Through a previously unknown national security program known as the "Controlled Application Review and Resolution Program" (CARRP), the US government delays and/or denies the citizenship applications of many immigrants from Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim and South Asian communities without legal authority, according to the American Civil Liberties Union of Southern California. Furthermore, the FBI has used these unfair delays to blackmail applicants to work for them as informants, telling applicants that the FBI can help them get their long-delayed application approved if they report on fellow members of their communities.
Please take action to shut down this discriminatory program, and send the link to your congregations, friends and contacts as well. Religious discrimination is a threat to each and every one of us. You can read the full report and take action at the ACLU/SC website.
Last week more than 200,000 Colombians converged on Bogota for a nationwide strike to protest free trade, privatization and poverty. According to Common Dreams, the strike began as a protest by campesinos and spread to encompass teachers, miners and other sectors of society. (Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy)
Colombia's President Santos ordered a brutal crack-down on the protestors with the human rights organization Bayaca reporting shootings, torture, sexual assault, severe tear-gassing, arbitrary arrests, and other abuses on the part of state agents.
A recent UN study indicated that just 1 percent of the population owns 52 percent of the country's land, a factor that has helped make Colombia one of the most unequal nations on earth. Many of the protesters' demands center around this inequality which, according to protesters, is created by neoliberal policies of Free Trade and privatization which have lowered wages, increased poverty and removed social safety nets.
Some of the protest leaders have been violently detained-and now is the time to join the protesters' momentum and demand the release of their leaders! Alliance for Global Justice has created a Day of Solidarity for today, September 4th. We can make calls today and all week to support the pressure already mounted by brave activists in Colombia!
CRLN is proud to support the work of partner organizations with funds we will raise through our annual bike-a-thon, Pedal for Peace, which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 22, 1:30 - 4:30. This week we focus on Chicago-Guatemala Partnership.
The Chicago-Guatemala Partnership was begun in 1999 by members of University Church under the direction of Virgilio Vicente to accompany Virgilio's rural home village of Saq Ja' as they rebuild their community after its destruction during the Guatemalan civil war. Through yearly delegations to Saq Ja', many others outside of the University Church community have entered into the partnership and maintain relationship with these K'iche Mayan people through the annual visits and now also through email.
A portion of funds raised by Pedal for Peace will be sent to provide scholarships to middle and high school students. The community has requested that the Chicago part of the partnership raise funds to cover 40% of the educational expenses incurred by each student attending middle school in the community or high school in the nearest municipality.
Will you ride with us to support these students? Click on Pedal for Peace bike-a-thon under "Upcoming events" on CRLN's home page for pledge forms, course map, and a description of all the beneficiary groups.
CALL Your Representative TODAY!
Say NO to the "SAFE" Act - we need immigration reform that reunites families & creates a path to citizenship!
As the House continues to stall progress toward immigration reform, one bill that has passed the House Judiciary Committee is getting more attention - the Strengthen And Fortify Enforcement Act "SAFE Act" (H.R. 2278). This is a very dangerous bill that would hurt and criminalize our communities. All Members of Congress need to hear from people of faith that we OPPOSE the so-called "SAFE" Act, and that we urge them to instead promote legislation that would create a pathway to citizenship and reunite families.
Call 1-866-940-2439 to be connected with Your Representative.
You can also call the Capitol Switchboard (202) 224-3121 or find your Representative's direct line at www.house.gov
Feel free to use this sample script:
I am from City, State, Congregation/Community and as a person of faith, I support immigration reform.
I urge the Representative to OPPOSE the so-called "SAFE Act" (H.R. 2278), which would:
- encourage racial profiling and harm community safety,
- negatively impact refugees, asylum seekers and others fleeing persecution,
- expand mandatory and indefinite detention, and
- criminalize all immigration violations and faith groups that provide assistance to all individuals, regardless of their immigration status.
Please instead support immigration reform that reunites families & creates a path to citizenship.
CRLN is pleased to support the work of partner organizations with funds we will raise through our annual bike-a-thon, Pedal for Peace, which will take place on Sunday, Sept. 22, 1:30 - 4:30. This week we focus on Concern America.
Concern America believes that the transformation of impoverished communities comes from engaging local members in the solutions to their problems. Concern America's Field Team Members not only train local people to become health promoter practitioners in their own communities, they also visit the villagesto assist in providing health consults. In addition, they meet with community members to discuss the mutual support between the communities and their health promoter practitioners and to develop solutions to improve the health conditions in the community. For more information on Pedal for Peace Visit our Upcoming Events Section.
Here is a field report from a Concern America Field Team Member:
Solidarity from Chiapas With California Prison Hunger Strikers
The exponential expansion of the Prison Industrial Complex and the skyrocketing rates of mass incarceration of people of color are trends directly related to the U.S. War on Drugs, the theme for CRLN's Annual Luncheon on November 6, 2013. "Groundswell: Challenging the U.S War on Drugs in the Americas" will focus on the devastating effects of the War on Drugs on people both in Latin America and in the United States and consider some alternatives. For more information on our Annual Luncheon CLICK HERE.
CRLN has stood in solidarity with people in Latin America under threat. Now indigenous groups from Chiapas, Mexico, are standing in solidarity with California prisoners by making statements supporting the California Prison Hunger Strike: "...The righteous struggle of the prisoners opens wide the window of a prison system which, as in Mexico and other capitalist countries, is racist and classist... Although non-white people make up only 36 percent of the United States population, they make up 70 percent of all prisoners." CRLN notes that many of these prisoners were most likely picked up for minor drug offenses. READ MORE HERE and join us in November for the CRLN luncheon!
The 26th annual Pedal for Peace bike-a-thon will start rolling on Sunday, September 22! Come ride with us to support health, education, and community organizing projects in Colombia, El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.
It's easy-- tell friends, family, neighbors, co-workers, and local businesses about the organizations Pedal for Peace will benefit (see the attached descriptions). Tell them that you will ride 12 or 24 miles (your choice) to raise funds for the projects and programs that these organizations undertake with their Latin American partners. Ask them to sign the attached pledge sheet with an amount they will donate to this effort and make out checks to "CRLN/8th Day Center for Justice." Collect the donations and bring them with you to turn in at the registration table...then ride along the beautiful Chicago lakefront bike path.
All proceeds from Pedal for Peace will be divided among the beneficiary organizations. This year we welcome a new group as a Pedal for Peace beneficiary--DESGUA, which works to create economic and educational development with and for returned immigrants and Mayan communities in Guatemala--to join long-time beneficiaries Chicago-Cinquera Sister Cities, Chicago-Guatemala Partnership, CRLN, Concern America, and La Voz de los de Abajo.
For more information, see the attached forms or email email@example.com.
Last month, over 540 organizations sent a letter to President Obama asking that he suspend deportations of ALL persons that would be eligible for relief under a comprehensive immigration bill.
Now, Reps Raul Grijalva from Arizona and Yvette Clarke from New York have circulated a "dear colleague" letter to other members of the House, asking them to do the same.
This August, make sure your Representatives sign on.
(Download the Letter Here)
- Call their DC office and ask to speak with the staffer in charge of immigration. Give them the following message:
"As a constituent and a person of faith I urge the representative to sign-on to Representative's Grijalva letter urging President Obama to stop deportatations of all persons who would be eligible for relief under a comprehensive immigration bill."
To find your representative and their information visit: http://www.house.gov/representatives/find/
Also, sign the petition online: Petition to Stop Deportations
CRLN has recently signed on to an open letter from the organization "Flush the TPP", which addresses Free Trade as a major root cause of forced migration and immigration. Immigration work goes hand in hand with human rights abroad, which is why both are a crucial part of CRLN's work: addressing human rights abuses in Latin America, the root causes of people's migration from their homes, and the abuses they experience once in the United States. The system's domino effect starts with the negotiations of corporate-powered Free Trade Agreements such as the Trans-Pacific Partnership, or TPP.
CRLN has signed on to the below letter titled, "Stopping the TPP is Immigrant Rights," and you can sign too!
Read the text below and CLICK HERE to add your signature to the growing list of people connecting the dots and interrupting the injustice!
The American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) will be at the Palmer House Hilton Hotel for their 40th Anniversary meeting Aug 7-9. Join unions, students and activists in front of the hotel to speak out against ALEC and its inhumane, anti-democratic agenda on:
August 8th, noon, 17 E Monroe Street (Palmer House)
ALEC is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization composed of legislators, businesses and foundations which produces many inhumane, anti-democratic model policies for state legislatures, such as the anti-immigrant laws passed in Arizona and Alabama. ALEC provides a forum for state legislators and corporate members to collaborate on "model policies"- draft legislation that members can customize and introduce for debate in their own state legislatures. Approximately 200 per year become law, covering issues such as reducing corporate regulation, voter rights and environmental protections, and promoting over-criminalization, mass incarceration, and gun rights.
ALEC is the architect of Right to Work, Stand your Ground, Voter I.D., No Sanctuary Cities for Illegal Immigrants Act, Chemical Disclosure, Virtual Schools, Ag Gag and many other laws that have been adopted in some form by several states. These ALEC bills are socially and environmentally destructive because they put profits over people.
For more information, call our office at 773-293-3680 or contact Marcela at firstname.lastname@example.org.