House and Senate Resolutions Misrepresent the Reality in Venezuela; Contact your Representatives!

Click here to ask your Representatives and Senators in DC to vote NO on the resolutions calling for sanctions on Venezuela  and/or funding for opposition groups in Venezuela. This link also urges them to contact the State Department and President Obama with a request to respect democracy in El Salvador by recognizing the presidency of Salvador Sanchez Ceren.

Photo credit: SOAWatchPhoto credit: SOAWatchFlorida Republican Representative Ileana Ros-Lehtinen in the House has introduced a resolution (HR 4229) that would authorize s $15 million for opposition groups in Venezuela and economic sanctions against the Venezuelan government, charging them with ordering security and law enforcement to use violence against opposition protesters a few weeks ago. Senators Robert Menendez and Marco Rubio have introduced a similar bill in the Senate (S2142). The House Resolution has been referred to the Foreign Affairs, Judiciary, Ways and Means and Financial Services Committees.  The Senate Resolution has been referred to the Committee on Foreign Relations. Several other resolutions deploring violence, supporting the opposition leaders and calling for a return to democracy in Venezuela have been passed.

The problem is that the U.S. government and press have misrepresented the reality in Venezuela. Most Latin American nations have rejected the idea of sanctions and seek to help the Venezuelan government conduct a national dialogue with the opposition. The Organization of American States passed a revised resolution, voting 20-3 (the US, Canada and Panama voting against) to offer "its condolences to and solidarity with the vicitms," "its respect for the principle of nonintervention in the domestic affiars of states," and "its support for the efforts of the democratically-elected Government of move forward with the process of national dialogue."

2 Million, 2 Many: Walk to Shut Down ICE

April 7th- April 8th

101 W Congress Parkway

Chicago, IL 60605

Register to walk with us today! Register HERE  

 UPDATE: BUSES WILL BE DEPARTING FROM LITTLE VILLAGE, ALBANY PARK, LOGAN SQUARE ON TUESDAY MORNING, to join a bus call (312) 332-7360 x217- leave a message with your name, number and preferred location. 

By April of this year, the Obama administration will have deported more than 2 million of our parents and loved ones, hard workers, and people who call the US home. 

Our communities will not let that go unanswered. 

Join ICIRR, NDLON, Undocumented Illinois, NALACC, and Latino Policy Forum during the National Day of Action to Stop Deportations as we say #Not1More, walk right up to a detention center and shut it down. 

Help us call on the President to halt deportations and stop the needless suffering, especially as Congress continues to stall on immigration reform. The President has the power in the stroke of a pen and it's time for him to use it.

Join us as we walk from ICE Headquarters in Chicago to the Broadview Detention Center (More details below)


Update on Mining in El Salvador

Two years ago, CRLN's annual luncheon featured Br. Domingo Solis, who spoke of the contamination to drinking water caused by gold mines in El Salvador. In spite of the public health risk posed by such contamination, Pacific Rim Mining brought a $301 million lawsuit against El Salvador in a World Bank tribunal for denying it a permit to create a mine near the Lempa River, El Salvador's major source of water.

Since then, OceanaGold has bought out Pacific Rim and seeks to pursue the lawsuit or settle with El Salvador for damages. Newly elected Salvadoran President Salvador Sanchez Ceren has publicly committed to prohibit new mining during his administration, but the financial threat of this lawsuit persists.

Now, eight authors, including a university professor, a former United Nations official, and representatives of Canadian and U.S. organizations have published a new study challenging eight false statements made by mining company officials to justify opening their mine and presenting facts which add up to a different story.  That story is one of corporate lobbying to avoid regulatory requirements and their potential costs in order to reap maximum profits, without concern for environmental damage or people's physical and social health.

Click here to read "Debunking Eight Falsehoods by Pacific Rim Mining/OceanaGold in El Salvador.

Action Alert! End The Quota Action Day

March 11th, 2014- Join us in making this week an action week to end the detention bed quota!

The detention bed quota requires U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to hold an average of 34,000 individuals in detention on a daily basis. No other law enforcement agency is subject to a statutory quota like this. President Obama's recent budget request to congressional appropriators continues funding for the detention bed quota, and the House Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee will debate the detention bed quota over the coming months.

Call your Senators and Representative today and tell them that Congress should eliminate the detention bed quota.  
Call the Capitol Switchboard: 202-224-3121 and ask for your Senators and Representative
Or click here to find your Senators and here to find your Representative
Sample Script: My name is _____ calling from [CITY, STATE].  I urge Congress member [NAME] to oppose the wasteful and inhumane immigration detention bed quota in any appropriations bill. 

Religious leaders from the US and Cuba Call for Changes in US Cuba Policy

Photo: 'End the Travel Ban on Cuba' Facebook pagePhoto credit: 'End the Travel Ban on Cuba' Facebook page

From our friends at WOLA: Last week, six Cuban religious leaders traveled to Washington, DC. Together with their U.S. counterparts, the group met with Members of Congress, congressional staff, and Obama administration officials to discuss religious freedom in Cuba and U.S. policy toward the island. The group's message was clear: the religious community in Cuba is growing and diverse; U.S. and Cuban churches enjoy strong partnerships from which both sides have benefitted; and an update in U.S. policy toward Cuba is long overdue.

In this op-ed published in The Hill, two leaders of the group-Reverend Joel Ortega Dopico, a Presbyterian minister and elected president of the Cuban Council of Churches, and Reverend John L. McCullough, a United Methodist minister and President of Church World Service-highlight the strong relationship between U.S. and Cuban churches and call on their governments to dialogue with one another.

Reflections: Civil Disobedience Urging President Obama to Stop Deportations

On Monday, February 17, 2014 CRLN staff members, Rev. Sara Wohlleb and Marcela Hernandez participated in a civil disobedience in front of the White House as part of an interfaith action to urge President Obama use his executive power to Stop the Deportations. More than 30 religious and undocumented folks prayed, sang and chanted outside the White House before being arrested by the police. You can read more about this story at: Immigration Activist Arrested Outside the White House During Protest. 
Sara and Marcela wrote the statements below reflecting on their experience:

"So what's your reach?" Why YOU matter!

The Capitol in FebruaryThe Capitol in FebruaryLast Tuesday morning, February 18th, I woke up at about 3:30AM, ready to hop an early morning plane to DC (with a neck pillow in hand to catch up on lost sleep) and carried with me leave-behind materials for 11 different meetings with Congressional staffers scheduled either that day or the following. As Public Policy Coordinator at CRLN, it's exhilarating to take our messages of demilitarization, peace and justice directly to the offices responsible for representing our demands.


I talked with the offices of Reps Davis (7th), Schneider (10th), Gutierrez (4th), Quigley (5th), Enyart (12th), Foster (11th), Rush (1st), Kelly (2nd), and Schakowsky (9th), sometimes with multiple staffers from each office:

SUCCESS! Guatemalan Community Resists Mining Project

Update from the Guatemala Human Rights Commission (GHRC) on La Puya! Thank you to all those who have supported the men, women and children of La Puya by signing our letter of solidarity and leaving messages of encouragement. 

Last Wednesday, February 26th, community members at La Puya celebrated a victory -- the removal of the mining equipment from the proposed Tambor mine site. P&F Contratistas (P&F Contractors) decided to break its relationship with the mining company, Kappes, Cassidy & Associates (KCA), and pull out all of the trucks and heavy machinery that was left inside the mine when families began their peaceful resistance nearly two years ago.

La Puya leader Yolanda Oquelí helped coordinate the removal of the mining machinery that morning with a representative of P&F Contractors and a member of the Human Rights Ombudsman office. Members of La Puya celebrated the second anniversary of their peaceful resistance movement on March 2. Click here to see pictures from GHRC's facebook page.

Take Action for Cuba! Call Your Members of Congress Today!

From our friends at the Presbyterian Mission Agency: 

This Thursday, February 27th at noon, an ecumenical delegation from Cuba will be presenting a Congressional briefing on the status of religious freedom in Cuba in cooperation with Senator Jeff Flake and Rep. Jim McGovern. To demonstrate your support, please call members of congress and urge them or their staff to attend this briefing.

Click here to call your members of congress today!


Featured panelists include:

  • Rev. Jose Ortega Dopico, Presbyterian, President, Cuban Council of Churches,
  • Bishop Griselda Delgado, Anglican Bishop of Cuba,
  • Rev. Dr. Reneirio Arce, President, Matanzas Seminary, Havana,
  • Pastor Maria Yi, Quaker, Vice President, Cuban Council of Churches,
  • Rev. Rhode Gonzalez, Christian Pentecostal Church, and
  • Rev. Raul Suarez, Director of the Martin Luther King Center in Havana.


These faith leaders are well positioned to speak about U.S.-Cuban relations as faith communities are central to expanding and supporting the economic and political shifts happening in Cuba. This briefing will serve as a crucial resource to members of Congress and their staff on the issue of U.S. policy toward Cuba.

1,100 Calls for a Stop to Deportations!

We urge you to make a call to President Obama to demand a stop to deportations!

You can call 1-800-907-2053 and tell President Obama:

"Mr. President, as your administration approaches 2 million deportations, people of faith have a simple message for you: STOP THE DEPORTATIONS. As a person of faith and member of CRLN, we call for a ban to all arrest, detainments, and deportations of undocumented immigrants as a first step to immigration reform. We need you to show principled leadership to end all deportations as a first stop for immigration reform. Thank you."

Help us make 1,100 Call to End Deportations!