This update comes from the Advocacy Action Team for Immigrants and Refugees.
The DACA program is set to expire on March 5, six months after it was rescinded.
Advocates from the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship have been part of a much larger community of businesses, law enforcement, faith leaders, educational institutions and legislators that have called on congress to protect and support DREAMers. Most recently, CBF was one of a number of national sponsors of the iMarch for Immigration that garnered a wide audience on December 6.
For a summary of the iMarch event, read this article from NBC News. The end of 2017 is a critical moment for advocacy. It is estimated that it will take seven months before United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) can implement legislation, all while hundreds of dreamers, on a daily basis, will begin losing work permits and protection from deportation on March 5. To better understand the ramifications of a delayed solution, the National Immigration Forum has created an infographic resource, “Why We Need a Fix Now”.
On Monday, December 4, the Supreme Court gave permission for President Trump’s travel ban to go into effect, while it continues to be challenged in lower courts. This ban will prohibit citizens from Iran, Libya, Syria, Yemen, Somalia, Chad and North Korea along with some groups of people from Venezuela to enter the United States.
Ali Noorani, Executive Director of the National Immigration Forum states:
“The travel ban remains troublesome and continues to send the wrong message to Americans and our allies around the globe. Ensuring our national security and welcoming trade and tourism are not mutually exclusive. The travel ban hinders efforts to strengthen our economy, harming businesses that depend on foreign visitors and the workers they employ.”
As we celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ, we can become busy and consumed in all the festivities and forget that in the Christmas story, there lies a narrative of fear and suffering. Sometime after Jesus was born we learn that the life of all boys in Bethlehem and its vicinity who were two years old and under, were to be killed (Mathew 2). In the midst of such a horrible moment, God calls Mary and Joseph to flee to Egypt to protect Jesus’ life and seek refuge.
During this season, we encourage your family to consider Jesus as the refugee, immigrant and the DREAMer.
In Mathew 25:40, Jesus says, “…whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.” Consider the fear Joseph and Mary must have felt for their child, their friends’ children, or other family members who may not have the same opportunity to flee to another country. Consider the difficult journey and sacrifice these parents made to keep their child safe. Consider the child that could have potentially been denied access to a place of safety. Take time in prayer as a family, church and community, to consider the fear and suffering of our neighbors, to seek guidance in how to love and minister to these and for the courage to advocate on their behalf.
A great way your family, church and community can learn about refugees this season, is with this wonderful resource the CBF Internationals Team has put together I Can Learn About Refugees: A Children’s Activity Book. This resource will help children, families or any individual understand the story and needs of refugees. We encourage you to print one out and work on this workbook together during the holidays.
We also ask you, to once more contact, email or write both your member of Congress and your two Senators to express your support for DACA recipients/DREAMers and urge they support passage of the DREAM Act now. For templates of either a letter or a script, click here or here.