Last week the new Trump administration took executive action to expand the U.S.-Mexico border wall, increase the powers of immigration law enforcement and cut federal funding for sanctuary cities. Just two days later, the administration announced further action to halt the acceptance of refugees and discriminate against Muslim refugees seeking asylum.
Jesus experienced life as an immigrant. Jesus’ family were refugees (Matthew 2: 13-23). So, as followers of Jesus, we reject and denounce efforts to expand the U.S.-Mexico border wall, penalize communities providing sanctuary, halt refugee resettlement or impose a religious test for those facing forced migration.
We call upon all policy makers to work for just and compassionate immigration policies that affirm the worth, dignity, and inherent value and rights of all persons, regardless of nationality.
We stand in solidarity with organizations at the frontlines such as Illinois Coalition on Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR), Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN), Inner City Muslim Action Network (IMAN), Arab American Action Network (AAAN), and other institutions in organizing, mobilizing, and advocating for all of our sisters and brothers, and we take a stand against these injustices because “injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere!” (Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.).
What can you do as one of our congregational members or as a partner?
- Be in conversation at your church to consider and determine the ways that you can offer your time, your gifts and your resources in support of churches who are sanctuaries for refugees and families targeted due to their immigration status.
- We invite you to consider volunteering or providing support to immigration legal clinics, such as Justice for our Neighbors, that are offering support and advocacy to the many families threatened by these unjust systems.
- Take action! Below you will find links to organizations that provide training on becoming a sanctuary church, concrete ways to get involved through actions and legislative calls, and resources offered by our community partners that educate on rights under the most recent laws.
- Illinois Coalition on Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) - Advocacy efforts, direct services and organizes actions.
- Chicago Religious Leadership Network (CRLN) - Training on how to become and support sanctuaries.
- Inner City Muslim Action Network (IMAN) - Advocacy and resources.
- Arab American Action Network (AAAN) - Advocacy, resources and direct action.
- Northern Illinois Justice for our Neighbors (NIJFON) - Immigration legal clinic, advocacy, accompaniment and providing legal support for detainees.
Here's another opportunity for you to stand in solidarity through ICIRR- "Press conference and protest in response to the Trump Administration's executive orders signed last week that threatens federal funding to sanctuary cities; and effectively bans all refugees, plus citizens of seven Arab, African, or Muslim countries, from entering the U.S.". RSVP to the event through Facebook> http://bit.ly/2jSns3m