Justice Action Bulletin: Pray with Dreamers; food justice; sanctuary in Missouri

This article appears in the Justice Action Bulletin feature series. View the full series.

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Ignatian Solidarity Network
The Interfaith Immigration Coalition held a "Pray with Dreamers Week of Action" Oct. 29-Nov. 4 to advocate for the Dream Act, a bill that would grant legal status to young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children. (Courtesy of Ignatian Solidarity Network)

Editor's note: Welcome to NCR's Justice Action Bulletin, where every Tuesday we bring you the latest news on active nonviolence in the service of peace and justice. Do you have news you would like to share? Contact Maria Benevento at mbenevento@ncronline.org.


 

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Washington — The Interfaith Immigration Coalition held a "Pray with Dreamers Week of Action" Oct. 29-Nov. 4 to advocate for the Dream Act, a bill that would grant legal status to young undocumented immigrants who were brought to the U.S. as children.

On Nov. 1, All Saints Day, an interfaith group of clergy held a rally and press conference on Capitol Hill, calling for Congress to pass a clean Dream Act before the end of the year. Following the rally, some clergy participated in legislative visits to members of Congress while others engaged in a "Stand with the Saints" prophetic action. Fifteen people, 11 of them clergy, were arrested for singing, praying and protesting in the rotunda of the Russell Senate Office Building, reported the United Church of Christ.

On Nov. 6, over 1,400 students of Jesuit high schools and colleges participated in what the Ignatian Solidarity Network estimates to be the largest Catholic advocacy day of the year when they made visits to their representatives in Congress as part of the Ignatian Family Teach-In for justice. Advocacy priorities for the teach-in this year were the Dream Act and a racially-just criminal justice system.

Other events for the Week of Action included a virtual prayer chain on social media using the hashtag #Faith4Dream and a series of "Dream Sabbath" events around the country that integrate stories of Dreamers into prayers, reflection and study.


New York — Repair the World announced Nov. 1 that they are launching an "Act Now against Hunger" campaign to "help tackle food justice through Jewish values" during millennial-hosted Thanksgiving dinners this year.

The campaign provides resources and discussion guides focusing on the root causes and impact of food insecurity, the effects of food waste, and strategies for fostering "generous and open conversation at your table" in a "tense or divisive space." The materials include questions, rituals, readings and activities intended to integrate education and reflection into a Thanksgiving dinner.

Repair the World was founded in 2009 to encourage young Jewish people to participate in meaningful service and engagement in social change rooted in Jewish values and learning.


Maplewood, Missouri — Alex Garcia, an undocumented immigration who was denied a stay of removal in late August, is seeking sanctuary at Christ Church United Church of Christ in Maplewood, Missouri, St. Louis-based KSDK-TV reported Oct. 31.

Garcia left his native Honduras over a decade ago due to poverty and violence and eventually settled in Poplar Bluff, Missouri, with his wife and five children and step-children, all U.S. citizens. He was detained by immigration officials in 2015 while accompanying his sister to an Immigration and Customs Enforcement meeting.

Garcia has been granted two stays of removal but was denied when he applied for a third.

Meanwhile, on Nov. 1, First Parish Unitarian Universalist Church in Bedford, Massachusetts, offered sanctuary to someone for the first time, wickedlocal.com reported. The man received a stay of deportation after spending only one night at the parish, whose members voted to become a sanctuary in April.

[Maria Benevento is an NCR Bertelsen intern. Her email address is mbenevento@ncronline.org.]

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