LENTEN ACTION FOR DREAMERS: Call Your Congressperson
Your advocacy is critical to help the nearly 1.8 million Dreamers, young people who were brought into the United States by their parents as children. They may face deportation, unless Congress reaches a bi-partisan deal to protect them. Please follow these easy steps to help:
- Please call 855-589-5698 to reach the Capitol switchboard, and press 1 to connect to your Senators. Once you are connected to each Senator’s office, please ask the person on the phone to deliver this simple message:
“I urge you to support a bipartisan, common-sense, and humane solution for Dreamers:
• Protect Dreamers from deportation and provide them with a path to citizenship.
• Reject proposals that undermine family immigration or protections for unaccompanied children.
• As a Catholic, I know that families are not “chains,” but a blessing to be protected.
• Act now to protect Dreamers, our immigrant brothers and sisters.”
- Please call 855-589-5698 a second time to reach the Capitol switchboard again, and press 2 to connect to your Representative. Once you are connected to the Representative’s office, please ask the person on the phone to deliver the same message as above.
After completing your call, please go to http://www.justiceforimmigrants.org to learn more about Dreamers and find other ways to voice your support.
RESOURCES FOR DREAMERS
- A List of Catholic Resources for California DACA Recipients (here)
- Justice for Immigrants
- Read Letter from OC Bishops Calling for Prayer and Advocacy for DREAMERS (English | Español)
- Additional Resource for Prayer
- Open Letter to Rep. Mimi Walters & Rep. Ed Royce, from all Bishops and Pastors in their districts (here)
- Read Letter from Sisters of St. Joseph joining OC Bishops and Pastors as they urge Rep. Mimi Walters & Rep. Ed Royce to pass the DREAM Act (Rep. Mimi Walters | Rep. Ed Royce)
KNOW YOUR RIGHTS/ CONOZCA SUS DERECHOS
Know Your Rights Cards/ Tarjetas Conozca Sus Derechos
If you are interested in ordering more KYRs cards for your parish, please contact our office.
Si estan interesados en ordenar mas tarjetas para su parroquia, favor de llamar a nuestra oficina.
Know Your Rights: A Guide to Your Rights When Interacting with Law Enforcement
Download the Guide (English | Spanish | Chinese | Amharic) | Download the PowerPoint (English | Spanish)
YOU HAVE RIGHTS regardless of your immigration status. You may be at risk of being deported if you are undocumented, if you are a non-citizen with a criminal history, if you are on parole, or have a prior deportation order. To protect yourself, your family and your community you must KNOW YOUR RIGHTS. Knowledge is power. Act NOW. Do not wait. Be prepared.
This guide contains:
- What you need to know and what to do when encountering immigration agents, the police or FBI in different places
- Information about how to read a warrant
- Twelve things for you and your family to remember in ANY situation
- Your Emergency Planning Checklist
- Your Emergency Contact Information Sheet
- Your plan for what to do if a loved one calls you from an immigration detention center or police station
- Your Workplace Planning Checklist
Other materials/Otros materiales:
- Preparing Your Family for Immigration Enforcement – a booklet intended to be studied at the parish level (Bilingual)
The Office of Life, Justice and Peace has developed new resources for use by parishes and with immigrant families.
- Sensitive Locations FAQs (English |Spanish)
- 2011 DHS Sensitive Locations Memo – What are sensitive locations? (English | Spanish)
“When a stranger resides with you in your land, do not molest him. You shall treat the stranger who resides with you no differently than the natives born among you; have the same love for him as yourself; for you too were once strangers in the land of Egypt. I, the Lord, am your God.” – Leviticus 19:33-3
Immigration has a variety of root causes. Family reunification, seeking economic stability with employment, civil unrest or war in one’s homeland and climate change rendering one’s ancestral lands uninhabitable all lead people to migrate. Biblical justice echoes a call to welcome the stranger, as one of the most vulnerable segments of the population. This is especially true today when they lack documentation and the associated legal safeguards for their physical safety and protection from economic exploitation by employers. Federal legislation to address comprehensive immigration reform could alleviate current inequities to respect the human dignity of immigrants in ways such as bringing undocumented workers into the economic system and out of the shadows of a two tier labor market and helping families reunite more expediently than the current process that can take up to a decade. Legislative reform could also eliminate the harrowing journeys many migrants travel. Helping immigrants integrate into our communities can be an opportunity for parish social ministry to coordinate ESL classes (English as a Second Language), offer workshops on citizenship, locate housing and offer job resources. Individuals can share their talents to welcome immigrants by volunteering with organizations like Catholic Charities.
WAYS PARISHES CAN GET INVOLVED
- Parish Bulletin
- Welcoming the Stranger: Practical Advice for the Undocumented
- Acoger al Forastero: Consejos practicos para las personas indocumentadas
- Via a bulletin insert or mass announcements, request that all interested parishioners, parish leaders and immigration lawyers create a parish immigration task force
- Parish Organizing
- Sponsor registration drives to encourage all to register at their parish (this helps with documents, length of time in country, etc.)
- Encourage all aspiring citizens to keep and collect any documents that prove how long they have been resident in the U.S.
- In addition to documents related to employment and/or school, these include rent receipts and utility bills, military records, hospital or medical records, official records from a religious entity confirming the applicant’s participation in a religious ceremony, copies of correspondence between the applicant and another individual, money order receipts, dated bank transactions, vehicle registration and “other relevant documents.”
- Organize an Immigration Listening session with parishioners utilizing Mission of Mercy materials. Follow and encourage aspiring citizens to become part of advocacy actions. Listen to the stories of immigrants in your community and, as they are willing, empower the undocumented to tell their stories to enlighten others to immigrant realities.
- Organize Immigration Forums with reputable immigration service providers or attorneys that educate parishioners on “Know Your Rights,” “Opportunities for Legalization,” “Driver’s Licenses/ Privilege (AB 60), “Anti-Fraud Awareness,” etc.
- Connect with Catholic Charities to organize Legal Screening Sessions in your parish
- Hold Immigration Fee Drives to raise funds for an individual’s immigration filing fees
- Hold a Christmas Card drive and donate Christmas Cards to the office of Restorative Justice/ Detention Ministry for their annual Operation Christmas Spirit where Christmas cards are given to detained immigrants in Orange County
- Call or send postcards to your U.S. Senators and representatives asking that they pass just and compassionate immigration reform legislation
- Accompany individuals to ICE Check– Ins
- Help immigrant children with school enrollment
- Provide transportation for individuals to Immigration Court
- Immigration Reform
- Pastoral Responses to Immigration Reform – Suggestions of how you and your parish can engage in pastoral and political action around immigration reform. You will find three tiers, reflecting different levels and types of engagement. Build up or try one from each. In any case, act!
- Send this Electronic Postcard to your U.S. Senators and Representatives asking that they pass just and compassionate immigration reform legislation (Even more effective: coordinate a massive mailing, emailing, or calling campaign in large numbers at your parish).
- Petition and Gather Signatures
In 2004, the Catholic bishops of the United States committed to immigration reform as a priority of the U.S. Catholic Church, and to creating a culture of welcome in which all migrants are treated with respect and dignity. A diverse group of Catholic organizations with national networks joined the U.S. Catholic bishops’ Justice for Immigrants Campaign (JFI) in an effort to unite and mobilize a growing network of Catholic institutions, individuals, and other persons of goodwill in support of immigration reform. The JFI campaign’s primary objectives are:
- To educate the public, especially the Catholic community, about Church teaching on migration and immigrants;
- To create political will for just and humane immigration reform; and
- Advocate for just and fair reforms in U.S. immigration and refugee laws and policies that reflect the principles enunciated by the bishops.
OC CATHOLIC CHARITIES: 1800 E. 17TH Street Santa Ana, CA 92705 | 714-347-9664
Immigration, Citizenship, and Refugee Resettlement Center- Resettlement/Refugee, Immigration and Citizenship Center offers immigration assistance and legal document assistance. Staff assists with applications for naturalization, adjustment of status, family petition, family unity, family reunification, student visa, work permit, green card for refugee, re-entry permit, citizenship for children. Also offers free Citizenship Classes three times a month at the Center.
Immigration & Citizenship Flyer (Bilingual) | Citizenship Classes Flyer (Bilingual)
WORLD RELIEF GARDEN GROVE
13121 Brookhurst St.Garden Grove, CA 92843
World Relief Garden Grove’s network of volunteers and partner churches resettle approximately 1% of all refugees entering the United States, providing language skills, job training and spiritual support to our new community members.
Resources on the Humanitarian Crisis of Unaccompanied Minors at the Border
“A change of attitude towards migrants and refugees is needed on the part of everyone, moving away from attitudes of defensiveness and fear, indifference and marginalization – all typical of a throwaway culture – towards attitudes based on a culture of encounter, the only culture capable of building a better, more just and fraternal world.” — Pope Francis, Message for the World Day of Migrants and Refugees, 2014
“The Church supports the human rights of all people and offers them pastoral care, education, and social services, no matter what the circumstances of entry into this country, and it works for the respect of the human dignity of allespecially those who find themselves in desperate circumstances.” — Welcoming the Stranger Among Us: Unity in Diversity, A Statement of the U.S. Catholic Bishops
“Every human being has the right to freedom of movement and of residence within the confines of his own state. When there are just reasons in favor for it, he must be permitted to migrate to other countries and to take up residence there. The fact that he is a citizen of a particular state does not deprive him of membership to the human family, nor of citizenship in the universal society, the common, world-wide fellowship of men.” — John Paul II, Address to the New World Congress on the Pastoral Care of Immigrants (October 17, 1985)