CBF Advocacy is dedicated to demonstrating the love of Christ by loving our most neglected and marginalized neighbors. CBF Advocacy seeks to mobilize action for pending policy measures with a focus on the public witness of the church.
This alert comes from our Advocacy Action Team for Immigration and Refugee Advocacy, which is rooted in our missions commitments and contexts.
It is a critical time to advocate for DREAMers.
The August Congressional recess is a critical moment in advocacy efforts on behalf of undocumented children referred to as DREAMERS. CBF Advocacy — in cooperation with a coalition of partners including the National Immigration Forum; Bibles, Badges and Business Coalition; and the Evangelical Immigration table — is calling on Cooperative Baptists to make their voices heard now.
We ask that pastors and lay leaders across the Fellowship contact and, if possible, make an in-district office visit to their Senators and Representatives in support of the bipartisan Dream Act (S. 1615 and H.R. 3440)
If you are willing and able to make an in-person visit to meet with your member of Congress, please contact Anyra Cano at firstname.lastname@example.org
for help on how to do so. A list of key/influential members of Congress to contact is available here
Background on the Dream Act: In late July, a new version of the Dream Act was introduced in both the Senate and House — Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) introduced S.1615 and Congresswomen Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R-FL) and Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) introduced H.R.3440. These bipartisan bills would offer the DREAMers, undocumented immigrants who were brought to the United States as minors, the opportunity to attain legal status with an 8-year conditional permanent residency status and a path to citizenship.
- Read a summary of the Dream Act from the National Immigration Forum here.
- To learn more about the Dream Act, visit this link and check out this chart on the benefits of the Dream Act.
- Contact or (preferably) visit your Senator(s) or Representative and ask them to support the Dream Act.
- Find contact information for your members of Congress at www.govtrack.us.
- Check out this resource with helpful tips on talking with elected officials about the Dream Act.
- Contact the offices of Senators Graham and Durbin and Congresswomen Ros-Lehtinen and Roybal-Allard to thank and encourage them for their leadership in support of DREAMers.
- Recruit. Ask faith and other leaders in your community to join you in this effort.
- Spread the word. Share these calls to action and your support of Dream Act on social media.
Additional Background and Resources
Why now? DREAMers currently face losing their protection from deportation.
Since 2004, many DREAMers have been protected under Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). However, DACA does not promise long-term legal status or a path to citizenship. And, not all immigrants who entered the U.S. as minors qualify under its guidelines. DACA is an Executive Order that can be removed at any time.
A letter initiated by Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton and signed by 10 state Attorneys General calls on President Trump to cease the issuance and current benefits of DACA, requesting that any known undocumented immigrants be deported.
If President Trump does not rescind DACA by September 5, the group has promised to file a federal lawsuit. Read more about this effort here.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is now targeting all undocumented immigrants, not just dangerous criminals.
- ProPublica details this change in practice.
- An ICE memo notes that officers have been instructed to move forward in the detailing and removal of undocumented immigrants they deemed necessary.
- This new practice has even targeted pastors such as Noe Carias of California. Rev. Jose Chica of Raleigh, N.C. has been issued a deportation order. CBF of North Carolina and CBF field personnel are actively seeking ways to support the family of Rev. Chica during this difficult time.
New legislation (RAISE Act) that would drastically reduce legal immigration has been introduced. Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and David Perdue (R-GA) recently introduced the Reforming American Immigration for a Strong Economy (RAISE) Act, which would establish a points-based system for securing a green card.
Analysts say this bill would restrict immigration for family members of U.S. citizens and lawful permanent residents, and would also eliminate the Diversity Visa Lottery and permanently limit the number of refugees offered permanent resident status. Business and conservative leaders have been sharply critical of the bill.
Need more information? Have questions?
Contact CBF Advocacy Specialist John Mark Boes at email@example.com, CBF Advocacy Outreach Specialist Anyra Cano at firstname.lastname@example.org, or CBF Associate Coordinator of Advocacy and Partnerships Stephen Reeves at email@example.com.