Washington — As progress on immigration reform stalls in Congress and record numbers of deportations continue, Church World Service will join advocates across the nation in calling for immigrants’ rights during a National Day of Dignity and Respect on October 5th.
“With each passing day, we see another thousand families impacted by the moral stain of detention and deportation. This damage being done to our families, congregations and communities must stop,” says Rev. John McCullough, president and CEO of Church World Service. “We demand an end to family separations. The House leadership must stop stalling and pass genuine immigration reform.”
CWS’s network of advocates and faith partners will join in more than 80 events on Oct. 5 to pressure the House of Representatives to enact just and compassionate reform that creates a pathway to citizenship and keeps families together without a harmful and destructive multi-billion dollar “border surge.”
None of the bills that have come out of House committees contain a path to citizenship. One such bill, the so-called “SAFE Act” (H.R. 2278) would make Arizona’s S.B 1070 the law of the land. “This unSAFE Act is a very dangerous bill that would increase racial profiling, decrease public safety, and criminalize faith communities and others that provide assistance regardless of immigration status,” says Rev. McCullough. “We will not stand for the criminalization of compassion.”
The mobilization of advocates on Oct. 5 comes as more than 8,000 people of faith across the country continue 40 days of prayer, fasting and advocacy as part of the Interfaith Immigration Coalition’s FAST Action for Immigration Reform. Faith leaders are calling for a full day of fasting from sunup to sundown on Oct. 5 in solidarity with families separated by detention and deportation. Many Protestant communities also will break the fast on World Communion Sunday, Oct. 6.
On Oct. 7 and 8, faith leaders, pastors, and advocates from across the country will gather in Washington, D.C. for CWS’ Summit on Immigration Reform. “We are praying for a kairos moment within the faith community as we strategize and urge the House to enact immigration reform. We need more justice, more action and more moral courage at this critical time,” says Rev. McCullough.
“As we mobilize this October, in nearly three decades we have never been closer to achieving immigration reform and the moral urgency for action by our nation’s leaders has never been greater,” says Rev. McCullough. “Congress has a duty to uphold our nation’s history of welcome for the immigrant and justice for the vulnerable.”