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We are in the process of updating these principles.  Please stay tuned for the revised version.

Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition Principles for Immigration Policy

The Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition (CNSC) and Immigrant Welcoming Congregations live out an interfaith vision.  We challenge faith communities and leaders through education, advocacy, and action for immigrant justice.  We recognize each individual as a child of God and as such, deserving of justice and mercy regardless of country of origin, migratory status, race, ethnicity, religion, age, gender identity or sexual orientation.

We live in a time of an immigration crisis and therefore, as people of faith, we are compelled to social action.  We understand that freedom cannot exist for some while is it not fully attainable for others. Freedom cannot exist for some at the cost of the suffering of others: this then is oppression. The United States of America’s current policies are fundamentally exclusionary, oppressive and erroneous in its understanding of the realities of migration.

We recognize structural violence, historically given and economically driven conditions, to be at the root of this crisis. Therefore immigration, trade, environmental and international development policies necessitate transformation to reflect our beliefs in the principles of justice and liberation for all people.


1. Pathway to Citizenship

Immigrants living in the U.S. without authorization must have access to a path to permanent residency and citizenship.  Marginalization drives people to depend on underground means of survival; this is dangerous both for these individuals and the common welfare.  The current crisis is destroying families and communities and demands a comprehensive solution that will allow for a future for sustainable and just immigration policy. We recognize inclusive legalization as the only way to ensure safety and guarantee rights for all people.  A pathway needs to be available for all including skilled and unskilled works and must not be bound to economic barriers that exclude.


2. Family Unity and Integration

Families and households should be allowed to legally migrate and be reunified with family members in a timely and efficient manner.  Family values are central to sustainable communities.  We believe strongly in a right to reunite and integrate.  These tenets should be central in any comprehensive immigration policy reform.


3. Protection for All Human Rights

Human rights are by definition universal.  The immigration crisis has perpetuated an infringement on the dignity of the person.  Human rights include but are not limited to the universal entitlement and protection of the basic rights to survival, emotional and physical security, and access to housing, healthcare and education. The rights of children deserve special attention because of their particular vulnerabilities.

Violations of human rights occur in both countries of emigration and those of immigration.  It is imperative that the rights to mobility, residency and nationality be ensured for all those who migrate to seek the ability to flourish.  Along with the United Nations Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights, we assert all workers’ rights to fair wages that support decent livelihood for workers and their families, the right to organize in trade unions, safe and healthy working conditions.  Full worker rights must be recognized, protected and enforced.  The state is obligated to uphold these rights.


If any employment-based immigration program is instituted, the number of visas should be revised according to the signs of the times such as current economic reality.  The option of a pathway to citizenship must be offered to the worker and their family.  All workers should be able to find a pathway to citizenship regardless of skill or education level.


4. Humane Enforcement Strategy

The militarization of border has not successfully stopped the flow of migration.  It has damaged the natural environment, has driven migrants into remote desert regions and causes thousands of deaths of men, women and children.  Militarization has resulted in excessive spending and has not met its intended goals.  ICE and law-enforcement agencies must stop using tactics that terrorize immigrant communities and cease using racial profiling to target certain groups of people. They currently abuse their authority with impunity, rather ICE and law enforcement agencies should be held accountable by independent organizations.

Enforcement-only strategy is not helping immigration or slowing migration.  We need to ensure due process and access to legal counsel that is competent in immigration law.  Immigration authorities should not treat people with civil offenses as if they were criminals.  If immigrants are held in detention facilities, their full human rights must be respected, including access to medical and legal services as well as religious counsel.  We also need alternatives to traditional detention and to halt the privatization of detention, especially in the cases of children.  There should be no profiting off a failed immigration system.


5. Address Root Causes of Migration

While just and comprehensive immigration reform would represent great progress, we must examine what is really broken.  International economic and political conditions often constrain people’s opportunities and make migration one of the few viable options to meet their basic human needs.  While migration has historically been a part of the human experience, the complexity and gravity of the current global migration phenomenon requires a broad-based social and political response that includes, but are not exclusive to, the following:


  • Trade agreements

NAFTA (North American Free Trade Agreement) and other free trade agreements have failed to create opportunity for people to fully realize their basic human needs.  In Mexico, NAFTA has only exacerbated gaps in wages and increased the cost of basic foodstuffs.  NAFTA has not encouraged sustainable economic growth in Mexico nor      curbed migration.  Bilateral/multilateral trade agreements continue to be negotiated worldwide.  Any trade agreement should build mutual, just, and sustainable results for all participating countries.


  • International Development Policy

The World Bank Structural adjustment policies (SAPs), conditions on loans from the International Monetary Fund and World Bank have had severe implications for less developed countries.  They have had a paralyzing effect on countries’ ability to lift themselves out of debt.  The debt incurred has set up a system of dependence between developed and developing countries.  Sustainable and equitable development is necessary for improved well-being and for the an accurate understanding of current migration trends.


  • Environmental injustice and disaster

Trade, unbridled Capitalism, and “progress” have led to the commodification of the environment of many lesser-developed countries.  This has for example shifted subsistence farming into monoculture cash crops destroying local economies as well as causing widespread environmental degradation.  Trade agreements need environmental standards.

Climate refugees are also increasing in numbers as a result of Climate Change but also because of the degradation of the ecosystem.  As disasters continue to increase with intensity greater numbers of people are being forced to move or migrate.  We need to address these emerging needs both in terms of immigration but also from an    environmental justice standpoint.



Click here to return to the main CNSC web page

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Please make one phone call now to restore crucial funding for immigrant services across the state.  The Illinois Senate just passed a bill intended to restore programs eliminated on April 3 which include the Immigrant Services Line Item. At $6.67 million, the Immigrant Services Line Item (ISLI) within the Illinois Department of Human Services budget makes up less than .01% of the total state budget.  ISLI funds two major programs:

  • The Immigrant Family Resource Program provides information and assistance to families interacting with state agencies as they work toward self-sufficiency.  The program engages immigrant serving agencies to help IDHS fulfill its legal obligations to provide language-appropriate services.  Over the past 12 years it has connected more than 500,000 immigrants to vital safety net services and helped them navigate the challenging process of integration.
  • The New Americans Initiative brings together immigrant serving organizations to promote US citizenship and provide citizenship application assistance.  The program has helped more than 96,000 immigrants with their applications since 2005.  Immigrants who become US citizens earn on average $7000 more per year than noncitizens, and pay more in taxes.

We must now tell the House Members we need their vote. Please call your state representative now and ask them to vote yes on SB274 Amendment 4 to restore funding for immigrant services.


TAKE ACTION: Please call your State Representative


“My name is ____ and I’m a member of Chicago Religious Leadership Network.  I’m asking for Rep ____to support full restoration of the $26 million to the Fiscal Year 2015 budget including the Immigrant Services Line Item.  Please vote yes on SB274 Amendment 4.”


FIND YOUR LEGISLATOR HERE

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COURT WATCH

was founded by Sisters Pat Murphy and Joanne Persch of the Sisters of Mercy and Sisters and Brothers of Immigrants. They were moved by their faith and conscience to stand in solidarity with immigrant communities, especially those who remain in detention, who are often the most vulnerable and invisible.

OBJECTIVES

of the Court Watch Program are to stand in solidarity and serve as a presence in Detained
Immigrant Court to let those involved in this system know that we are watching and we care about what happens to our immigrant sisters and brothers.  By serving as a public witness we aim to
bring transparency to this broken system and educate outside communities about the
current conditions of immigrants in detention. It is our goal that through monitoring and documenting our observations we also support the urgent and imperative need for comprehensive immigration
reform.


WHO IS BEING DETAINED?

Each year, as many as 400,000 immigrants are detained by Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) and they often remain detained for some months unless they
become eligible for bond.

Many of these immigrants have no criminal histories and are being detained on minor charges as well as the civil charge of entering the country without authorization. They are pursuing various forms of legal relief that are available to immigrants, such as asylum, cancellation of removal, waiver of removal, or relief under the Convention Against Torture (CAT).


WHAT IS DETENTION COURT LIKE?

Detention Court is located in the west Loop at 525 W.Van Buren, corner of Canal, in Ste.
500; (312) 697-5800 ext 0.  Immigrants in detention are frequently not present in the courtroom for their hearings.  Rather, they appear via Video-Teleconferencing (VTC).

As many of the detainees are non-native speakers of English, they
communicate via a translator, who may either be present in the courtroom or be
connected telephonically through a translation service.


YOU CAN BECOME A COURT WATCHER!

In order to stand in solidarity for immigrant justice we must provide support, share the voice of immigrants in detention with the public, and let the Department of Justice know that we are
watching. Immigration Detention Court hearings are held Monday – Friday from 9am-12pm and 1pm-4pm, except for Federal holidays. Contact Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants or email icdichicago.org.


Immigration

Court Watch is a program of the Interfaith
Committee for Detained Immigrants

www.
icdichicago.org


FY
Statistical Year Book, U.S. Department of Justice, Executive Office of
Immigration Review, March 2005

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March 1, 2016


***Press Release***


Faith Leaders Tell ICE: Stop Immoral Tactics & Stay Away from Sacred Spaces


Sanctuary Movement leaders denounce deceptive tactics targeting man on church grounds


Español aquí

CHICAGO – Following their condemnation of immigration raids earlier this year, religious leaders are indignant at Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s latest display of misconduct and abuse of power. Faith leaders are outraged that ICE

used a ploy to convince congregant

, Reynold Garcia, then praying at the Christian Pentecostal Center in Schaumburg, Illinois, to leave church grounds so they could detain and deport him. Faith leaders claim that Garcia’s case shows the deception and disregard that are the pillars of current immigration enforcement tactics.

According to fellow members of the congregation, ICE impersonated a local police officer, claimed that Garcia’s cousin had been in a car accident and urged him to leave church property to discuss the matter. ICE then convinced Garcia to go with them in an unmarked car, on the pretense of helping his cousin, only to detain and deport him hours later. This tactic was preceded by an ICE raid on his home the day before, resulting in the arrest and detention of his wife and two children.

Speaking on behalf of the pastoral team at the Christian Pentecostal Center, the Rev. Gerson Moreno said, “We are appalled by ICE’s behavior. They lied and used deceiving tactics to convince our brother Reynold to leave the safety of our church. The removal of the Garcia family has caused great emotional distress in our congregation and many fear for their families and friends. We continue to support the Garcia family and we request their case be reopened and that they be allowed back into the country.”

Since 2011, ICE has utilized policy guidance regarding operations at sensitive locations, including churches. In January,

national faith-based organizations issued a letter

reaffirming the importance of

ICE’s sensitive location guidance

and demanding ICE stay away from sacred spaces.

Earlier this year, Chicagoans shut down traffic outside of the Chicago ICE office, the regional ICE office which supervises enforcement operations throughout Illinois and other nearby states. Protesters highlighted the Chicago ICE office’s

consistent pattern of abuse and human and civil rights violations

. Reynold’s case was one of several grievances raised against the Chicago ICE office and its Regional Director, Ricardo Wong.

The Rev. Julian DeShazier, a faith leader with the Chicago Religious Leadership Network and pastor of a Sanctuary-offering congregation in Chicago, responded to the developments in Schaumburg from his church just miles away saying, “We are in solidarity with the Christian Pentecostal Center. Places of worship, as well as immigrant homes and communities, are all sacred spaces that must be off limits for immigration enforcement. As a faith community we are seeking answers from Director Wong for the immoral enforcement tactics stemming from his office. ICE began the year raiding immigrant homes, and now it’s coming into congregations. We must organize to stop the raids and hold ICE accountable.”

Nationally, Sanctuary Movement pastors are also speaking out against tactics that violate the sensitive locations policy. The Rev. Alison Harrington of Southside Presbyterian Church said, “It is not only unthinkable, but morally reprehensible that ICE would come after someone as they pray in their church. Our government has no right to impede on sacred spaces and the freedom to practice one’s religion. We echo demands that Reynold Garcia’s case be reopened and he be paroled in on humanitarian grounds.”

The Rev. Jim Rigby, whose congregation is offering Sanctuary to asylum seekers from Guatemala, Hilda Ramirez and her son, commented, “As congregations open their doors to the most vulnerable, we understand that all God’s children should be welcomed and given hospitality. We have a moral responsibility to do no less. We will continue to offer our halls to those who need them and will refuse to allow ICE to set even one foot on our grounds.”

###

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Faith-Based Organizations

Chicago New Sanctuary Coalition:

CNSC, a project of the Chicago
Religious Leadership Network on Latin America, is an interfaith coalition of
religious leaders, congregations and communities, called by our faith to
respond actively and publicly to the suffering of our immigrant sisters and
brothers.


Catholic Campaign for Immigration Reform:

CCIR is a campaign to mobilize Catholic institutions, individuals, and other persons of good faith in support of a broad legalization program and comprehensive immigration reform.

www.justiceforimmigrants.org/


Interfaith Immigration Coalition:

IIC is a partnership of faith-based organizations committed to enacting fair and humane immigration reform that reflects our mandate to welcome the stranger and treat all human beings with dignity and respect.

http://www.interfaithimmigration.org

 

Interfaith Worker Justice:

IWJ advocates for justice for all workers in the U.S. – native-born citizens, legal residents, and those who are forced to live and work in the shadows, undocumented workers and their families.

http://www.iwj.org



Jewish Council on Urban Affairs:

JCUA combats poverty, racism and anti-Semitism in partnership with Chicago’s diverse communities.


www.jcua.org


Lutheran Immigrant and Refugee Services:

Witnessing to God’s love for all people, we stand with and advocate for migrants and refugees, transforming communities through ministries of service and justice.

www.lirs.org

Illinois Organizations


Illinois 
Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights:

ICIRR is dedicated to promoting the rights of immigrants and refugees to full and equal participation in the civic, cultural, social, and political life of our diverse society.


http://www.icirr.org


Immigrant Youth Justice League:

A Chicago-based network that represents undocumented youth and allies in the demand for immigrant rights through education, resource-gathering, and youth mobilization.

www.iyjl.org

National Organizations


Center for New Community:

A national organization committed to building community, justice, and equality. The Center is grounded in many faith traditions, and builds community where the dignity and value of all humanity is manifest.


http://www.newcomm.org


The Fair Immigration Reform Movement:

FIRM is a national coalition of grassroots organizations fighting for immigrant rights at the local, state and federal level.


http://www.fairimmigration.wordpress.com


National Immigrant Justice 
Center:

NIJC provides direct legal services to and advocates for immigrants, refugees and asylum seekers through policy reform, impact litigation, and public education.


http://www.immigrantjustice.org


Reform Immigration for America:

A national network of advocacy groups. If you sign up for updates on this site, you will be sent updates on events and campaigns specific to your zip code.


http://reformimmigrationforamerica.org/

Detention and Due Process Organizations


Detention Watch Network:

DWN focuses on immigration detention issues. They post information about due-process-related concerns in proposed comprehensive reform legislation.


www.detentionwatchnetwork.org/


Rights Working Group:

RWG strives to restore the American commitment to protect civil liberties and human rights for all people in the U.S. RWG has grown a strong coalition of civil liberties, human rights and civil rights, national security, and immigrant rights organizations to work hand in hand to restore due process.


www.rightsworkinggroup.org

U.S./Mexico Border Organizations


Coalición de Derechos Humanos:

Coalición de Derechos Humanos (“The Human Rights Coalition”) is a grassroots organization which promotes respect for human/civil rights and fights the militarization of the Southern Border region, discrimination, and human rights abuses by federal, state, and local law enforcement officials affecting U.S. and non-U.S. citizens alike.


www.derechoshumanosaz.net/


No More Deaths:

No More Deaths is an organization whose mission is to end death and suffering on the U.S./Mexico border through civil initiative: the conviction that people of conscience must work openly and in community to uphold fundamental human rights.


www.nomoredeaths.org/


BorderLinks:

An international leader in experiential education that raises awareness and inspires action around global political economics.  Organizes “delegations” to visit the border region or Chicago, IL to understand migration issues first-hand.

www.BorderLinks.org

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(Our offering/ofrenda and banner at the vigil / Nuestra ofrenda y pancarta en la vigilia)


(Español abajo)

On Tuesday, November 1st, CRLN and various immigrant welcoming congregations came together for the Detention Watch Network’s Day of the Dead/Dia de los Muertos National Week of Action.

Since 2003, 164 people have died in immigrant detention, including 10 deaths in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody this year alone.

On November 1st, CRLN, Wellington United Avenue Church, Organized Communities Against Deportation (OCAD), West Suburban Action Project (PASO), and the Latino Union of Chicago convened a vigil in front of the Broadview Detention Center to honor and remember the individuals that have died in immigrant detention.

We committed to continue to fight in the name of Jose Antonio Hernandez-Gomez who lost his life while in detention at Broadview in 2010. Along with communities and organizations all over the country, we demanded

1) an immediate review of the 10 deaths in ICE custody this fiscal year, and publication of these reviews by January 30, 2017 and 2) the immediate shutdown of LaSalle Detention Detention Center in Louisiana where 3 of this year’s deaths have occurred

. As we continue to organize against detention and deportations, the number of people locked
CwN3sqgWIAAZwW5.jpg
up in immigrant detention reaches a record breaking high. To learn more and for a summary of Chicago’s action, follow

@CRLN_LA

,

#StopTheCaging

, and

#EndDetentions

on twitter!


Join Us:

The issues we face today are immense, but together we are making a real impact in the lives of immigrant communities. We urge you to join us in our work. If you are interested in being a part of our immigration justice work, please contact Cinthya Rodriguez, CRLN’s Immigration Organizer, at

crodriguez@crln.org

for more information.


Vigilia para #StopTheCaging #NoMoreDeaths en el Centro de Detenci


ó


n Broadview

El martes 1ero de noviembre, CRLN y varias congregaciones que brindan apoyo y bienvenida a los inmigrantes se reunieron para la Semana Nacional de Acción de Día de los Muertos del Detention Watch Network.

Desde el 2003, 164 personas han muerto en detención de inmigrantes, incluyendo 10 muertes en custodia del servicio de inmigración y control de aduanas (ICE) este año solamente

. El 1ero de noviembre, CRLN, la Iglesia Wellington United Avenue, Comunidades Organizadas contra las Deportaciones (OCAD), el Proyecto de Acción de los Suburbios del Oeste (PASO) y la Unión Latina de Chicago convocaron una vigilia frente al Centro de Detención Broadview para honrar y recordar la personas que han muerto en detención de inmigrantes.

Juntos, nos comprometimos a seguir luchando en nombre de José Antonio Hernández-Gómez, quien perdió la vida durante su detención en Broadview en 2010. Junto con comunidades y organizaciones de todo el país, exigimos

1) una revisión inmediata de las 10 muertes en ICE en este año fiscal y la publicación de estas revisiónes antes del 30 de enero de

unspecified-7.png

2017 y 2) el cierre inmediato del Centro de Detención LaSalle en Louisiana donde ocurrieron 3 de las muertes de este año

. A medida que continuamos organizándonos contra la detención y las deportaciones, el número de personas encerradas en la detención de inmigrantes alcanza numeros récord. Para obtener más información y un resumen de la acción de Chicago, siga @CRLN_LA, #StopTheCaging y #EndDetentions en twitter.


Únase a nosotros:

Los problemas que enfrentamos hoy son inmensos, pero juntos estamos produciendo un impacto real en las vidas de las comunidades de inmigrantes. Les insistimos que se unan a nosotros en este trabajo. Si está interesado en ser parte de nuestro trabajo de justicia migratoria, comuníquese con Cinthya Rodriguez, Organizador de Inmigración de CRLN, al

crodriguez@crln.org

para más información.

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INFORMATION TO FIND SOMEONE IN DETENTION


Below you will find contact information for groups who can help you find family, friends or members of your congregations in detention.

The

Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights (ICIRR) Family Support Hotline – 1-855-435-7693 or 855-HELP-MY-F(amily) — is a good place to start.

It connects families in crisis with reliable and immediate information, referrals to legal, ministry, and social services – while also providing a long-term connection to someone who can help them locally. Click

here

for the ICIRR website.

Contact the

Interfaith Committee for Detained Immigrants (ICDI)



1-773-779-6011 ext 3846​ –

for information about detention centers, weekly vigils at detention centers, and how to get care packages to loved ones in detention. Click

here

for the ICDI website.

You can also try to locate individuals through the

ICE Online Detainee Locator System

at

https://locator.ice.gov

, by calling the ICE Helpline at 1-888-351-4024, or by calling the consulate of the detainee’s home country.


Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)

: For information on detainees housed at an Immigration and Customs Enforcement facility, family members and attorneys should contact Chicago field office: 101 West Congress Parkway, Suite 4000, Chicago, Illinois 60605,

Phone:

(312) 347-2400


~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~


INFORMACION PARA ENCONTRAR ALGUIEN EN DETENCION


A continuación encontrará información de contacto de grupos que pueden ayudarle a encontrar a familiares, amigxs o miembros de sus congregaciones en detención.


La Coalición de Illinois para Inmigrantes y Refugiados

(ICIRR por sus siglas en ingles) tiene una línea de ayuda para familias  – 1-855-435-7693 o 855-HELP-MY-F (amily) – este es un buen lugar para comenzar. ICIRR Conecta a las familias en crisis con información confiable e inmediata, proporciona referencias a servicios legales, ministeriales y sociales – al mismo tiempo que provee una conexión a largo plazo con alguien que pueda ayudarles localmente.

Haga clic aquí para ver el sitio web de ICIRR.

Comuníquese con el

Comité Interreligioso para Inmigrantes Detenidos

(ICDI) 1-773-779-6011, extensión 3846- para obtener información sobre centros de detención, vigilias semanales en los centros de detención y cómo mandar paquetes de atención a sus seres queridos en detención.

Haga clic aquí para ver el sitio web de ICDI.

También puede tratar de localizar a personas a través del

Sistema en línea de localización de detenidos de ICE

en

https://locator.ice.gov

, llamando a la línea de ayuda de ICE al 1-888-351-4024 o llamando al consulado del país de origen del detenido.


Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO)

: Familiares y abogados buscando información sobre personas detenidas con El Servicio de Inmigración y Control de Aduanas de Estados Unidos (Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE) pueden contactar la oficina central: 101 West Congress Parkway, Suite 4000, Chicago, Illinois 60605,

Teléfono:

(312) 347-2400

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Washington D.C. – Following President Trump’s announcement today aiming to curb Sanctuary Cities, turn away asylum seekers, order the construction of a border wall, and increase harmful enforcement policies mark the start of our resistance. The National Sanctuary movement reaffirms its unwavering support for local jurisdictions with limited detainer policies and continued commitment to protect immigrants and refugees by opening their congregations to those being targeted by Trump’s policies.


Rev. Noel Andersen, CWS National Grassroots Coordinator,

said: “The Sanctuary Movement is growing stronger everyday, with more than 800 congregations strongly committed to protecting our immigrant brothers and sisters and standing with them during these trying times. The Sanctuary Movement has a long tradition of civil initiative, holding the government accountable to their own asylum laws. This is another case wherein numerous federal courts have found ICE practices to be unconstitutional when using detainer holds. We encourage all cities to hold true to the 4th amendment in our Constitution and keep their sanctuary policies intact–so that we can protect all members of our communities.”


Rabbi Jonathan D. Klein, Executive Director, Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice: Creating a Just and Sacred Society



(CLUE)


said: “As the “America First President” and his xenophobic attempts to dismantle the spirit of our nation’s welcoming message, emblazoned on the Statue of Liberty, “Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free,” people of faith throughout California utterly reject the politics of scapegoating any sub-community. Instead, we pledge

Sacred Resistance

to policies of divisiveness and

solidarity

with our fellow community members living in fear.  Rabbis, ministers, and other religious leaders have pledged to protect all human beings, regardless of immigration status, from the hate-filled Executive Orders that define this President’s first days as one of the least popular in history.”


Rev. Kenneth Heintzelman, Sr. Minister, Shadow Rock UCC

, said: “Shadow Rock UCC welcomes immigrants in need of Sanctuary in the spirit of the values that best represent the United States and our faith tradition. The values of hope, freedom, opportunity and justice support the immigrant story which is ultimately the story of all of us. President Trump’s actions, though draped with a thin cloak of patriotism, actually goes against the narrative of what it means to be a proud citizen that knows our history and what it means to be a person of faith who strives to love God and neighbor.”


Pastor Alli Baker, Wellington Avenue United Church of Christ

a congregation who helped pass the Sanctuary city ordinance in Chicago is also currently assisting two asylum seekers added this comment: “On Martin Luther King Jr. day, we remembered his Vietnam speech, when he said, now is the time to ‘move past indecision to action.’ Today we must ask ourselves, before the requests come – what are we willing to risk to truly be a Sanctuary city/church/space?”

###


Learn more about the National Sanctuary movement at



www.sanctuarynotdeportation.org

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By: Ivanna Salgado, CRLN Immigration Organizer Intern


[Espa

ñ

ol Aqui]

Were the words that were screamed with much enthusiasm by several protesters and organizations on June 15th, 2017 to push the city of Chicago to amend the Welcoming City Ordinance with no carve outs.


In 2012, Chicago passed the Welcoming City Ordinance establishing guidelines on how Chicago police interacts with Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), meant to limit collaboration between police and ICE, and protect immigrants from deportation.

These words allowed for my tears to silently splatter the concrete floor in the “One Chicago” that was built through the violence against immigrants and enslaved people on these stolen lands. Over the years, we have forgotten this actual reality because it has been covered by narratives of white supremacy that have manipulated us into believing their truth is the only truth that exists.

In fact, the word “immigrant” itself is a construction of white supremacy, a system that has gained power after settlers immigrated to America to separate themselves from those who they would soon treat as inferiors. Then, the word immigrant became racialized and criminalized.

Being an undocumented immigrant is nothing to be ashamed of, but we have been trained to do so by hearing quotes like “In America we only speak English.” The irony out of this quote is that, America includes all of North America and South America. America itself is made out 33 Latin American countries, and English is not even the main language there.

Over the years, for me, being an immigrant has come with so much pride and struggle rather than with shame. Being an immigrant has taught me to explore my own identity and celebrate and understands the politics of the cultures of my immigrant friends.

Yesterday’s rally made me reflect on the families that are currently being impacted by the immigration system or who have been criminalized by police officers or ICE.

It is hard to feel proud when our families are being ripped apart. It is often regret that our families feel for coming to the U.S.

Just like the City Hall building that has been built through the exploitation of immigrants. Just like Alderman Rosa says “Chicago cannot claim it is One Chicago if it is not offering sanctuary for all of its residents and instead it is working with ICE to deport immigrants. The City Hall building belongs to us because we built it so we have a voice.”

*

I study in Ohio, and when I heard that Chicago was a sanctuary city my heart was filled with happiness and proudness because I am a Chicagoan. Ohio unfortunately is a swing state. However, I am disheartened to know that the city of Chicago is not the sanctuary city it displays to the public. Many immigrants are being criminalized and dehumanized for wanting to stay with their loved ones.

As I saw signs like “Sanctuary For All. No Exceptions.” or “La Lucha Obrera No Tiene Fronteras” uplifted at the rally, I was happy to know that many communities were on board and continued to fight. Because once we are done turning the city of Chicago into a sanctuary city with no loopholes,

are we really done?

What’s the next move? It is a long battle because in every other city there are undocumented communities fighting for the same cause, for our liberation, and we should be standing next to them fighting and screaming  “No Wall. No Registry. No White Supremacy.”

This ongoing battle that has been supported by a working group: Arab American Action Network, Asian American Advancing Justice- Chicago, Organized Communities Against Deportation, the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Right,s the National Immigrant Justice Center, the Southwest Organizing Project, Centro  de Trabajadores Unidos – Immigrant Worker Defense Project, the Latino Policy Forum, Mujeres Latinas en Acción, Enlace, the Hana Center, Chicago Religious Leadership Network on Latin America, Chicago Community and Workers’ Rights, the Latino Union of Chicago, Brighton Park Neighborhood Council, Communities United, and Black Youth Project 100.

Thank you to these organizations and individuals that been in solidarity with becoming a “Model Sanctuary City.”

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