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Blessing Not Burden | May 11, 2016
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Hi friends,

Welcome to the hundreds of new advocates who have joined the movement to change the conversation about immigrants in recent weeks. To those who have been advocating with us for the past few years, welcome to our new immigration newsletter!

In the past few months, as we have shared the Immigrants Are a Blessing Not a Burden campaign throughout the United States, we have seen firsthand how the words we use and attitudes we have can either give people a sense of belonging and inclusion or make them feel disconnected or excluded. We have met hundreds of people affected by our broken immigration system, and we have been blown away by the response to this campaign. We are committed to actively spreading the Blessing Not Burden message and changing the conversation about immigrants because immigrants who are a part of this campaign believe that sharing the truth about immigrants is critical for real change.

A seminary student was moved to tears when she heard the blessing not burden message because no one had ever told her that she was a blessing. Until that Blessing Not Burden community gathering, no one had actually spoken words that recognized her contributions as an immigrant and made her feel that she belongs. Imagine both the policy and personal impact we could bring if we all boldly shared this message. Millions of families in this country do not have legal status because of these perpetuated myths. Together we can work toward changing the conversation and advocating for immigration policies that reflect the truth that immigrants are a blessing, not a burden.

Change the Conversation in Congress

Thanks to the 940 of you who have signed the Blessing, Not Burden pledge! When you signed the pledge, you committed to change the conversation when you hear immigrants being talked about as a burden or a threat within your community. You also committed to call on Congress to enact immigration policy that respects the dignity of immigrants, and the blessings they bring to the United States. Here is an opportunity to raise your voice to Congress, telling them that immigration reform is still on our mind even though they’ve been silent in the past few months. Tell Congress that immigrants are a valued part of your community and that we need to reform our broken immigration system.

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POLICY UPDATE

What’s Going On with DAPA/DACA+?

Let us be in prayer for the immigrants that anxiously await the Supreme Court decision that could give could them and their families legal status. On April 18 the Supreme Court heard oral arguments on President Obama’s 2014 executive actions to give immigrant families temporary permits to live and work legally in the United States. Together, the DAPA/DACA+ programs would provide temporary deportation relief and employment authorization for about 5 million undocumented immigrants. A decision on the case, U.S. v. Texas, is expected to be made in June. Read this article to learn how the implementation of this program could change the lives of millions of people.
 

EDUCATIONAL RESOURCE

Immigration Simulation

“Why don’t they just get in line?” Have you heard that question about immigrants before? If you’ve done our immigration simulation, you know how to answer this—for the millions of undocumented people in the U.S. today, there was and is no line or legal pathway. Are you interested in facilitating this conversation in your community? Download our free Church Between Borders toolkit with all the materials to do the simulation in your church, school, adult ed. class, or community organization. Email Kelsey at kherbert@crcna.org with any questions.

BLESSING NOT BURDEN ON THE ROAD

Meeting Advocates
in Iowa

Northwestern College and Dordt College students invited the OSJ and World Renew to present the Church Between Borders workshop last month. Nearly 150 people learned more about our immigration system and how to advocate for a more just and modernized system. During our visit, we hosted a Blessing, Not Burden community lunch in Sioux Center, where pastors and community organizations discussed the barriers to immigration reform and how the Blessing Not Burden campaign can be a tool to change the conversation about immigrants. We also recently visited communities across Washington to present Church Between Borders and the campaign. Learn more about our trip here.

CHANGE THE CONVERSATION

Immigrants Create Jobs

Small immigrant-owned businesses employed about 4.7 million people in 2007, and these small businesses generated more than $776 billion in revenue annually. ‪#BlessingNotBurden

Share this fact on your Facebook page here!

Like Immigrants Are a Blessing, Not a Burden on Facebook to share the truth and change the conversation.

Upcoming Events

  • Kalamazoo, MI - Blessing Not Burden Community Event
    May 26, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
    Speakers, food, community, advocacy
    RSVP and invite friends on Facebook here.
    Click here for a downloadable flyer to share with friends and family.