Quad Cities Interfaith supports Immigration reform that supports humane treatment of immigrants.
Local Clergy, Leaders Take Prayerful Act
QCI, in cooperation with 20 other Gamaliel affiliates nationwide, held a Prayerful Action on Immigration on Wednesday, August 11 at the Federal Building in Rock Island, Illinois. 38 clergy and lay leaders from the Presbyterian, American Baptist, United Church of Christ, Disciples of Christ. Lutheran, Unitarian and Catholic denominations gathered together to pray and make a direct request to the Federal government.
QCI called for the immedaite end to the mass detention and deportation of non criminal immigrants by the US governement. The leaders also called on the President of the United States and Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napalitano, to immedaite end to the 287(g) agreements between the Federal governement and local law enforcment thorughout the US.
To symbolize the families that are torn apart by these immigration enforecement policies, those gathered tore photos of their own families and posted them on two sepater boards. These boards were then presented to our local US Congressman.
- We must decriminalize the immigration debate so that undocumented immigrates have a fair chance in obtaining immigration reform; the debate should focus more on issues relating to individual rights, family unity, labor rights, and correcting our present unfair immigration process.
- Our government and political leaders must stop politicizing the migration of individuals as an illegal act and instead frame it from the context that looks at the root of the problem: “Why are people forced to leave their countries of origin and immigrate to the United States.”
- The legalization of undocumented immigrants living in the United States must be a just and fair process; efficient and quick; and as one undergoes this process, the person’s civil, human and labor rights should be protected; the process should include a clear path to legal citizenship.
- In addition, as undocumented immigrants undergo the process of becoming a citizen, they should have full access to health care services as offered by President Obama’s program; also, full workers’ rights and the right to join labor unions, as well as all the rights guaranteed by the Constitution of the United States.
- Young men and women, who have applied for ‘Differed Action,’ and whose applications have been approved should automatically qualify for permanent residence and their legalization process should be expedited.
- The spouses and children (minor children) of U.S. citizens should be able to qualify for legalization without having to leave the country or file a waiver.
- The undocumented parents of U.S. born children, who are 21 years of age or older, should be able to qualify for legalization without having to leave the country or file for a waiver.
- Individuals, who are protected by Temporary Protection Status or TPS, should be able to apply automatically for legal citizenship.
- Immigration reform debate must also focus on the fundamental principle of protecting individual rights as well as the sanctity of the family unit that is often broken due to deportation; furthermore it should realize the full contributions of full integration includes a better labor market and will help the U.S. economy prosper; this too will contribute to our inalienable rights to life, liberty and pursuit of happiness.
- Lastly, we call on President Obama to stop the separation of families by halting the deportation of immigrant workers and are calling for an administrative moratorium on work-place raids.
QCI and groups across the country are working to address the complicated issue of immigration reform.