On November 20, President Obama announced that his administration will make changes to immigration policy through an administrative relief program. This will include changing removal priorities, expanding Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, creating a new work permit for parents of US citizens and legal permanent residents, and more. For more information about what these changes will look like go to adminrelief.org where you can find fact sheets, a community education presentation, and a useful webinar. Here are some other ways that your congregation can help to prepare others for the changes that are coming:
- Encourage those who may be eligible to begin gathering documents (identity documents, taxes, records to show how long they have lived in the United States, etc.) now.
- Warn against fraud. Seek legal advice from an attorney/organization that is recognized by the Board of Immigration Appeals. Never sign blank forms! Notaries or “notarios” are not lawyers and are not authorized to give immigration advice. The NC Justice Center has some great resources about notario fraud.
- Host a community education workshop. Contact firstname.lastname@example.org if you would like to be a host.
- Take up an offering to supplement application costs for members of your congregation/community who may be eligible.
- Defend against anti-immigrant bills on both the federal and state level. We anticipate that there will be legislation to stop deferred action, to deny drivers licenses to DACA and DAPA recipients, and for increased militarization and detention beds at the border. When those arise you can call or write to your representative to let them know why you support immigrants.
- Stay informed. Things will be changing quickly. To stay informed sign up for the Faith & Immigration listserv and like our Facebook page.