Interfaith Immigration Coalition Wed, 14 Jun 2017 19:50:11 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Father’s Day Vigils Toolkit – #DontDeportMyDad Wed, 07 Jun 2017 15:52:42 +0000  



We’re asking religious and community leaders to conduct Father’s Day weekend prayer vigils (Friday night or Saturday) in support of immigrant and refugee fathers. Too often, the mother-child relationship is seen as the only one that matters, and we want to highlight the fact that fathers are important to families and kids’ development too. We have a specific case we’re supporting which inspired this idea, but there are thousands of fathers across this country being torn from their children because of unjust deportation policies. Please see below resource with talking points, template press advisories and sample social media posts.

Toolkit Content

  • Organize an Interfaith Vigil
  • Sample Media Advisory/Release
  • Talking Points
  • Social Media
  • Opinion Editorial


Donald Trump continually attacked immigrants throughout his campaign through hateful anti-immigrant rhetoric. Now his administration has instituted harsh and unjust immigration policies that are designed to have no mercy or compassion for the thousands of families being devastated as mothers and fathers are torn apart from their children. The administration has also targeted Somali immigrants and is threatening to take away Temporary Protective Status for Haitians and Hondurans. Faith communities and allies have a moral responsibility stand in solidarity with the immigrants and refugees in our midst this Father’s Day.

Host an Interfaith Vigil

Hosting interfaith vigils provides the opportunity for faith leaders to express how welcoming immigrants is part of all faith traditions, reflecting on the deep scriptural and spiritual roots of our work to support refugees and immigrants. Even small events, multiplied across the country, will send a powerful message to the Trump administration and Congress that welcoming immigrants and refugees is moral issue that is important to people of faith and conscience.


Topline Talking Points

On Father’s day, we honor all fathers and their contributions to families and our country. Immigrant and refugee fathers represent the best of what our nation offers – they are role models, veterans, caretakers, teachers, doctors, workers, congregants, lay leaders, neighbors, and integral members of our communities.

We demand that President Trump and Secretary Kelly stop deporting fathers and tearing up families who are part of our communities. We urge Congress to reject the president’s request to fund his mass deportation force and border wall. The America we all love celebrates fathers and values their contributions to their families and our country.

Immigrant and refugee fathers are pillars of their families and our communities. They know how much their children are counting on them to protect them, to teach them valuable lessons, and to be there for them in the good and bad times.

On this day, the children of immigrants make one powerful appeal to America: “Don’t deport my dad.” No child wants to see their father or mother locked up and facing deportation. Countless children are suffering the emotional and financial impacts of a parent who is detained or has already been deported.

Immigrant and refugee fathers work hard to build a better future for their children and our community. America’s past and present is filled with immigrant fathers who sought the American Dream not for themselves but for their children. They’ve put the well-being of their family before themselves. Those sacrifices must be honored.


June Resources to Respond to an Unfaithful Budget Mon, 05 Jun 2017 16:22:52 +0000 June 2017 Webinar – Faith Community Response to an Unfaithful Budget: Recording 1, Recording 2, and Powerpoint Presentation

Resources for Advocacy

Call in Action Alert for President Trump’s Budget Request

Leave this “ask” sheet behind in Congressional Offices, or at Town Halls!

See a list of town halls and other opportunities to meet with your member of Congress face to face: Town Hall Project 2018.

Talking Points on Detention, Enforcement, and Border

Talking Points on Refugee Resettlement and Assistance

Interfaith Immigration Coalition Platform

Interfaith Immigration Coalition: Commitments for the 115th Congress


IIC Organizational Statements in Response to President Trump’s Budget Request:


Plan your advocacy visit today using our Neighbor to Neighbor Toolkit – 2017

IIC Organizational Statements on President Trump’s FY 18 Budget Tue, 30 May 2017 18:51:59 +0000 President Trump released a budget request on May 23, 2017. Read IIC member organizational statements reacting to how this budget would negatively affect immigrants and refugees.


CONTACT: | 202.733.5151



Faith leaders stand against anti-immigrant ‘show me your papers’ law that will increase racial profiling, discriminate against people of color, and reduce community safety


Washington, D.C. – Religious leaders across faith traditions condemn signing into law SB4, the pinnacle of harsh anti-immigrant legislation that passed the Texas legislature last week and was signed by Governor Greg Abbott on Sunday, May 7. SB4 will force state, local and campus police  to serve as immigration enforcement officers and mandate that they detain and hold immigrants in custody for Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). This bill will lead to further discrimination against people of color, prevent local police departments from setting their own public safety priorities, and make immigrants who are victims or witnesses of crime afraid to seek protection.


“SB4 is a racist law similar to Arizona’s infamous SB1070, a ‘show me your papers’ law that was mostly struck down for being unconstitutional,” said Reverend John L. McCullough, CWS President and CEO. “SB4 goes further by mandating state and local compliance with ICE detainer requests and conscripting local police to enforce immigration laws, all of which terrorizes communities and separates families. As people of faith, we are called to welcome the stranger and to love our neighbor as ourselves. I pray our state lawmakers find the compassion, welcome and mercy in their hearts to see the damage caused by discriminatory policies and reject the anti-immigrant agenda.”


“The National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd deeply regrets that Governor Abbott signed into law SB 4, a harshly anti-immigrant bill,” said Lawrence Couch, Director of the National Advocacy Center of the Sisters of the Good Shepherd. “The law will encourage profiling, racial tension, and, by spreading fear throughout the immigrant community, contribute to the breakdown of civil society.  We urge that this law be rescinded as soon as possible.”


“This bill will not make anyone safer,” said Melanie Nezer, HIAS’ Vice President for Policy and Advocacy. “Instead, it will add to an atmosphere of fear where refugees, immigrants, and U.S. citizens distrust the local law enforcement officers who are supposed to be keeping their communities safe. For refugees and asylees who have already fled dangerous situations, becoming an automatic suspect who can be interrogated at any time is particularly traumatic.”


Sister Patricia McDermott, President of the Sisters of Mercy of the Americas, reflected that, “This legislation is alarming and shameful.  It will sow even greater racism, fear, and suffering; and we worry that it is one more indication that our country is losing its soul and the values on which we were founded.”


People of faith across the country will continue to demonstrate solidarity with our immigrant brothers and sisters, including by providing sanctuary, and we will overcome these obstacles in our way of building inclusive community.





CONTACT: | 202.733.5151



Faith leaders condemn signing of SB4, a law that will increase discrimination and reduce community safety

Austin, TX – Today, 200 Texas religious leaders sent a letter to Governor Abbott, condemning signing into law SB4, notably the harshest anti-immigrant bill to be passed by a state legislature. This legislation will force state, local, and campus police  to serve as immigration enforcement officers and mandate that they detain and hold immigrants in custody for Immigration Customs Enforcement (ICE). This bill will take away local police departments’ right to set their own public safety priorities and commitments to protect immigrants who are victims or witnesses of crime.

The legislation goes far beyond attacking sanctuary city ordinances and is similar to Arizona’s infamous “show me your papers” law, SB1070, that institutionalizes racial profiling. SB4 will encourage discrimination against people of color, separate families, and send a message that immigrants are unwelcome and that children, families, and entire communities should be afraid. Texas now becomes the first state to mandate compliance with ICE detainer requests and conscript local police to enforce immigration laws. This opens local police departments to civil suits, since honoring detainer requests without probable cause has been found unconstitutional.

“The anti-immigrant agenda is born out of fear and promoted out of a sense of privilege, jeopardizing justice for everyone,” said The Rt. Rev. C. Andrew Doyle, Episcopal Bishop of the Diocese of Texas. “We have seen the damage caused by discriminatory, unconstitutional ‘show me your papers’ laws to our economy and our communities. We will continue to build welcoming communities across Texas. Texans are a hospitable, kind, and welcoming people and we lament this law’s attempt to spread fear among us. As our sacred texts remind us: ‘When a stranger resides with you in your land, you shall not do him wrong. The stranger who resides with you shall be to you as the native among you, and you shall love him as yourself.’ Leviticus 19:33-34).”

“We are praying that you may find compassion in your discernment process and stop any legislation that hurts immigrants and reduce community safety,” reads the letter. “We urge you to think about the moral imperative to love our neighbor, welcome the immigrant, and care for the most vulnerable among us.”

Since 1946, Church World Service has supported refugees, immigrants and other displaced individuals, in addition to providing sustainable relief and development solutions to communities that wrestle with hunger and poverty. Learn more about our work and join our global homebase for refugee solidarity at


Several recent court cases [Mendoza v. Osterberg, 2014 WL 3784141 (District of Nebraska, 2014); Uroza v. Salt Lake County, 2013 WL 653968 (District of Utah, 2013); and Miranda-Olivares v. Clackamas County, 2014 WL 1414305 (District of Oregon, 2014)] have found that it is a violation of the Fourth Amendment to hold individuals on ICE detainers after they had met the court’s bond or bail requirements. Holding individuals on ICE detainer requests past the date they would otherwise be released has also been found to be unconstitutional [Morales v. Chadbourne, 996 F. Supp. 2d 19 (District of Rhode Island, 2014), affirmed on appeal, — F.3d —-, 2015 WL 4385945 (1st Circuit, July 17, 2015).].

Faith leaders to DHS: Bring Juan Back Home Wed, 19 Apr 2017 18:57:37 +0000  


CONTACT: Myrna Orozco | 202.599.3585 |


Faith leaders to DHS: Bring Juan Back Home

Petition to Secretary Kelley:


Washington D.C. – Following news that Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) beneficiary Juan Manuel Montes was deported, faith leaders join #JusticeForJuan campaign to demand answers and call for his return home.


Rev. John L. McCullough, CWS President and CEO, said: “The deportation of Juan is a moral outrage. Deporting a young man who should have been protected by DACA is wrong, and the CWS network is joining the call for answers to his deportation and for his return back to his home, here. CWS is strongly committed to standing with all of our immigrant brothers and sisters, including undocumented young people. This deportation is worrisome for the hundreds of thousands of young people who are DACA recipients. If the administration cannot ensure their protection, Congress must put in place measures that will. We call on all Members of Congress to champion legislation that would allow Juan and all of our undocumented community members to remain in the United States. We also urge Congress to reject President Trump’s funding requests to increase detention, deportation and border militarization. We pray that legislators remember the common values we all aspire to, which is the most basic of Sunday school lessons: to love our neighbors. There is much that is unknown right now, but what we do know is that God has called us to welcome our immigrant brothers and sisters — CWS will continue to do just this.”


Rev. John C. Dorhauer, General Minister and President of the United Church of Christ said, “The United Church of Christ has been walking alongside young undocumented youth in our congregations and we are outraged to see the administration targeting these young people who should be protected by DACA. We call on Congress to deny President Trump any funding for this immoral deportation machine which will continue to separate families and threaten people like Juan who are making our communities and congregations stronger.”


Rev. David Beckmann, President, Bread for the World said, “Detaining and deporting young Dreamers like Juan Manuel Montes will not fix our broken immigration system. The U.S. government should not pursue policies that tear families apart. Nor should we detain or deport away young people who came to the U.S. as children. Congress must act to protect Dreamers like Juan Montes and we must work together to solve the underlying challenges of our broken immigration system. Fixing this broken system is a step to ending hunger.”


Diane Randall, Executive Secretary for the Friends Committee on National Legislation (Quakers) said, “Juan’s deportation is a devastating example of why indiscriminate immigration enforcement at the direction of the executive branch is creating chaos and fear in immigrant communities. Friends Committee on National Legislation stands in solidarity with Juan, other DACA recipients, and all undocumented immigrants who are waiting on Congress to provide tangible, workable solutions for all to meaningfully and equitably contribute to U.S. communities. In the wake of Juan’s wrongful deportation, we call on Congress to seek answers as to how and why Juan was deported as a DACA recipient and put in place congressional protection for DACA recipients immediately. Congress must take back its legislative power and refuse to fund additional enforcement personnel who will only wreak havoc in the absence of meaningful oversight and eventual immigration reform.”


Rev. Jimmie Hawkins, Executive Director of the Office of Public Witness, Presbyterian Church (USA) remarked, “The Trump Administration’s escalation of deportation is inhumane. Every deportation is something to be lamented, because it means one family, community, congregation member torn from the people they love and the place they call home. It is even more devastating for DREAMers like Juan, who may have few ties to their countries of origin. Let us love our neighbors by holding this administration accountable to its promise to protect DREAMERs. If they will not keep that promise, we call on Congress to refuse any funding request that would result in more deportations and detentions.”


Rachel Gore Freed, Vice President and Chief Program Officer, Unitarian Universalist Service Committee (UUSC) said, “ICE’s deportation of DACA-recipient Juan Manuel Montes is an unprecedented and willful violation of both current policy and our moral foundation. If allowed to go unchallenged, Juan’s unjust deportation increases the threat to the 750,000 other young people enrolled in DACA who are studying, working, and raising families in our communities, and who had been promised protections. Immigration arrests have risen by 32% since Trump took office, and arrests of undocumented immigrants with no criminal record have doubled. The Unitarian Universalist Service Committee stands with Juan and all others who have been wrongfully deported. Affirming the inherent worth and dignity of every person, we call for the President and Congress to uphold the promised protection from deportation of every young person registered in the DACA program.”


Faith communities across traditions have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to immigrant youth and their families, advocating for the DREAM Act, writing letters and filing Amicus briefs in support of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, pledging support by more than 800 congregations for the Sanctuary Movement, opposing policies that force local police to be immigration agents, and calling on elected leaders to champion policies that would create a path to citizenship for undocumented individuals in the United States. Raids on immigrant families will not make anyone any safer and failing to protect those in need are affronts to our country’s values of family unity, fairness and equality. We draw from the scriptural call to love thy neighbor and welcome the sojourner by standing with our brothers and sisters to stop harmful deportations that tear families apart.


What would you spend $3 billion on? Mon, 10 Apr 2017 14:19:47 +0000 Congress can stop Trump from building a wall and increasing detention & deportations. Congress has “the power of the purse,” which means they can decide whether or not to fund the $3 billion supplemental that President Trump requested for fiscal years 2017 for a deportation force, border wall, and expanded detention. Trump’s budget proposals would cut funding for education, housing, school lunch programs, and poverty-focused international assistance, and spend billions of dollars to dramatically expand immigration enforcement, targeting our undocumented community members, detaining children and separating families.

Share these graphics on social media and tag your member of Congress! You can find your member of Congress’ twitter handle here. Click on the image to download them or download unbranded graphics below.

Download unbranded graphics to tell your member of Congress you’d rather fund more teachers, schools, and childcare over endless immigration enforcement.

Sample Tweets:

  • .@HANDLE, show that #AmericaWelcomes. Refuse to fund Trump’s wall, deportation force & detention centers #NoBanNoWallNoRaids
  • .@HANDLE, stop Trump from targeting refugees and immigrants. Don’t fund his deportation force. #NoBanNoWallNoRaids
  • .@HANDLE, Don’t fund Trump’s morally reprehensible EOs. Stand against them & refuse to fund them. #NoBanNoWallNoRaids

Remember to follow up with a call to your Senators and Representative and an in-person visit!

Top 5 Ways That Refugees and Faith Communities Can Rise Up on May 1st National Day of Action Thu, 06 Apr 2017 21:09:39 +0000 Check out these resources below to see how refugees and faith communities can join the May 1st National Day of Action.

Top 5 Ways That Refugee Communities Can Rise Up on May 1st National Day of Action

Top 5 Ways That Faith Communities Can Rise Up on May 1st National Day of Action

Grassroots Webinar 4/3/17 Wed, 29 Mar 2017 15:01:48 +0000 Thanks for joining this Interfaith Immigration Coalition Webinar on Prophetic Witness and Nonviolent Direct Action on Monday, April 3rd, 4-5:30 PM ET/ 1-2:30 PM PT.


As we continue to confront the harsh anti-immigrant policies of the Trump Administration this Interfaith Immigration Webinar focused on developing skills to plan nonviolent direct actions that can add to the prophetic witness of the faith community.

We also heard about the importance of an effective advocacy strategy to push back against the White House budget proposal to further fund the deportation machine through increasing ICE agents, mandatory detention and border militarization.


Advocacy on Appropriations- Jen Smyers, Church World Service

Update on DREAMer Legislation- Greisa Martinez, United We Dream

Intro  to Nonviolent Direct Action – Sr Marie Lucey, Franciscan Action Network

Planning a Prophetic Action – Rev. Francisco Garcia, LA Sanctuary Coalition

Public Demonstrations and Immigrants’ Rights- Paromita Shah, National Immigration Project


You can find a recording of the webinar here, and a copy of the slides here. See all of our previous webinars here.

Grassroots Webinar Monday 3/13/17 Fri, 10 Mar 2017 19:05:08 +0000 Recent Raids and Cuts to Refugees: Faith Community Response Recording and PowerPoint Slides

We are in uncertain times as raids target immigrants in our communities and cuts to the refugee program leave vulnerable people at risk. The faith community has a moral responsibility to organize ourselves to respond in every way we can.

Join the Interfaith Immigration Coalition on Monday, March 13, at 4 pm ET to hear ways you can stay engaged and to gain insights you can take back to your community.

Sign up for the webinar here:

To join the webinar, go to and follow the directions for audio and visual. For audio only call: +1.202.602.1295  Access Code: 354-977-836#

Whether it’s being a part of your local sanctuary coalition, hosting a Know Your Rights training, meeting with your elected leaders, or standing in solidarity with immigrants in other ways, your involvement is critical right now. Join us to learn how your faith community can shape an active and strategic response at a time where your voices and actions are deeply needed.

If you’re unable to join in person we will have a recording up on our Webinars page shortly after the end of the call.

In faith,

Interfaith Immigration Coalition