During the month of August, Representatives will be in their home districts. This is a great opportunity to have your voices heard!
And August is not the only time to join this letter-drop campaign. Feel free to use this resource throughout the fall and winter – until we get real, compassionate, and comprehensive immigration reform!
Now is the time for the House Representatives to act and pass legislation that meets the foundations of a just reform set out by the General Assembly of the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). The actions by people of faith have and will continue to be influential in the legislative process. Enclosed is a letter that you can use to join this movement for justice. We hope that you will personalize the letter, have members of your congregation sign it, and then personally drop it off to your Representative’s district office. You can also view the text of the letter on our blog.
Here are some basic steps on how you can use the letter:
1. Go to the letter blog post and copy and paste the text. Personalize the letter to reflect the contributions of immigrants in your local community and congregation. You can describe any programs or activities that uplift the immigrant experience.
2. Check with your pastor and choose the best day to have it in a high-traffic area in the church so that members can sign it. Think coffee hour.
3. Find out who your Representative is at: http://capwiz.com/pcusa/dbq/officials/Look on their website and find the nearest office. Before you go to drop it off call and make sure the office will be open!
4. Before the sign on day for the congregation, have those who you know are interested or engaged (including your Pastor and Session members) sign the letter. People will be more likely to sign something when they see other people have signed it!
5. Make sure an announcement is made about the letter in the bulletin, from the pulpit, and through social media outlets that your church uses to communicate with members. Invite folks to sign the letter!
6. When you get to the office here is a possible script:
"Hi, my name is and I am a member of Presbyterian Church (U.S.A) and many of our members signed this letter urging Representative to support immigration reform with these principles and to see that reform pass soon!"
7. Email us (email@example.com) and let us know you dropped off your letter!! Take a picture of you delivering the letter (it’d be great if you can get one with your Representative!) and email it to us so that we can share it.
8. When you (the point person for the letter) receive a reply from your Representative please share that with us as well!
Please let us know if you have any questions or if you need more support in becoming engaged. Let us know what you are doing for immigration reform and make sure to connect with us via FaceBook and our blog to receive updates. Email Melissa Davis in the Office of Immigration Issues (Melissa.firstname.lastname@example.org) to join her immigration issues listserv. Now is the time to be involved! Let’s stand together and in solidarity with those directly suffering the consequences of our unjust immigration policies. Now is the time for reform!
On July 10th, House Leadership held a meeting to discuss the issue of immigration reform. Immigrant families, advocates, and people of faith took this opportunity to march to Republican headquarters in D.C. and demand that Representatives take action on a just and compassionate immigration reform. Shortly after the strategy meeting, House Leadership issued a statement confirming that the House would not consider the Senate’s immigration legislation, but rather would continue to pursue a piece-meal approach. So far, however, the five bills that have been introduced in the House undermine workers’ rights and community safety, increase the number of people in indefinite detention, increase the likelihood that workers will be exploited, continue the unnecessary militarization of our Southern border, and increase the separation of families. None provide a reasonable path to citizenship, increase both American and immigrant worker protections, provide for family reunification, or provide a path for future migration.
We are at a pivotal moment in the movement for immigration reform. As people of faith, we must take action to prevent the relegation of millions to a second-class status, criminalization, and oppression. We cannot simply watch as our brothers and sisters are unjustly detained for prolonged periods of time, especially when that detention benefits corporate owners of private detention facilities, or watch as families are torn apart, emotionally and physically, impacting the health of our children and our communities. The General Assembly has called on Presbyterians to participate in faithful action and to stand in solidarity with those whose lives are directly impacted by our immigration policies. As people of faith we are often reminded that when one part of the body suffers, all suffer with it. Join the 220th General Assembly (2012) and urge your Representative to support comprehensive, compassionate immigration reform.