OSJ Action Alert: June 21, 2018

There remains a crisis at the southern border, and Congress is working right now to respond — but the proposal they’re considering will cause continued harm to immigrants.

Today, the House of Representatives is considering The Border Security and Immigration Reform Act (“Ryan Bill”), which would make deep cuts to legal immigration, fail to adequately provide permanent protection for Dreamers, and weaken protections for asylum seekers. And with the ‘zero tolerance’ border policy still in effect after the President’s Executive Order, this bill would simply make legal a change from the practice of separating children from their families to a practice that incarcerates children together with their families -- and allow this to happen indefinitely. It does not solve the crisis at the border.

Call your member of Congress RIGHT NOW to oppose The Border Security and Immigration Reform Act (“Ryan Bill”).

Call the Capitol Switchboard at (202) 224-3121 to reach your member of Congress.

Click here to find your member of Congress.

You can say:  “I am a Christian and a constituent, and I urge the Representative to vote NO on the Ryan bill. This bill fails to humanely address the crisis of families at the border. It also does not provide a way forward for Dreamers, and it cuts our legal immigration system in ways that will impact families. I urge the Representative to lead in a new direction on immigration that treats immigrants with dignity and values their contributions and humanity.”

For background and rationale for the OSJ position, click here.

As Congress works to solve our myriad immigration problems, it is Christian principles that remind us of our role: to call for immigration policy that values the dignity of all people, that upholds the importance of family, and that treats each human life as created in the image of God. We invite you to ask Congress to:

  • Keep families together. Forcibly separating children from parents is immoral, and so is indefinite detainment of families with young children. Both have lasting, traumatic impacts. The law should function to strengthen, not weaken, protections for children’s safety and wellbeing, and oversight that ensures their humane care.
  • Prioritize family unity and children’s welfare. This bill cuts protections that intend to ensure the wellbeing of immigrant children, while opening the door to indefinite incarceration of families — even those with young children. Also, this bill would drastically cut legal pathways to immigration, and do it by restricting family reunification visas. It is important to uphold the ability for U.S. citizens and permanent residents to be able to reunite with their immediate family.
  • Create more, not fewer, paths to legal immigration. CRC’s Synod has made it clear that justice in U.S. immigration policy would move toward laws which open up more legal pathways to immigration, not fewer. This bill would end many paths to immigrate to the U.S., and overall make a significant reduction in the number of immigrants who can come legally.
  • Ensure permanent solutions for Dreamers. While intending to solve the problem of DACA’s abrupt end, in reality this bill leaves out a significant proportion of Dreamers, and subjects many who do qualify to a lifetime of temporary status, not a permanent one.

In this moment, Christians have an important message for Congress: immigrants are a blessing, not a burden. Together, we can ensure Congress hears that the faith community stands with children, families, Dreamers, and those fleeing persecution.

Urge your members of Congress to vote no on the Border Security and Immigration Reform Act (“Ryan Bill”), to work toward a solution to the border crisis which does not traumatize children, and to reform immigration in ways that are just and humane.