By Janis Rosheuvel from the United Methodist Women and CRLN leaders Pastor Lilian Amaya and Lissette Castillo, published on CommonDreams:


The crisis of incarceration this nation now faces demands people of faith act with swift and fierce moral authority to transform, not just reform, an irreparably broken system. It demands that all of us—clergy, seminarians, teachers, and people in pews, mosques and temples— provoke a revolution of values that strikes at the heart of mass incarceration. Without exception, we believers are required to realize a just world. This is our call, and we are falling short when it comes to how we treat those in jails, prisons and detention centers.

Thanks to powerful community organizing and mobilization many more people are cognizant of why mass incarceration must end.  Many of us already know the numbers: 2.3 million human beings locked down, as many as 9 million under some form of correctional control, including parole, probation or awaiting their day in court and almost 500,000 people passing through civil immigration detention annually. Growing numbers of us—particularly if we are poor, female, Black, Brown, immigrant, and or have mental health conditions—are facing incarceration or have loved ones who are. We know that the U.S. incarcerates more people per capita than any other nation on earth, approximately 700 persons per every 100,000. And we know that the racially biased “War on Drugs” has in the past 40 years incarcerated hundreds of millions of people for largely nonviolent drug offenses, tearing families asunder in the process.

Dr. Iva Carruthers, General Secretary of the Chicago-based Samuel DeWitt Proctor Conference and a leading voice in the faith community calling for an end to mass incarceration, says that we are in effect “a nation in chains.” If Dr. Carruthers is right, and she is, people of faith are being called to reject the dangerous mythologizes about why so many mainly poor Black and Brown people are incarcerated in the first place. Despite public perceptions, poor people of color are not more likely to use or sell drugs than their white counterparts. So what explains the disproportionate ways we are locked up?

To begin with, we are seeing the devastating results of the “tough on crime” rhetoric of the past four decades. Public policies like “stop-and-frisk,” “broken windows” promote over policing of minor offenses, which are the gateway to incarceration. Even as we write this piece, the nation is watching the unfolding of yet another case in which a young Black woman, Sandra Bland of Chicago, who ends up arrested, assaulted and dead in a jail cell after being stopped by a policeman in Texas for changing lanes without signaling while driving home from a job interview. “Zero tolerance” policing, the mass detention and deportation of millions of immigrants and a congressional bed quota mandate that requires immigrant detention centers to hold 34,000 people in the system each night, have all created a pipeline that forces targeted communities into a system not about rehabilitation, reconciliation and restitution, but about the social control of Black and Brown bodies. Indeed, the same companies that profit from the criminalization and mass incarceration of Black and Brown people, Corrections Corporation of America (CCA) and GEO Group, are reaping record profits at the expense of these chronically dehumanized and marginalized communities. In 2014 alone, these two corporations made nearly $470 million in revenue.

The historic and pervasive criminalization of communities of color in the United States is a key building block of the current system of mass incarceration.  As author and scholar Michelle Alexander deftly lays out in her seminal work The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness, mass incarceration is largely about continuing to ensure the nation has a permanent, subservient and disenfranchised underclass whose very bodies and movement are caged and controlled. As Alexander has said, “Once you are labeled a felon you’re trapped for the rest of your life and subject to many of the old forms of discrimination in job applications, rental agreements, loan applications, school applications…Those labeled felons are even denied the right to vote.” And for immigrants, the reality of interacting with the criminal justice system often means entering a treacherous path toward, criminal incarceration, immigration detention, eventual deportation and a permanent bar to rejoining family in the United States.

Faith communities have been doing good work to resist mass incarceration: sponsoring conferences, reading, writing, visiting those in prison and more. Still more is required of us. We must LISTEN to those most impacted by the current crisis—people in jails, prisons, immigrant detention centers and their families. We must hear their stories without judgement or false moralizing. And we must listen to the solutions they have developed to resist and upend these oppressive systems. They must lead us. We must also continue to EDUCATE our communities and leaders about the current realities of the system. But it is not enough to raise consciousness we must also use our moral voice to regularly interrupt the ongoing harm that unjust socio-economic and political systems cause. And we must ACT/RESIST in ways that undermine business as usual. Street protests? Policy reform? Anti-racism workshops? Mobilizing alongside impacted communities? Transformation will not happen unless our actions engage these and many more forms of resistance. This is our call.

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Please share this message from our friends at Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD).

“No me quiero morir aquí” – Wilmer, 6/17/17

#ReleaseWilmer

Wilmer y Celene han estado luchando por su liberación desde que Wilmer fue detenido violentamente en Marzo. Wilmer esta parcialmente paralizado y los guardias adentro del centro de detención lo han estado lastimando a propósito. Recientemente se callo y su salud se a puesto en peor condición. Por favor ayúdanos demandar su liberación.

Please call and leave this message:

Script: Hello, I am calling to ask Director Ricardo Wong for the immediate release of Wilmer Catalan Ramirez, A#(098 500 300). Wilmer is in a life-threatening situation at McHenry County detention facility, and must be released to get the medical attention he needs. There have been too many deaths in ICE custody this year

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For over two years, the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America (CRLN) has been one of the organizations that coordinates a pastoral care program for unaccompanied children arriving at our borders in search of safety and refuge. Many of the children that we meet are undoubtedly among the most vulnerable children on the planet, escaping unimaginable violence and poverty. Just as we have committed to stand by them and to fight for the protection of their basic rights, today we express our full support and solidarity with the community leaders at Dyett who have been on hunger strike for more than two weeks now to save Dyett High School, Bronzeville’s last publicly-operated, open-enrollment, school from closing.

In Latin America, violence takes many shapes; sometimes violence manifests itself through violent crimes and actions that are carried out with near impunity, often by government officials themselves. Sometimes it can take on subtler forms: deprivation of economic opportunity, quality education, healthcare coverage, and of other factors which are so essential to the ability of individuals to lead dignified human lives. We interpret the closing of public schools, primarily in Black and Brown communities throughout Chicago, in the same way that we understand schemes of privatization and dispossession in Latin America: as an act of violence against communities of color.

As immigrants, the sons and daughters of immigrants, volunteers with the unaccompanied children, and people of faith committed to immigrant justice and justice in Latin America, we are humbled by the valiant actions of the Dyett 12 whose fast is reminiscent of the causes of justice described in the Bible.


“Is not this the kind of fasting I have chosen: to loose the chains of injustice and untie the cords of the yoke, to set the oppressed free and break every yoke?”

Isaiah 58:6

We applaud the Dyett 12 and stand by their decision to resist injustice, to take–as so many immigrants have been forced to do–their children’s future into their own hands, even if and when this means risking perilous journeys, enduring hunger, and risking one’s health. We are confident that they will prove victorious in their quest and also call on Mayor Rahm Emanuel and others to put into action the proposal for a Global Leadership and Green Technology High School that the Coalition to Revitalize Dyett High School helped develop, reminding the Mayor that “

if you spend yourselves in behalf of the hungry and satisfy the needs of the oppressed, then your light will rise in the darkness, and your night will become like the noonday.”

Isaiah 58:10

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—————————-
In December of 2016, Wellington Ave. UCC welcomed through sponsorship two asylum seeking families in their request for asylum in the United States.  One of the families includes Maria, her sister Anna, and Maria’s daughter Elena. They are requesting protection from the U.S. government because they have been targeted by a powerful, criminal organization in Guatemala after they stood up to the organization by reporting their activities to the police.
Although Maria, Anna, and Elena all requested asylum together at the Mexico-U.S. border in December,

immigration officers cruelly separated the family

.  Maria and Elena were allowed to come into the United States and now reside in Chicago with the support of Wellington Ave. UCC and their pro bono attorneys.  However, Anna – who is only 20 years old –has been held in immigration custody in the Eloy Detention Center and has not seen her sister or niece since December. This separation has caused Maria and Anna much stress and anxiety and also makes it more difficult for them to obtain asylum in the United States because their cases will proceed separately.
An immigration judge is expected to allow Anna to be released on bond soon, but the bond amount is likely to be too high for Anna and Maria to pay.

The bond could be between $10,000-$20,000 and must be paid in full.

If she is able to pay her bond, Anna will be able to reunite with Maria and Elena here in Chicago and they will be able to seek asylum together as a family.

NOTE: If bond is not set, or once it is paid, your donation will be used to support the families’ expenses

, which are over $1200 per month for living costs including food, transportation, medical, dental, education, and support of Anna in detention.

If you prefer to make a tax-exempt donation

, you can send a check to Wellington Ave UCC with “IJTF Bond Fund” in the memo line. Send to: Wellington Ave UCC, 615 W Wellington, Chicago IL 60657
* Note: Names have been changed for safety reasons.
—————————-
En diciembre 2016, la iglesia Wellington Ave. United Church of Christ dio la bienvenida a dos familias buscando asilo en los EEUU. La familia incluye Maria, su hermana Anna, y su hija Elena. Las dos familias están pidiendo protección del gobierno de los EEUU porque fueron intimidados por parte de una organización criminal y poderosa de Guatemala después de resistir la organización y reportar sus actividades a la policía.
Maria, Anna y Elena pidieron asilo juntas en la frontera México-EEUU en diciembre. Desafortunadamente, los oficiales de inmigración las separaron en un actocruel. Inmigración le dio permiso a Maria y Elena de llegar a los EEUU. Ellas ya viven en Chicago, apoyadas por Wellington Ave. UCC y abogados pro bono. Sin embargo, Anna – que tiene solo 20 años – sigue detenida en Eloy Detention Center. Ella no ha podido ver a su hermana ni a su sobrina desde diciembre. Esto ha puesto a Maria y a Elena muy estresadas y ansiosas y se les ha hecho mucho más difícil lograr asilo en los EEUU, porque sus casos no pueden ser procesados juntos.
Anticipamos que muy pronto un juez de inmigración liberare a Anna con una fianza. Pero anticipamos que la fianza será demasiada cara para Anna y Maria. La fianza podría ser dentro de $10,000-$20,000 y se tiene que pagar en su total. Alpagar, Anna podra reunirse con Maria y Elena aquí en Chicago y podrán pedir asilo juntas como una familia.
NOTA: Si no se pone una fianza o una vez que se pague la fianza, los fondos restantes seran utilizados para los gastos diarios de la familia que son más de $1200 cada mes por comida, transporte, atencion medica y dental, educacion y para apoyar a Anna adentro del centro de detencion.

Si prefieren hacer una donacion exento de impuestos

, se pueden mandar un cheque a Wellington Ave UCC con “IJTF Bond Fund” en la linea “memo”. Manden a: Wellington Ave UCC, 615 W Wellington, Chicago IL 60657
*Para seguridad, hemos cambiado los nombres.
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Carlos Rosero and Javier Marrugo of the Afro-Colombian Peace Council speak in Chicago about the importance of inclusion of African descendants in peace talks and Peace Accord implementation.

(

Versión en Español aquí

)

Last week, Colombia’s President Juan Manuel Santos met with President Obama to discuss a bilateral shift from 15 years of Plan Colombia to what the two heads of state are calling “


Peace Colombia


.” For the past decade and a half, Plan Colombia channeled billions of U.S. dollars to shore up Colombia’s military and police resources, more deeply militarizing the Colombian state’s strategy to fight a nominal war on drugs which displaced violence to the countryside and disproportionately affected

campesinos

, Afro-Colombians and Indigenous peoples.

Santos and Obama also discussed the grueling, decades long conflict in Colombia between the government, right-wing paramilitary groups, and leftist rebels which is likely to end in the coming months due to intense negotiations over the past several years through peace talks in Havana, Cuba. The Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (also known as FARC) reached an agreement


with the Colombian government


on a peace accord that could end the longest running civil war in the hemisphere. The talks have included the topics of the political participation of the FARC, drug-trafficking, the fundamental issue of the distribution and ownership of land in Colombia, the rights of victims, and the conditions for insurgents to turn in their weapons.

While the peace negotiations have been a crucial part of social movements’ strategy to mitigate the brutal violence (in fact, social movements, many of whom reject electoral politics, actually supported President Santos’ re-election with the goal that he would finalized the negotiations within his second term), Colombian organizers are not under the illusion that the accords nor the new “Peace Colombia” will bring fundamental peace to country, much less to the communities disproportionately affected by the violence (women,

campesinos

, African descendents and Indigenous peoples). We’ve heard over and over again that the peace accords will provide a pathway to peace, but that implementation, inclusion and accountability will be required if peace can ever become a fundamental reality.

Two pathways forward are crucial in this historic moment in Colombia:


First, regarding the implementation of the Peace Accords,

CRLN’s partner organizations in Colombia are pressing the international community to support their demands for (1) the inclusion of African descendant and Indigenous voices in the implementation process of the Peace Accords and (2) accompaniment for rebel groups like the FARC during their reentry into society so as not to reproduce the historic violence wielded against demobilized rebels as happened with the


Unión Patriotica in the 1980s and 1990s


when over 3,500 were assassinated. Stay tuned to CRLN’s website and facebook to stay up-to-date on our work to continue accompanying and supporting marginalized communities in Colombia during a transformational moment in their country’s history. And


sign the petition urging members of the peace negotiations to include Afro-descendant and Indigenous voices in the implementation period of the Peace Process


.


Second, regarding the new version of Plan Colombia now being called “Peace Colombia,”

it is crucial that the U.S. stop using its billions of dollars in aid to continue militarizing a country that is working to implement peace. CRLN partner organization the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), has provided


five sound recommendations


for shifting the policies of Plan Colombia away from militarization and towards the interests of those most directly affected by violence. Meanwhile, the national office of School of the Americas Watch (SOA Watch) is planning an investigatory delegation to the Panamanian border of Colombia where the U.S. is supporting the construction of yet another military base in an isolated and predominantly Indigenous and Afro-Colombian territory. The Illinois chapter of SOA Watch is


hosting a bowl-a-thon


to help fundraise in support of this delegation’s investigation of the ongoing militarization schemes during the ‘new’ era of “Peace Colombia.”


Click here to join a team and support this international organizing right from here in Chicago!

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By Ivanna Salgado, CRLN Summer Intern

3 August 2017

On Tuesday, August 1st, a group of leaders from many immigrant rights organizations and faith communities in the Chicagoland area met at the Thompson Center to deliver postcards to Governor Bruce Rauner in support of the Illinois

TRUST Act

. All together 3,600 postcards were delivered. Our partners at Lake Street Church of Evanston, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation, St. Nicholas Roman Catholic Church, and Old St. Patrick’s Church collected 800 postcards!

We demand that Illinois is a safe and a truly welcoming state that provides robust protections to immigrant communities.

Unfortunately, we were not allowed to talk to Governor Rauner nor allowed to go into his office to discuss the TRUST Act. The postcards were delivered to his staff. However, our hopes is that he will inform Governor Rauner that we will not give up this battle. As constituents of Illinois we deserved to be heard and we deserve an answer.

Thank you to


ICIRR


and


PASO


for leading this action!

As of August 3, 2017, Governor Rauner has agreed to sign the TRUST Act into a law. We are excited to announce that Illinois is on its way to to having the strongest statewide deportation protections in the country!


As ICIRR stated

, “Under the TRUST Act, local police cannot comply with immigration detainers and warrants not issued by a judge. Local police also cannot stop, search, or arrest anyone based on that person’s immigration or citizenship status.”

However, this is just the beginning of the fight to make Illinois a sanctuary for ALL of our siblings, brothers, and sisters.

Seguiremos luchando!

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Make three important phone calls today that will make a difference in these ongoing human rights campaigns!



Click here to find your member


of the House of Representatives. Then call Senator Durbin’s office at 202-224-2152 and Senator Kirk at 202-224-2854.

“Hi. My name is ________. I’m a member of the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America and I’m calling to ask that Representative/Senator ______:

(1) contact the State department and express support for Afro and Indigenous voices in the Colombian Peace Process through an Ethnic Commission and a thorough demobilization of paramilitary groups still active in Colombia.

(2) I would also like Representative/Senator _______ to talk to the State department to demand an investigation into the murder of Berta Caceres led by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights. I would also ask that they support an immediate hold on security funding to Honduras and 100% human rights conditioning for 2017.

(3) Lastly, please support an end to the U.S. embargo on Cuba and a lifting of travel restrictions by supporting the following bills:

(Only for Reps in the House)

H.R. 3687, H.R. 3055, H.R. 3238 and HR 664

(Only for Senators)

S. 299 and S. 491


Thank you.”

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By Ivanna Salgado,

Immigration Organizer Intern

1 August 2017

“Sanctuary Cafe is a new, independent cafe located inside University Church in Chicago’s Hyde Park neighborhood. The ethos behind Sanctuary Cafe arises out of our desire to create a transformational place that induces a close connection between home baked smells, art and justice advocacy in a meticulously curated environment. Sanctuary Cafe is a vibrant justice, art, media, entertainment and activist destination dedicated to justice and human rights organizing.” –

Stories Connect




For congregations, sanctuaries spaces can be traced back to medieval England when congregations allowed those who had been accused of crimes to seek refuge for up to 40 days.  They provided time for individuals to prove their innocence or be forgiven by the community.




Later on, sanctuary spaces became prominent during the Underground Railroad, when safe network routes were established to support enslaved people to escape. Examples of congregations creating sanctuary spaces are abundant, from offering a brick and mortar home to hosting events, such as providing important meeting spaces throughout the Civil Rights Movement.

Notably, moreover, throughout the 1980’s and 90’s, congregations sponsored sanctuary spaces for “refugees from the U.S.-sponsored Central American wars enter[ing] the country. Refugees were provided shelter, medical care, employment and legal representation.”



[1]


In response to today’s political moment not only are congregations looking to create sanctuary spaces, but so are schools and many other institutions

But what about expanding sanctuary spaces beyond brick and mortar walls?

University Church



[2]



, located at 5655 S. University, established a Sanctuary Café open to the public on April 3, 2017. This unique space has allowed the congregation to expand the meaning of a sanctuary space into everyday practices.

“The space that becomes a space for everyone is the kind of space that embraces tranquility.” These words by Martin, founder of Sanctuary Cafe, stood out to me as I entered Sanctuary Café, finding welcoming staff and clients. I embraced those words with much admiration as I stared at a wall that had the word “love” printed repeatedly in Farsi by an Iranian woman.

The wall of the café intrigued me to learn more about the Sanctuary Café. Before becoming Sanctuary Cafe, this was a space where queer folks could meet and be in community in the face of repression by the University of Chicago in the 1960s. Later in the 90s, it became a sanctuary space for undocumented immigrants if they found sanctuary strategic and timely.

During my visit, Martin, and Sarah, chair of the Social Justice Committee at University Church, welcomed me to Sanctuary Café with a Topo Chico and a Flourless Chocolate Torte made in house. As I broke bread with Martin and Sarah, I realized that Sanctuary Café was no ordinary café. I thought about how the space was set up, with seating areas reminding me of lunch time in elementary school and how simple it was to discuss the test we just had or make new friends.

Sanctuary Café is the kind of space that allows you to build relationships with strangers and share similarities and difference based on our political identities.

Martin clarified that the café was not the University of Chicago’s space. It is important to make this distinction because it restricts the University from making any decisions about how the space should be utilized or the people that should be allowed in the space. Instead, Sanctuary Café is an open space for the community to be with one another without feeling that must be part of the University in order to belong. It allows for the members of University Church to remain active in the Café.

Like Martin stated during my visit, not all congregation members are able to physically rally for social justice. But all members in the congregation remain active in our movements in all kinds of ways– from writing letters to donating money to supporting the deportation defense work of Organized Communities Against Deportations (OCAD).

Martin also shared with me that a new refrigerator had just been placed within Sanctuary Café.

If a homeless individual arrives at University Church in need of food, a member of the church knows that they can go directly to this new refrigerator to support them. Sanctuary Café, then, is designed in a way that it not only offers a

physical sanctuary space

, but sees sanctuary as an ongoing process. Being a sanctuary church is a way of building relationships, organizing members, and targeting the root causes of issues like deportations, mass incarceration, and homelessness.

Sanctuary Café is economically supported by the people of the congregation, students, community members, Chicago residents, and many organizations. We can see this once a month, for instance, when a local Black youth organization uses the space to perform and speak on what’s happening in the City.

Workers at Sanctuary Café get paid $15.00 an hour compared to Chicago’s current minimum wage of $11.00 an hour.

If you ever need a place to meet new people, talk about creating the kind of Chicago we want to live in, or just sit down to read a book, Sanctuary Café is the right place to do just that and more.


Thank you to University Church, Sanctuary Café, Martin & Sarah for making this story possible. For more information about becoming an Immigrant Welcoming Congregation and CRLN partner, please visit our website at



crln.org



.





[1]



Elizabeth Allen Associate Professor of English, University of California, Irvine. (2017, July 31). What’s the history of sanctuary spaces and why do they matter? Retrieved July 31, 2017, from

http://theconversation.com/whats-the-history-of-sanctuary-spaces-and-why…




[2]



University Church is a partner congregation with us at the Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America.

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(Español abajo) As a new national administration will come into office in January, we are entering into what seems to many of us a very dangerous time in the life of this country. However, the reality is that for our undocumented sisters, brothers, and siblings, this is nothing new. For our partners in Latin America, this struggle is familiar. CRLN is committed to continuing this struggle alongside these directly affected leaders against imperialism, against


xenophobic immigration policies


, against


militarism


and deportations, against


neoliberal free trade agreements


that fail to provide options for working people the world over. We will continue to struggle with our partners


for peace


, human rights, economic justice, migrant rights, and environmental rights.

While we may feel overwhelmed by the political changes that are undoubtedly to come, we also honor, lift up, and take direction from the other side of the story. The side where human rights defenders throughout the hemisphere have been bravely and tirelessly fighting back against escalations in state violence and militarization. The side where immigrants have been fighting for their rights, for a better world for their families and for us all. At CRLN, we’ve spent decades building faithful, community-based support and solidarity for immigrants, for human rights defenders internationally, and for each other. We’ll continue building this support, organizing out of love and solidarity so that we have each other’s backs even when the systems around us fail to do so. ¡La lucha sigue!


Español

:

Mientras esperamos una nueva administración nacional en enero, entramos en un periódo que para muchxs de nosotrxs parece un periódo muy peligroso para este país. Mientras tanto, la realidad es que para nuestrxs hermanxs indocumentadxs, esto no es nada nuevo. Para nuestrxs compañerxs en América Latina, esta lucha es familiar. CRLN se compromete a seguir en esta lucha al lado de lxs líderes y líderezas afectadxs directamente. Vamos a seguir luchando en contra del imperialismo, en contra de la


política migratoria xenofóbica


, en contra del


militarismo


y las deportaciones, en contra de


los tratados de libre comercio neoliberales


que no ofrecen opciones para los trabajadores de todo el mundo. Continuaremos luchando con nuestrxs socixs


por la paz


, los derechos humanos, la justicia económica, los derechos de los migrantes y los derechos ambientales.

Si bien podemos sentirnos abrumadxs por los cambios políticos que sin duda han de venir, también honramos, alzamos y tomamos la dirección del otro lado de la historia.El lado donde los defensores de los derechos humanos en todo el hemisferio han luchando valiente e incansablemente contra las escaladas en la violencia estatal y la militarización. El lado en el cual los inmigrantes han luchado por sus derechos y por un mejor mundo para sus familias y para todxs nostroxs. En CRLN, hemos trabajado durante décadas construyendo un apoyo fiel, basado en la comunidad y solidaridad para los inmigrantes, los defensores de derechos humanos a nivel internacional, y uno para el otro. Continuaremos construyendo este apoyo, organizándonos por amor y solidaridad para que tengamos el respaldo de uno para el otro incluso cuando los sistemas que nos rodean no lo hagan.¡La lucha sigue!

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TRUST ACT Victory a Great First Step! Faith Communities Must Continue to Resist Criminalization


The TRUST Act is the strongest bill of its kind in the US. It protects the Fourth Amendment for ALL people. At a time when immigrant communities are under unprecedented attack by aggressive threats of deportation, by an agency that is out of control, by threats to end important protections such as DACA and Temporary Protected Status, the TRUST Act is a great first step, a solid foundation to start addressing the criminalization of immigrants and communities of color in our state. – Mony Ruiz-Velasco, ED of the West Suburban Action Project (PASO)

This week, CRLN joined our partners and conveners of the Welcoming IL Coalition in celebration of the signing of the TRUST Act by Governor Rauner. We are honored to have been a part of this campaign, a truly grassroots effort led by community members and local organizations. For months, directly-affected communities put pressure on the State of IL to take real steps to provide sanctuary protections for all.


This campaign was successful in demanding that local police cannot comply with immigration detainers or warrants not issued by a judge. Under the TRUST Act, local police also cannot stop, search, or arrest anyone based on their immigration or citizenship status.

As people of faith, we are called to uplift and honor the demands of immigrant communities and communities of color. We must continue to act in beloved solidarity to continue to resist the rhetoric and practices that dictate protections for some directly-affected communities and not all.

During the signing of the TRUST Act, Governor Rauner stated that he is a pro-immigration legislator. Our work as faith communities is to remind legislators that the work of being ‘pro-immigration’ also requires a critical analysis of violent ICE and law enforcement practices, both in IL and throughout the U.S. We must publicly denounce the dehumanizing conditions that are a result of the mass criminalization of immigrants and communities of color.


We lift up a vision of sanctuary and immigrant justice that holds government institutions accountable to the dignity and respect that immigrant communities, predominantly of color, deserve. We affirm that the lives of our immigrant brothers, sisters, and siblings are more valuable than how much money they can contribute to the economy or their criminal record.

Join us in continuing the fight for #Sanctuary4All in the state of Illinois. La lucha sigue!


To learn more about our immigrant justice work in the Chicagoland area or to join our



Nov. delegation to the SOA Watch Border Convergence



, please contact our Immigration Organizer at

crodriguez@crln.org


__


Suggested Readings:


ICIRR Press Release: ‘TRUST Act Signed into Law in Illinois’


‘Why You Should Stop Using the Term Dreamer’

by Jorge Rivas


‘What Do I Need to Know if the DACA Program Ends?’

by the Immigrant Legal Resource Center

Read More