In April of 2017, CBF Advocacy established its first-ever Advocacy Action Team to educate, encourage and equip effective advocacy with immigrant and refugee communities. The Advocacy Action team for Immigrants and Refugees seeks to cultivate a network of active advocates, provide useful up-to-date resources, and encourage direct policy advocacy at critical moments. Fundamentally, CBF Advocacy is rooted in the same spirit and call that motivates our mission endeavors: bearing witness to Jesus Christ, seeking transformational development and cultivating beloved community.
CBF Represented at National Immigration Event
National Immigration Forum: Leading the Way: A New Approach to American Immigration
On October 4-5, Greg Smith and Anyra Cano, members of the Advocacy Action Team for Immigration and Refugees participated in the National Immigration Forum’s annual conference where they visited with members of congress to advocate for the DREAM Act.
Anyra Cano had positive meetings with both Congressman Joe Barton and Congresswoman Kay Granger, where she shared the stories of DREAMers in her community. Both Representatives demonstrated support for the DREAM Act and or any legislation that was supportive of DREAMers. During her meeting, Granger shared, “I struggled with how to respond to the issues and fears of DREAMers. As I meditated, I thought, how I would want my children to be treated if they were placed in this situation. I would hope that my children would be protected and treated with dignity.”
DACA: A long Journey
The journey to advocate for and pass a permanent solution for DREAMers, has taken over 16 years. On September 5, President Trump announced the phasing out of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA), passing the responsibility to Congress to pass a permanent solution within six months. House and Senate leaders on both sides of the aisle have agreed to find a legislative solution to extend protections first granted under DACA.
DREAMer Bill Summaries
Several pieces of legislation have been introduced in both the House and Senate, a chart below will give you information on these bills. CBF’s Advocacy Action Team on Immigration and Refugees is calling those in the fellowship to support and advocate for the DREAM Act 2017. For summaries of each of the bills, click here.
Administration Releases Immigration Priorities
On October 8, 2017, the administration sent out a list of Immigration Policy Priorities. President Trump has told congressional leaders that his immigration priorities must be enacted in exchange for extending protection for Dreamers. Immigration advocates believe that these priorities could potentially harm any agreement to pass legislation, to protect Dreamers prior to March 6. The policy priorities can be found here.
Contact the Trump Administration here and ask that any permanent solution for Dreamers not be contingent or in exchange for its immigration priorities.
Please contact both your member of Congress and your two Senators to express your support for DACA recipients and urge they support passage of the DREAM Act.
Refugee Admissions Resume
On October 24, 2017, the Trump Administration announced that it will resume the refugee admissions program with increased vetting of refugees seeking admission. The Department of Homeland Security, Department of State, and the Office of the Director of National Intelligence issued a memo that refugees not from 11 unnamed countries would be prioritized. To read more, click here.
Refugee Hospitality Missions Grow
The attitudes towards refugees are polarizing. However, several CBF congregations are choosing to display hospitality towards refugees. One such CBF congregation is Crabtree Valley Baptist Church in North Carolina. Crabtree Valley has joined Hope Valley Baptist Church and Winter Park Baptist Church in North Carolina in opening Welcome Houses. To read more about the story of Crabtree Valley Baptist Church’s Welcome House Raleigh, click here.