UUA Immigration News
December 2013: Immigrant Justice for People of Faith
This year has in many ways broken our hearts as we have struggled mightily to pass compassionate immigration reform. Instead 400,000 people a year continue to be deported, families are broken apart, and our communities live in fear and distrust. At the same time our hearts have been lifted by the courage and commitment of the migrant community to keep on striving for justice and by the solidarity that our faith community and others have demonstrated. Together we have participated in hundreds of advocacy visits and justice events, and thousands have made calls and signed petitions. Many of you joined the Fast for Families and dozens of you have been arrested for civil disobedience, including UUA President Rev. Peter Morales, in the Capitol, and at ICE facilities in an attempt to directly stop deportations.
I had the privilege of joining the Fast for Families when I was in Washington two weeks ago. Three of them pictured here shared their stories with me of working with Unitarian Universalists and Standing on the Side of Love. Their message was to keep on striving for justice and building solidarity together.
Here are two things you can do now:
1) Please read this reflection piece excerpted below by Rev. Susan Frederick Gray, Rev. Andy Burnette, and Emrys Staton, Unitarian Universalist leaders from Arizona, on right relation and faith leaders' participation in immigrant justice work and get involved with the Not One More Deportation Campaign.
"It is not often in the news. Every day, more than 1,100 people are removed or deported from the U.S. The number adds up to roughly 400,000 per year – a quota set by President Obama’s administration. Families are being torn apart every single day.
From the days of the Hebrew prophets and long before, people of faith have acted up and spoken out to counter abuse and oppression. Our faith instructs us to treat every person with worth and dignity and to remember that what affects one affects us all. Compassion is calling for a refocusing of strategy.
Therefore, activists and faith leaders are increasing pressure on President Obama and Congress to address directly this crisis. During the weekend of October 11-14, activists in Arizona caught the nation’s attention after blocking two buses full of shackled immigrants destined for federal court, prison and ultimately deportation. The escalation of tactics was aimed at stemming the onslaught of deportations and detentions that are a daily occurrence in the lives of families and communities with members who are undocumented. The strategy on the ground is to confront directly the deportation machine. "
Read the whole reflection piece posted at Not One More Deportation Campaign.
2) Sign and circulate our message to Speaker Boehner calling for him to have a heart and bring an immigration reform bill to the House floor.
We wish you many blessings during this holiday season and are so grateful for your leadership, your witness, and your loving spirits.
In faith, Susan Leslie
Congregational Advocacy & Witness Director, on behalf of the Multicultural Growth & Witness Team