advocacy / General CBF

CBF Advocacy January Update

By CBF Advocacy


An Urgent Call to Action: DREAMers

CBF’s Advocacy and Action Team on Immigration and Refugees would like to thank the pastors, ministers and leaders who took the time to sign our letter to U.S. Senators urging them to support a clean DREAM Act. The letter was sent out to thirty-four senators that represent faith leaders in our Fellowship.

Unfortunately, every day that a permanent solution is delayed, 122 young immigrants lose DACA status, while others live without any protection. Unless Congress acts immediately, more than 1,000 people will lose these protections each day after March 5. The recent government shutdown further illustrates the need for immediate action on behalf of these people.

On January 15, 2018 Jorge Garcia, an older DREAMer, a husband and father of two American Citizens was deported after living in the United States for 30 years. Garcia did not qualify for DACA due to age restrictions. According to the New York Times article, the family hoped that an anticipated Congressional decision for DREAMers would hopefully delay his deportation and grant him protection.

We urge you to continue in your advocacy efforts for DREAMers. With federal funding now set to expire on February 8, passing the DREAM Act is of the utmost importance. Congress needs to continually hear from faith leaders that this is a moral crisis that affects children, families, communities and our economy. We are asking you to contact your members of Congress again, and ask them to support the DREAM Act. You can do so by calling, emailing, sending letters and through social media. (If you dial this number (202) 224-3121 you can be directed to your Senator or Representative).


Church Member Detained by ICE

Gilles Bikindou, a beloved member of Greenwood Forest Baptist Church in North Carolina, has been detained by ICE and faces deportation. His Pastor, Lauren Efird, shares that Bikindou, an asylum seeker from the Congo, has a life-threatening illness that can only be treated in United States or Canada. Greenwood Forest Baptist Church, Pastor Lauren and other advocacy groups are calling on the faith community to stand with them as they advocate for the well-being of their beloved friend and brother. Please visit, Faith in the Public Life’s website to sign on to a letter asking for Bikindou’s release, or the Greenwood Forest’s Facebook Page for more information.


Temporary Protected Status (TPS)

In November 2017, President Trump’s administration announced that it would end Temporary Protected Status (TPS) for 60,000 Haitians. Earlier this month, it announced the end of TPS for over 200,000 Salvadorans. The administration has ordered both Haitian and Salvadoran’s to leave the United States by 2019.

Haitian, Salvadoran and other immigrant groups who have been granted TPS status have established their lives in this country and have children with US citizenship. Now our immigrant brothers and sisters face the decision of being separated from their children, homes and communities if Congress does not pass legislation to protect our Haitian and Central American neighbors.

To learn more about TPS and ways to help here.


A Day of Prayer

We are calling on churches throughout the fellowship to take a moment on Sunday, February 4, during worship to pray for DREAMers, and the broader immigrant community who are constantly living in uncertainty and fear. Here is a litany that your church can use on Sunday, February 4.

In the beginning, God moved over the chaos of the Earth. We, created in the image of God, are also on the move and charged to care for Creation.

Bless those who come to plant, harvest and feed the human race.

God in your love, hear our prayer.

From Eden, all have traveled to the lands of the Earth.  God protected us on the way with clothing for our journey.

Give those who travel now what they need for their journey, food, water, shelter, safety.

God in your love, hear our prayer.

The Holy Mothers and Fathers of our faiths fled from natural disasters of floods and famines.

God of Noah, Abraham and Sarah and Hagar, open our hearts to refugees around us.

God of love, hear our prayer.

In strangers, Yahweh appeared to Abraham and Sarah.

In their example we shall offer hospitality to strangers in our midst.

God of hospitality sustain your people.

Remember Joseph, sold into slavery, First Nations Peoples forced from their lands, Africans captured, separated and sold for profit.

God of mercy reconcile us.

Moses, rescued from the river in the face of danger, was cared for in an adopted land

God of mercy, hear our prayer.

As sojourners, our communities, like the Hebrews travel with God around us, above us, under us and before us.

God of the roads traveled by your children, hear our prayer.

God who commanded the Hebrew community to love the stranger, for they were strangers in the land of Egypt continues a mandate of justice and hospitality.

God, who welcomes all, hear our prayer.

In the name of God, let us welcome strangers and treat each one as a citizen among us.

God of Justice, guide us as a nation in our own practices.

God, hear our prayer.

Protect all families, remembering Jesus the refugee who with Mary and Joseph sought sanctuary in Egypt.

God of mercy, protect families today who flee from war, famine and economic oppression.

God of love, hear our prayer.

Take heart in the words of Malachi (3:5) “I will be swift to bear witness against those who oppress the hired workers in their wages, the widow and the orphan, against those who thrust aside the alien and do not fear me”

God of our ancestors and of our present.

In your justice, hear our prayer.

As Jesus stood with the workers in the vineyards calling for just wages, God calls us to stand with workers today, calling for living wages and just working conditions.

God of Justice, hear our prayer.

In the words of Jesus: “I was hungry and you fed me, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in” (Matthew 25:35)

Amen

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