our country, too." Watch now.
For more Immigration resources, click here.
Crossing the Divide: Foundations of a Theology of Migration and Refugees
By Dan Groody C.S.C. This digital document is an article from Theological Studies and focuses on four foundations of a theology of migration and refugees: (1) Crossing the Problem-Person Divide, (2) Crossing the Divine-Human Divide; (3) Crossing the Human-Human Divide; and (4) Crossing the Country-Kingdom divide. Calls for crossing borders and overcoming barriers. Holds that migration can be viewed as a way of thinking about the relationship of God with human life and as an expression of the Christian mission of reconciliation.
For more Immigration resources, click here.
Immigration Prayer

Here I Am Lord
Lord, I am here to thank you for my life.
For calling me to be an instrument of accompaniment.
An instrument to make a difference wherever I am.
Lord, open my ears so I can listen in silence and thus be able to hear the needs of my sisters and brothers.
Lord, give me the strength to never give up, even if darkness appears.
Perhaps it's only me to start, but you are with me.
Lord, give the wisdom to continue being an instrument that listens, gives hope, and accompanies.
Thank you Lord because through service, you fill me with joy.
Lord, I am ready to go to the peripheries.
Be my partner, my guide, my everything.

Consuelo Sandoval, Pastoral Migratoria, Our Lady of Lourdes Parish, Chicago
Resources on the
Criminal Justice System
Policing the Black Man: Arrest, Prosecution and Imprisonment
Edited by Angela Davis. A collection of essays that explore and critique the many ways the criminal justice system impacts the lives of African American boys and men at every stage of the criminal process, from arrest through sentencing. Essays range from an interpretation of the historical roots of racism in the criminal justice system to an examination of modern-day police killings of unarmed black men. The contributors discuss and explain racial profiling, the power and discretion of police and prosecutors, the role of implicit bias, the racial impact of police and prosecutorial decisions, the disproportionate imprisonment of black men, the collateral consequences of mass incarceration, and the Supreme Court’s failure to provide meaningful remedies for the injustices in the criminal justice system. Read more.
For more Criminal Justice System resources,
Locked In: The True Causes of Mass Incarceration and How to Achieve
Real Reform
By John Plaff. Investigates the root causes of mass incarceration, arguing that the most widely accepted explanations -- the failed War on Drugs, draconian sentencing laws, an increasing reliance on private prisons -- tell us much less than we think. Looks at other factors instead, including a major shift in prosecutor behavior that occurred in the mid-1990s, when prosecutors began bringing felony charges against arrestees about twice as often as they had before. Describes a fractured criminal justice system, in which counties don't pay for the people they send to state prisons, and in which white suburbs set law and order agendas for more-heavily minority cities and shows that if we hope to significantly reduce prison populations, we have no choice but to think differently about how to deal with people convicted of violent crimes and why some people are violent in the first place. Read more.
For more Criminal Justice System resources,

Not a Crime to Be Poor: The Criminalization of Poverty in America
By Peter Edelman. Argues that through money bail systems, fees and fines, strictly enforced laws and regulations against behavior including trespassing and public urination that largely affect the homeless, and the substitution of prisons and jails for the mental hospitals that have traditionally served the impoverished, in one of the richest countries on Earth, we have effectively made it a crime to be poor. Read more. 
For more Criminal Justice System resources,
National Association of Community and Restorative Justice
The parent organization for the National Conference on Restorative Justice, provides its members with information applicable to restorative and community justice theory and practice.
Employs principles of social and restorative justice seeking transformation in the ways justice questions are addressed and promotes effective forms of justice that are equitable, sustainable and
socially constructive. 
For more Criminal Justice System resources ,

Columbia University Justice Lab
Combines research, policy development, and community engagement to propel justice reform. Holds that justice depends on peaceful and healthy communities that help all their members to flourish in a climate of fairness and respect. Works for a community-centered justice, in which incarceration is no longer used as a solution to problems that are often rooted in poverty and racial inequality.
For more Criminal Justice System resources,

The National Reentry Resource Center
The Federal Interagency Reentry Council represents 20 federal agencies, working towards a mission to:
  • Make communities safer by reducing recidivism and victimization,
  • Assist those who return from prison and jail in becoming productive citizens
  • Save taxpayer dollars by lowering the direct and collateral costs of incarceration.
For more Criminal Justice System resources,

Resources on Racism
The Rundown
A free newsletter from the Southern Poverty Law Center that provides links to stories on issues involving their work every other week. Learn more.
For more Racism resources, click here.
Tears We Cannot Stop:
A Sermon to White America
By Michael Eric Dyson. Argues that if we are to make real racial progress we must face difficult truths, including being honest about how black grievances have been ignored, dismissed, or discounted. Read more.
For more Racism resources, click here.

  Pre-Post-Racial America:
Spiritual Stories from the Front Lines
By Sandhya Rani Jha. Addresses racism in a way that is grounded in people's stories and offers biblical grounding for thinking about race relations in America, reminding readers that God calls everyone to build the Beloved Community.
For more Racism resources, click here.

Forward Together:
A Moral Message to the Nation
By William Barber. Contains many of his sermons & speeches and tells the story of a new fusion civil rights movement -- a "big tent," in which black and white, gay and straight, rich and poor, old and young, Republicans and Democrats are all welcome. Read more.
For more Racism resources, click here.
Important Dates This Month

Individuals Honored This Month
The task before us, if we would not perish,
is to build the earth.
May 9th
In the first centuries of Christianity, the hungry were fed at personal sacrifice, the naked were clothed at a personal sacrifice, the homeless were sheltered at a personal sacrifice… and the pagans used to say about the Christians, 'See how they love each other.' In our own day, the poor are no longer fed, clothed and sheltered at personal sacrifice but at the expense of the taxpayers. And because of this, the pagans say about the Christians, 'See how they pass the buck.'
One is called to live nonviolently even if the change one works for seems impossible.
May 9th
  Stand up for what you believe in
even if you are standing alone.
May 19th
Kinship: not serving the other,
but being one with the other.
May 20th

Discipleship to Christ requires heroism.
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