Three JCJ Actions to Support Undocumented Immigrants
1. Oppose ICE Raids
On June 19, President Trump tweeted that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) would carry out deportations of undocumented immigrants over the weekend. President Trump has since delayed these mass deportations for two weeks in order to strike a deal with Congressional Democrats.
How you can help:
Let your community know their rights. All undocumented immigrants have a right to legal representation. ICE does not have the right to enter a home without a warrant. For more, see ACLU’s Know Your Rights.
Call your elected officials and tell them you oppose ICE deportation raids.
2. Urge Support for The American Dream and Promise Act
The American Dream and Promise Act, as mentioned here in a recent JCJ Blog, passed the House of Representatives and is currently awaiting action in the Senate.
How you can help:
Call your senators at 202-224-3121 and urge them to cosponsor and advocate for this important bill. Our link above includes a sample script to use when calling.
3. Oppose Inhumane Treatment at Detention Centers
The US government is operating numerous detention centers on the southern border. Thousands of people are being forcibly held in these centers while thousands of children are separated from their families and held in cement cages without sanitary living conditions. Due to a lack of reliable oversight, it is difficult to determine exactly how many adults, families, and children are suffering.
How You Can Help:
– Review these suggestions from our partners at Lawyers for Good Government.
– Read this comprehensive article from the New York Times Editorial Board on how best to take action, what you can do, who you can call, what you can say and where you can donate.
– Call your elected officials and voice your opinion. Here is a sample call script: “Hello. My name is [your name] and I’m calling on behalf of the Jewish Center for Justice. I am appalled by the reported human rights abuses on the southern border, and I take issue with the overcrowding and refusal to provide children with basic sanitary products. I urge [Senator/Representative + name] to investigate the conditions of the immigration detention centers, reunite families, and provide funding to allow undocumented immigrants to apply for asylum.”
– Stay informed on the conditions in these centers. The Washington Post, CNN and the New York Times have written investigative articles exposing these human rights abuses.
As descendants of an immigrant tradition, we have a moral duty to welcome the stranger, as is commanded of us on 36 occasions in the Torah. Honoring this legacy, the Jewish Center for Justice believes we must call on our elected leaders to reform our nation’s broken immigration system in a manner that acknowledges rule of law while also recognizing the human dignity of undocumented individuals by providing a pathway to legal citizenship.
- More than 60 percent of immigrants in the United States today have lived here for at least 15 years, and a large majority of immigrants have lawful status. Of the approximately 41 million immigrants in the U.S. in 2013 (the most recent year for which there are statistics), close to 47 percent were naturalized citizens. (Source: ADL)
- Under federal law, all children, regardless of their citizenship or residency status, are entitled to a K‑12 education, including college counseling services. School districts that either prohibit or discourage children from enrolling in schools because they or their parents are undocumented immigrants may be in violation of federal law.
(Source: National Immigration Law Center)
- Unaccompanied children have been entering the United States for decades based on treaties that we have with other countries. These ensure the safety and well-being of children who are fleeing violence and persecution. (Source: National Immigration Law Center)
Connections: Jewish Sources
You shall not oppress the stranger, for you know how it feels to be a stranger in a new land for you were a stranger in the land of Egypt. — Exodus 23:9
You shall not turn over to his master a slave who seeks refuge with you from his master. He shall live with you in any place he may choose among the settlements in your midst, wherever he pleases; you must not ill-treat him. — Deuteronomy 23:16-17
Shammai said: Make your Torah fixed, say little and do much, and receive every person with a cheerful countenance. — Pirke Avot 1:15
There shall be law for the citizen and for the stranger who dwells among you. — Exodus 12:49
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