UUA Immigration News
December 2012: Calling for Immigration Reform at the White House & Across the Nation!
Today there is a generational opportunity to pass humane inclusive immigration reform. Now is the time to start advocating with our partner groups for reform based on keeping families together and a fair, not punitive, path to citizenship. There is already much positioning going on in Washington, DC. and it‘s important that the faith-based and grassroots community be heard and lead the way.
In this issue we have news about:
- Our UUA Witness Ministries Director’s visit to the White House with the Interfaith Immigration Coalition
- Information about the faith-based grassroots Breaking Bread and Building Bridges campaign
- A reminder to submit comments on the Congregational Study Action Issue on Immigration as a Moral Issue
Taking Our Voices to the White House: We are pleased to report to you that yesterday Rev. Craig Roshaven, UUA Witness Ministries Director, joined other leaders from the Interfaith Immigration Coalition and took our voices to the White House. The Interfaith Immigration Coalition (IIC), a coalition of 35 national faith-based organizations, met with Julie Chavez Rodriguez, Associate Director of Latino Affairs and Immigration in the White House Office of Public Engagement, and called on the Obama Administration to seize the moment to champion legislative reform of our broken immigration system, and to promote immigrant integration and reduce harmful enforcement practices through administrative actions. Read more about the visit and how you can get involved. See the Coalition Policy Recommendations to White House. [Photo: Members of the IIC coalition including Rev. Roshaven (center) with Ms. Rodriguez.]
Breaking Bread and Building Bridges is part of a larger strategy to lift the voices of faith communities at the local level and turn the tide for immigrants’ rights. Local events such as potlucks, vigils, and detention visitation connect advocates with those most directly affected by unjust immigration policies. The relationships that are nourished serve to build understanding and strengthen dedication for continued work toward just and humane immigration reform.
The post-election reality in 2012 ushered in a significant shift in the narrative for humane immigration reform. Grassroots involvement, including in-district meetings with members of Congress and public, prayerful witness will be critical to any national reforms. At the same time, it will be essential to continue to push for local and state policies that build welcoming communities and stop deportations.
See the website for resources and to start planning your activities for December through June! A toolkit will be coming soon that provides resources for congregations to engage in activities such as potlucks, vigils, and meetings with decision makers to make progress toward achieving these goals. The type of campaigns you create/join will depend on your local context, existing relationships, and passions.
Note: View the powerpoint about the campaign from the December 10th webinar (as well as past webinars) here.
Social Witness Opportunity: Send Feedback on Draft Statement of Conscience Immigration As a Moral Issue: For a Draft Statement of Conscience (SOC) to appear on the 2013 General Assembly Final Agenda, UUA bylaws require a minimum of 25% of certified congregations to participate in the ballot vote on whether the Draft SOC should be placed on the Final Agenda. Poll opens November 15, 2012. Comments from congregations will be accepted on the draft SOC Immigration as a Moral Issue from November 15, 2012 through February 1, 2013. Learn more and find instructions here.
Happy holidays to all our immigrant justice leaders. Your efforts are making a difference in this world.
In faith and hope,
Audra, Craig, Jennifer, Jessica, Meredith, Susan, and Taquiena
UUA Witness Ministries staff
See www.uua.org/immigration for resources, organizing campaigns, stories, policy info and more!