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

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One of the best stories from the 30th Annual Pedal for Peace Bike-a-thon on September 23, 2017, came from the efforts of Joaquin Vazquez (bottom left of photo), who set himself the goal of raising $250 and succeeded in doubling that amount! Along the way, he educated his principal, his teacher, and his school about why it was so important to fund the projects he was supporting. You can watch a video of one of his presentations

here

.

66 people registered to bike and/or fundraise. Together, we raised $18,354 for projects designed to develop people’s capacity to improve the quality of life in their communities through education, health care, land reclamation, deportation defense and affordable housing!

Several people attended who were present almost every year of the event since its beginning: Martha Blumer, Gary Cozette, Dan Dale. A looping retrospective of photos from past events ran on a computer at the registration table. 30 years of event t-shirts were displayed on clothesline, and Tricia Black prepared a photo display from participating groups of their projects.
More photos on the next page:














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Como personas de fe y personas de conciencia, debemos comprometernos a tomar la iniciativa de comunidades directamente afectadas y comprometidas en trabajo transformador. Esto incluye la apertura de nuestras congregaciones y comunidades para el santuario. Debemos comprometernos a luchar con

TODXS

nuestros hermanxs, hermanos y hermanas en la lucha en contra del militarismo estadounidense, la política de inmigración neoliberal y xenófobica y otras formas de violencia estatal e institucional. Estamos unidos por nuestras fe liberadoras e inspirados por el poder de la gente para organizarse y encontrar aliados para trabajar por economías sostenibles, relaciones justas y dignidad humana.


¿Qué es el santuario?


“Santuario”

es un término cambiante y expansivo cada vez más utilizado (y aveces apropiado) dentro de diferentes contextos, espacios y políticas después de la elección. Para las comunidades de fe, sin embargo, el santuario es una antigua tradición que se ha asociado con las congregaciones que han ofrecido sus estructuras físicas como un refugio para las comunidades indocumentadas que luchan por la justicia en los Estados Unidos en los últimos cincuenta años. El santuario dentro de las congregaciones ha operado actualmente en las iglesias en relación al memorándum de ICE del 2011 que marca a las iglesias (así como hospitales y escuelas) como “lugares sensibles”. No obstante, sabemos que estos lugares nunca son verdaderamente seguras de ICE, y con las elección reciente de Trump, el papel futuro y las posibilidades del santuario son inciertos. Hasta entonces, sin embargo, debemos continuar preparándonos para ofrecer y apoyar el santuario como una parte táctica de los esfuerzos de comunidades y organizaciones para cambiar las condiciones que requieren el santuario en el primer lugar.


¿Qué se necesita para ofrecer santuario?

El Santuario no es dado, lo que significa que los espacios de santuario deben ser ACTIVAMENTE organizados y defendidos por la comunidad – desde abajo. De la misma manera que las comunidades directamente afectadas han asumido riesgos y puesto sus cuerpos en la línea, las comunidades de fe deben estar preparadas para salir de su zona de comodidad cuando se les pida. Esto también significa que no hay lista de requisitos para el santuario, cada caso es diferente.


Sin embargo, aquí hay diferentes ejemplos de lo que parece el santuario:

Santuario consiste en recibir a los miembros de la comunidad y ofrecer hospitalidad y acompañamiento, mantener conversaciones críticas sobre la supremacia blanca, la inmigración y la criminalización, apoyar el liderazgo de comunidades directamente afectadas, utilizando sus recur$os, formando una comité de inmigración y movilizando sus redes. Es una posición espiritual profunda e informada, comprometida con la promulgación de nuestras propias visiones de cuidado y seguridad comunitaria.


¿Tienes un espacio, recursos o tiempo que ofrecer?

Para obtener más información sobre la organización del santuario, comuníquese con la organizadora de inmigración de CRLN :

crodriguez@crln.org

o al 773-293-3680. Para conocer otras maneras de apoyar los casos de deportación en curso, siga a OCAD o #not1more en Facebook.

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The Chicago Religous Leadership Network on Latin America is a proud supporter of the #NoCopAcademy campaign!


Schools for kids, not cops.

We are committed to working towards a faithful vision of sanctuary for all. We believe in investing in communities and divesting from the system of policing in Chicago that criminalizes immigrant communities & communities of color. As Mayor Rahm Emanuel seeks to spend $95 million dollars to build a new police academy, we join the fight to make sure that money reaches our community organizations, programs, schools, hospitals, affordable housing, and more. We are united by our diverse faiths which call us to demand community care and safety for all! #NoCopAcademy

“Mayor Rahm Emanuel wants to spend $95 million to build a Police & Fire training center in West Garfield Park.  The city’s quiet unveiling suggests they are trying to avoid public scrutiny of this latest spending scheme, but we will not be robbed of our resources quietly.  We refuse any expansion of policing in Chicago, and demand accountability for decades of violence.  We will fight for funding for our communities, and support each other in building genuine community safety in the face of escalating attacks.” —


#NoCopAcademy



Spread the word! Download, print, fold and share a mini zine (



english



/



español



) to learn more.



Tell your Alderperson to vote NO



on the approval of the Land Acquisition at 4301 W. Chicago when it​ ​comes​ ​for​ ​a​ ​vote.




To connect with CRLN on this campaign please contact our Immigration Organizer at

crodriguez@crln.org

.

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(Español aquí)

Honduras is the most dangerous country in the world in which to be an environmental activist and one of the most dangerous to be a journalist, union member, or member of a social movement opposed to the current Honduran administration’s policies. Members of the military and police have been implicated in violence against, including assassinations, of members of these groups. 97% of crimes committed in Honduras are left unsolved, with no consequences for the perpetrators.

In this context, we thank you for your signatures supporting the Berta Cáceres Human Rights in Honduras Act (H.R. 5474). They helped


CRLN convince 7 out of 10


Democratic Illinois U.S. Representatives to co-sponsor this important legislation introduced by Rep. Hank Johnson. By the end of 2016, the bill, which would suspend U.S. security aid to Honduras pending compliance with international human rights standards, garnered a total of 52 co-sponsors nationwide.

Because the 114th Congressional session ended January 3 and any legislation that did not come to the House and Senate for a vote ended with it, H.R. 5474 will need to be reintroduced in the 115th Congressional session that runs from now through the end of 2018. Rep. Hank Johnson plans to reintroduce this bill.

As soon as that happens, CRLN will contact U.S. Representatives from Illinois to ask those who signed on (Schakowsky, Gutierrez, Davis, Rush, Quigley, Lipinski) to do so again. We will contact those of you in their districts to contact them, identify yourselves as CRLN members, thank them for their co-sponsorship last year, and ask support them to sign on again.

For those of you in districts whose Representatives did not co-sponsor, we will construct new arguments for why they should co-sponsor and will contact you at the appropriate time for signatures again to show support in your district for this bill. In addition, we have a fresh opportunity to speak with Representatives elected in November (Brad Schneider in the10th District, who replaces Bob Dold; and Raja Krishnamoorthi, who replaces Tammy Duckworth—now one of Illinois’ U.S. Senators—in the 8th District).

It is vitally important to people whose lives are under threat in Honduras that the U.S. stop providing weapons and training to the forces under the authority of the current Honduran President, Juan Orlando Hernandez, whose party illegally used and deprived the public of funds designated for the health care system to support his last election and who has just orchestrated a change to the constitution to allow himself to run again for President in 2017. Under his administration, military and police forces have been unleashed to do violene against those who oppose the corruption and anti-democratic maneuvers of many of those currently in power.

If you would like to take part in a delegation to Honduras to commemorate the one-year anniversary of Berta Caceres’ death and visit other groups struggling to defend their land and human rights, click

here

for more information.

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