Churches, Conferences Work for Justice for Immigrants
Here are just some of the ways that UCC congregations and conferences are working to bring justice to immigrants.
Centro Romero, a joint effort of the Southern California Nevada Conference and Justice and Witness Ministries, provides immersion experiences in which congregations and individuals spend a few days on both sides of the California-Mexico border to learn about immigration, economic globalization, environmental contamination in the border lands.
The Southwest Conference opposed the very harsh anti-immigration legislation passed in 2010, S.B. 1070. The Conference worked to defeat the Bill and, after it was signed into law, passed a resolution in opposition to it. The Southwest Conference also wrote an open letter to elected officials that stated the Conference was encouraging “individuals to pledge non-compliance with the unjust and racist law SB 1070.” Other UCC conferences spoke out (scroll down on the page) in support of the Southwest Conference’s stance. In April, 20122, conference members traveled to Washington DC to help lead a 48-hour prayer vigil that took place as the U.S. Supreme Court heard arguments about the constitutionality of the law.
The Illinois Maya Ministry is a movement of accompaniment, reconciliation, and transformation of the Illinois Conference of the United Church of Christ with the Mayan people in southern Mexico and Guatemala.
Churches visit and hold vigils outside detention centers
Churches support day laborers’ right to seek work, see here and here.
Churches are involved in the New Sanctuary movement.
Churches support immigrant victims of hate crimes, see here and here.
Churches around the country work to oppose extremely harsh state laws. See how to get involved [1.1 MB]
Churches have worked to pass the DREAM Act and, a few years ago, comprehensive immigration reform.
Many churches observe Immigrants Right Sunday, the first Sunday in May each year.
Lobbying: UCC members around the country lobby Congress and their state legislatures about immigration-related legislation and Justice and Witness Ministries staff in Washington, D.C., lobby Congress.
Justice and Witness Ministries maintains a web page with information and opportunities for action.
The UCC is involved in faith-based coalitions that promote justice for immigrants including the Interfaith Immigration Coalition and Church World Service. Many congregrations are part of local and state coalitions working for justice for immigrants.
Many congregations have hosted educational events, shown informational films, read books, and engaged in other education events to learn about this issue.
General Synod has approved three resolutions and a pronouncement in support of immigrant rights (scroll down to the bottom on this page).
Read No Longer Strangers: The Practice of Radical Hospitality, the story of a pastor's and congregation's journey in a ministry with immigrants.
Please let us know what you are doing.