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Blessing Not Burden | June 01, 2016
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Dear advocates,

A Methodist pastor, a Christian Reformed pastor, an Evangelical pastor, and a Catholic woman walk into a room . . . That’s exactly what happened last Thursday night in Kalamazoo, Michigan.

Christ describes the church as one body, but we don’t always reflect that unity. So, what brought all these leaders from different denominations together last week? They and over 50 community members gathered to acknowledge and celebrate the blessings of immigrants in their community and country. The pastors and members of different congregations spoke about how immigrants massively grow the economy, open our eyes to the world, inspire the church, and bless us through relationships. There was a unified message: immigrants are a blessing, not a burden.

"We want to thank all of the people here who believe we are a blessing," said Elizabeth Salazar, pastor of Evangelica Misionera. Let this statement of gratitude act as an invitation to join the movement to change the conversation about immigrants and encourage you to be bold in spreading the “blessing, not burden” message.

Exciting news: 1,000 people have signed the pledge to change the conversation! We believe this pledge is important because negative comments regarding immigrants still frequently occur— we are building a movement of people who are refusing to allow immigrants to be scapegoated. We are empowering people to speak up and share the truth: immigrants are a blessing, not a burden.

As the election draws nearer, we want even more people to commit to change the conversation about immigrants. Will you help build this movement to 2,000 people by the end of this summer? Share this on your Facebook page and invite your friends to sign the pledge.

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DO JUSTICE BLOG

How to Be an Ally to Immigrants

“We participate and depend upon economic, political, and social systems that oppress people and then even blame them for the injustices they face. We must walk in solidarity—we must be willing to listen and to change. When people are so willing to see what refugees and immigrants take from ‘us,’ we must see how much we receive, how much we can learn, the meaningful connections we can make, and the rich possibilities that our diversity gives to us and our children. Every time we humanize the targets of hatred and discrimination, we challenge others to reflect upon themselves.” Continue reading here.

ACTION ALERT

All Children Deserve a Lawyer

Did you know that many children seeking asylum are not provided a lawyer during trial in the U.S.? Instead, they must represent themselves. The Fair Day in Court for Kids Act of 2016 would ensure appointed counsel for unaccompanied children seeking asylum. Many of these children are fleeing Central America because of extreme violence and need safety. The way the United States deals with children seeking asylum is broken and unjust. No child should have to fend for themselves in immigration court. All children, regardless of legal status, deserve legal representation.

Write to your members of Congress today in support of the Fair Day in Court for Kids Act.

POLICY UPDATE

Anti-Refugee Bill
in Congress

Last Wednesday the Visa Integrity and Security Act of 2016 (HR 5203) passed out of the House Judiciary Committee. At this point, it is unclear whether the House leadership will bring this bill to the House floor for a vote. HR 5203 introduces increased security and steps to refugee resettlement and asylum procedures that would put these programs on hold and then bring on lengthy visa delays. It would also significantly delay family reunification or permanently separate families. This bill would impose discriminatory measures on refugees and immigrants from specific countries. Stay tuned for an action alert if this bill goes to the House floor.

CHANGE THE CONVERSATION

Share the facts!

If we deport all undocumented immigrants, 2.8 million American workers would see their jobs disappear, and our economy would shrink by $550 billion.

Deporting all undocumented immigrants would be both immoral and economically detrimental. Despite this, some politicians continue to propose it as a way to deal with our broken immigration system. Let us speak truth into power and boldly share the contributions of undocumented immigrants.

Share this Facebook post to change the conversation and show the impact of mass deportations on the US economy.

Upcoming Events

  • Blessing Not Burden Grand Rapids Celebration
    Join the Grand Rapids community to learn how together we can change the conversation about immigrants and celebrate the blessings immigrants are to this community and the rest of the U.S. Please RSVP—space is limited. Click here to RSVP.
          A goal of this event is to bring new people to the campaign who have the blessing not burden message in their hearts, but have not yet taken action to actively change the conversation. Share this event on Facebook and invite your friends.