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