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Prophetic Action is extremely difficult under the dividing circumstances the nation is facing. However, CRLN remains aware of the hard work to be done in educating our network and sharing resources towards unifying. Here a few highlights of the recent efforts we have made in our Immigration Program:

CRLN Sanctuary Working Group:  After joining an organizational sign-on letter calling on ICE and CBP to release people from immigrant detention to prevent the spread of COVID-19 in crowded and unsanitary detention centers, CRLN formed a Working Group to plan for temporary sanctuary spaces for those released.

While ICE has released very few people, some with preexisting health conditions, usually after legal battles, representatives to CRLN’s Organizing Committee from University Church, Wellington Avenue UCC, Su Casa Catholic Worker, Viatorian House of Hospitality, Bethany House of Hospitality, Congregation Tzedek, and the Interfaith Community for Detained Immigrants have been working to support those who may be released. We are accepting donations to support these efforts.

 ICIRR Everybody In Organizing Platform: As members of the Illinois Coalition for Immigrant and Refugee Rights we helped organize around the rights of immigrants in the current crisis.  With allies from around the state, we helped form the Everybody In Platform.  The aim of this campaign has four main components:

  1. Health Access for All regardless of immigration status. We want to make sure that the communities with the most need receive the care they deserve with no fear.
  2. Economic Security for All regardless of immigration status. We want to ensure that all people in Illinois receive support from safety net programs.
  3. #FreeThemAll is a push to have all people in detention and incarceration released for their safety. About 70% of people in detention are predicted to catch COVID-19.
  4. Stop all ICE and local police collaboration, make renewal of DACA and TPS grants automatic, and end over-policing in our communities.

We achieved some key victories.

  • The largest appropriation to the Immigrant Service Line item in the line’s history at $30 million, with $20 million going to direct cash assistance that many grass roots, immigrant led organizations will oversee. 
  • Nearly $400 million in rental assistance funding accessible to the most vulnerable renters regardless of immigration status
  • An additional $30 million (at least) in other immigrant service supports in response to the pandemic.
  • An expansion of access to state health insurance to undocumented older adults, aged 65 and over.

Paid Emergency Sick Leave Ordinance: As states mandated many businesses to close, people without papers were the most deeply affected. No federal monies will be given to these individuals or their families. We are all in this together, but we are not all affected in the same way.

We are coordinating our coalition efforts with Arise Chicago, the Shriver Center on Poverty Law, Raise the Floor Alliance and AFIRE Chicago, on a Chicago ordinance that would require business owners to grant paid sick leave to ALL of their employees during an emergency if they need to quarantine for 14 days or take care of a family member with COVID-19, with the possibility of this being renewed for an additional 14 days for a total of 28 days. This ordinance would be retroactive.

Here is more information: https://www.arisechicago.org/epl

Chicago Emergency Paid Leave Ordinance – Arise ChicagoChicago Emergency Paid Sick Leave Ordinance. Protect All Chicago Working Families. The City of Chicago must act now to ensure all working people and their families can immediately care for their physical and financial health.. All working people in Chicago must be able to take a paid CDC-recommended 14-day quarantine if sick, care for a family member with COVID-19.www.arisechicago.org

 

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Public Citizen has published a thorough review of the past 20 years of NAFTA with their new report, “NAFTA at 20: One Million U.S. Jobs Lost, Mass Displacement and Instability in Mexico, Record Income Inequality, Scores of Corporate Attacks on Environmental and Health
Laws” Click here to see the report.  and march with CRLN and the Illinois Fair Trade Coalition this Saturday to say ‘¡No más!’ to this harmful legacy of free trade and neoliberalism! No to the
Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a.k.a. NAFTA on Steroids!

Contact your members of Congress 
to urge them to vote no on Fast Track legislation for the TPP!

Below are some of the reports’ main findings, but click here to see the report in fullWith mounting evidence around the false promises of free trade, the report goes more deeply into growing income inequality throughout the hemisphere and lawsuits filed by corporations against sovereign nations for “a loss of future profits” resulting from domestic public interest and environmental laws.

  • The export of subsidized U.S. corn did increase under NAFTA, destroying the
    livelihoods of more than one million Mexican campesino farmers and
    about 1.4 million additional Mexican workers whose livelihoods depended on
    agriculture.
  • Scores of NAFTA countries’ environmental and health laws have been challenged in foreign tribunals through the controversial investor-state system. More than $360 million in compensation to investors has been extracted from NAFTA governments via “investor-state” tribunal challenges against toxics bans, land-use rules, water and forestry policies and more. More than $12.4 billion are currently pending in such claims.
  • Facingdisplacement, rising prices and stagnant wages, over half of the Mexican
    population, and over 60 percent of the rural population, still fall below
    the poverty line, despite the promises made by NAFTA’s proponents.
  • Though the price paid to Mexican farmers for corn plummeted after NAFTA, the deregulated retail price of tortillas – Mexico’s staple food – shot up 279 percent in the pact’s first 10 years.
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Saturday, February 1st: Labor and Faith Leaders, Environmental, Human Rights, and Immigration Activists, the Chicago community took to the streets to tell Rep. Mike Quigley not to Fast Track the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), a.k.a. NAFTA on steroids. Fast Track would keep the TPP in the dark, away from the public, the media and even our democratically elected members of Congress. Thus far, Rep. Mike Quigley has not committed to defending his constituents by saying no to Fast Track legislation.

Fast Track is not democracy. In case there’s any confusion on the part of TPP negotiators or our pro-Fast Track members of Congress, such as Mike Quigley, about what democracy is, take a look at these photos from last Saturday’s rally. THIS is what democracy looks like. (Click on the photos to enlarge them!)

And thanks to Ervin Lopez for a hefty portion of these photos!


































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When my friends and family found out that I’d partaken in an act
of civil disobedience this past Tuesday, their immediate reaction was to flood
me with questions about the arrest. A couple of emotions and sentiments were
expressed, much of which were either excitement and/or concern. While the civil
disobedience act itself allowed me to experience strong feelings of solidarity
and oneness, to me the occurrences and processes leading up to the action
itself were every bit as important and incredible.

My experience began with about another 150 people partaking in a
pilgrimage walk from ICE Headquarters in Chicago to the Broadview Detention
Center. Along our half-marathon walk (13 miles), during our communal lunches
and conversations, while were are huddled outside of the Broadview Detention
Center, and up to the moments leading up to, and during the civil disobedience
act itself, I saw and talked some of the most incredibly inspiring and
empowering community leaders I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

It was my personal decision to partake in act of civil
disobedience near the Broadview Detention Center out of a desire to stand in
solidarity with the families and individuals experience unimaginable suffering
and who are those most directly affected by our current immigration system.
Everything that I saw and experienced along the way only reassured me of my
decision to partake in an act of civil disobedience. The last two days and all
the time and effort that went into organizing these actions were all for a
precise end. As the crowds so excitedly reiterated time and time again,
“Two Million is Too Many. Stop Deportations Now!”

At the end of the day, it was the inspiring community leaders and
activists, the community members and allies, the marchers and participants, and
undocumented, unafraid, families and individuals, who really stole the show!
When one considers all this and all the work and community organizing that is
yet to come but most certainly will come, all we did was simply get
arrested. ​

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Last night, President Obama announced an executive action
that will provide an estimated 4.4 million immigrants temporary relief from
deportation.

Under the President’s actions, age-caps for the Deferred Action for Childhood
Arrivals (DACA) program will be expanded to cover for an additional 300,000
people, protections under DACA will be renewable every three years (previously
two), Secure Communities will be discontinued, and Deferred Action will be
extended to certain parents of United States Citizens and Legally Permanent
Residents. For more detailed information on administrative action, please click

here

.

Yesterday’s announcement is a testament to the hard work of pro-immigrant
organizations across the country, particularly that of undocumented-led
community groups which have fought for these gains through courageous, daring,
and, oftentimes, unconventional tactics.

The Chicago Religious Leadership
Network (CRLN), a network of over 50 congregations and religious communities
across Chicagoland, is committed to participating in the “IL is Ready
Campaign.” Through this campaign, member congregations will be providing
information sessions on the President’s executive announcement and working to
provide legal assistance sessions once applications become available.

While we take a moment to celebrate this hard-earned victory, as people of
faith, we also remember what our sacred texts have taught us: every person
matters and is sacred.

There are nearly 12 million undocumented peoples living in the United States.
Yesterday, the president reminded us that we were all once strangers. Today, we
remind him that principles of our faiths mandate us to love all of our
neighbors, including those who do not meet the specified eligibility criteria.
Minister Steve Van Kuiken, Senior Minister of Lake Street Church, a sanctuary
congregation in Evanston, Illinois stated, “we celebrate the fact that
millions of immigrants will no longer live in constant fear of detention and
deportation. We will continue to offer sanctuary because there are still
millions of other immigrants who live and work in this country still facing the
threat of deportation, workplace exploitation, and the constant fear that their
families will be uprooted or torn apart.”

Faith calls us to be thankful for yesterday’s actions, but faith also requires
us to continue to remain steadfast in our commitment with the undocumented
community. While the protections offered by the President are long
overdue, these actions are not enough. As people of faith we call on our
elected officials, our President, and our Congress to take into account full
human stories, to act with forgiveness and redemption, and to allow all
undocumented immigrants who contribute to their communities to apply for temporary
relief.  As we take a moment ourselves to recall this, today the CRLN
reiterates its commitment to continue to apply pressure until the day comes
when there is #Not1More.

For basic information on administrative relief and who is eleible, download our attached Executive Action Cheat Sheets. Available in English and Spanish.

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English below –> click on title to read full article

El 24 de marzo, el 35 aniversario del asesinato del arzobispo Romero, nos unimos con Community Renewal Society, ONE Northside y el Jane Addams Senior Caucus para una acción “Die-In” en el Ayuntamiento. Tito Moreno, Martinelli Quintanilla, Mario Venegas, y la Reverenda Marilyn Pagan Banks hablaban en nombre de CRLN.

Después de una hora de la presión y tres arrestos, representantes del alcalde se comprometieron arreglar una reunión con Rahm Emanuel, el 4 de abril.

Nos hemos comprometido a luchar por los derechos humanos en Chicago: CRLN lleva más de 25 años denunciando la detención arbitraria y la detención, cárceles secretas, el terrorismo contra a la población civil, la tortura y otras violaciones de los derechos humanos. Cuando nos enteramos de que las cosas podrían estar ocurriendo aquí en Chicago, tenemos que levantar la voz. Por lo tanto nos hemos asociado con otras organizaciones de base para presionar por medidas de responsabilidad policial en el futuro, así como reparación por los errores del pasado.

La Community Renewal Society había estado solicitando una reunión con el alcalde Rahm Emanuel por más de cuatro meses para discutir propuestas concretas para reformar “la Dirección de Revisión Independiente de la Policía” (IPRA) y añadir las medidas de rendición de cuentas a las prácticas actuales en torno cámaras del cuerpo de policía y la práctica de “stop-and -frisk “.  No había respondido- y además, a pesar de numerosas e impactantes informes de personas que han sido efectivamente “desaparecidas” en la Plaza de Homan y otras instalaciones de la policía, el alcalde Emanuel no ha logrado siquiera pedir una investigación.  Él sigue insistiendo en que “seguimos todas las reglas. … Todo se ha hecho por los libros “.

Fuentes de comunicacion locales, nacionales e incluso internacionales cubrieron el evento: Por favor, ver una muestra de los artículos a continuación, y mantenernos en oración el 4 de abril, de que podemos lograr un cambio positivo que es tan largamente esperado.

On March 24, the 35th anniversary of the assassination of Archbishop Romero, we joined with The Community Renewal Society, ONE Northside and the Jane Addams Senior Caucus for a “Die-In” action at City Hall.  Tito Moreno, Martinelli Quintanilla, Mario Venegas, and Rev. Marilyn Pagan Banks all spoke on behalf of CRLN.

After an hour of pressure and three arrests, we did get a commitment from the Mayor to meet with our organizations on April 4.

We have committed ourselves to fight for human rights in Chicago.  CRLN has spent over 25 years speaking out against arbitrary arrest and detention, secret prisons, the terrorizing of civilian populations, torture and other human rights violations.  When we hear that those things could be happening right here in Chicago, we need to speak up.  Therefore we have teamed up with other grassroots organizations to push for police accountability measures going forward as well as reparations for past wrongs.

The Community Renewal Society had been requesting a meeting with Mayor Rahm Emanuel for over four months to discuss specific proposals to overhaul the non-functioning “Independent Police Review Authority” and add accountability measures to the current practices around police body cameras and “stop-and-frisk” activities.  He had not responded- moreover, in the wake of numerous and shocking reports from people who have been effectively “disappeared” at Homan Square and other police facilities, Mayor Emanuel has failed to even call for an investigation. He continues to insist that “we follow all the rules. … Everything’s done by the books.”

We were covered by local, national and even international news sources: Please see a sample of the articles below, and hold us in prayer on April 4, that we can make a positive change that is so long overdue.

Prensa Internacional – Espanol

Se incendia camioneta cargada con pescado en la autopista México Puebla


National press – English


http://www.reuters.com/article/2015/03/24/us-usa-chicago-police-protest-idUSKBN0MK27M20150324


http://www.businessinsider.com/r-three-arrested-as-chicago-protesters-demand-police-reforms-2015-3


http://america.aljazeera.com/articles/2015/3/24/chicago-protesters-police-reform.html


http://inthesetimes.com/article/17786/to-this-mayor-black-and-brown-lives-do-not-matter-3-arrested-at-die-in-at-r


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2015/03/24/chicago-protest-stop-and-_n_6933006.html

Local press-English


http://www.nbcchicago.com/blogs/ward-room/chicago-city-hall-die-in-police-brutality-297410051.html


http://abc7chicago.com/news/protesters-hold-die-in-at-city-hall/571524/


Protesters Demand Meeting With Emanuel On Police Brutality

Activists protest against police brutality outside mayor’s office


Prensa Local En espanol


http://www.vivelohoy.com/noticias/8438192/exigen-en-chicago-alto-a-los-abusos-policiales


http://chicago.univision.com/videos/video/2015-03-24/arrestos-protesta-rahm-emanuel

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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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