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

Read More
image-title

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

Read More


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

Read More

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

Read More

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.”

###

Read More