Faith Talking Points on President’s Executive Action on Immigration

November 21, 2014

  • We celebrate the President’s historic action to provide deportation relief to an estimated 5 million of our undocumented community members. Our movement accomplished an incredible victory getting us here, as President Obama demonstrated leadership and made an important step to keep families together. Millions of people’s lives have been changed with the because of the brave organizing efforts of  immigrants, people of faith and other allies. People of faith stand with the President in celebrating this bold initiative, but we also re-commit to working alongside so many undocumented individuals who are left out of this plan.
  • Faith communities will absolutely continue our struggle for the rights of all immigrants. As people of faith, we stand with all 11 million undocumented immigrants in the United States, and will defend this victory against attacks by those who want to derail and hold back immigrant families from achieving the American Dream. As a movement, we’ll continue to press forward for a permanent solution for everyone to live without fear of deportation, which means that Congress must act as well. And there is more the President can do, including ending family detention.
  • Presidential Executive Orders on immigration are consistent and common. Every Democratic and Republican president since Dwight Eisenhower has taken executive action on immigration. This is an example of what the American people want from their elected officials — courage and action to solve tough problems. The President has exercised his broad constitutional and legal authority to prioritize the resources allocated by Congress for immigration enforcement. This was a moral decision that all people of faith and good will should support – including our members of Congress.
  • Everyone agrees the immigration system has been broken for decades. Consistent with the actions by previous Presidents of both parties, the President is doing his job, but he can only do so much. We still need Congress to act and provide a path to citizenship for 11 million aspiring Americans, so that all members of our communities can fully participate, contribute and reach their dreams.
  • We welcome the end of the so-called "Secure Communities" program. This was a failed strategy that made people afraid to report crimes and increased racial profiling. We hope that the new Prioritized Enforcement Program will be a model that follows due process and that states and localities will be able to choose whether or not to participate, in order to ensure trust between local police and communities.
  • It’s not all good. We are concerned about further militarized border security, protections for asylum seekers, and the recognition of LGBT family relationships. The emphasis on border enforcement will perpetuate unnecessary militarization of the border and hurt border communities. We encourage an implementation process that will take into account the vulnerabilities that the LGBT community faces. It is critical that individuals who are in need of protection have ample opportunities to apply for asylum and are not returned to dangerous situations.
  • What can you and your community do? Congress will be attempting to de-fund and limit the president's executive action. You can call your member of Congress today at 1-866-940-2439 and urge them to support these important steps toward welcoming our immigrant brothers and sisters.

Rev. Noel Anderson
UCC & CWS Grassroots Coordinator for Immigrants' Rights
100 Maryland Avenue, NE
Washington, District of Columbia 20002