Central Baptist Church's affiliation with the Philadelphia New Sanctuary Movement is a renewal of CBC's prophetic engagement in the original Sanctuary Movement, declared in a congregational vote in 1984. This reaffirmation today of our historic commitment is grounded in our congregation's vision of “justice rooted in spirituality” and “making a difference in community.”-Congregational Meeting April 25th, 2010.

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Updates on Local Actions for Immigration Reform

Since last month’s passage of Arizona’s law, SB 1070, criminalizing immigrants and creating state sanctioned racial profiling, ten other states have introduced similar anti-immigrant legislation, including PA, where Sen. Metcalfe has introduced the HB 2479.  Simultaneously, policies such as Secure Communities, that encourage police and ICE collaboration, are spreading across the country, and is happening here in Philadelphia, under the radar.

From Philly to Phoenix”   Gay Marshall, Dan Burnam, Caroline Cargo, Katy Friggle-Norton, Doug Norton, and Ray Schellinger represented Central Baptist Church  at the May 26th “From Philly to Phoenix” rally for immigration reform at Constitution Center, followed by a march ending at the federal building.   Speakers at the event called for an executive order from President Obama to reverse SB 1070 and an end to copycat legislation in our own state.  Community members shared personal stories about families torn apart by the broken immigration system.  A local leader in the national organization of  Dream Activists  introduced herself as “undocumented and unafraid” as she spoke boldly about the need to ensure passage of the “Dream Act” for college students.  (To learn more, see www.dreamactivist.org.)  And there were prayers to bless Philadelphia representatives heading to Arizona to take part in the mass demonstrations there.

500 Petition Signatures – Thank you to Juan DeAngulo!  
As of last week, more than 2000 signatures of Philadelphia residents had been added to a New Sanctuary Movement petition calling for Deputy Mayor Seth Williams to end collaborations between the Philadelphia Police Department and Immigration and Customs Enforcement.  CBC member Juan DeAngulo was responsible for gathering 500 of those signatures through his work at Congreso in Philadelphia!

The petition highlights Philadelphia police and ICE collaborations through the “Secure Communities” program and through permitting ICE access to the PARS database.  These policies harm community safety because:
·         Immigrants in Philadelphia live in fear of any police encounter, eroding public trust and compromising community policing. 
·         Victims and witnesses do not report crimes due to fear of deportation.
·         Due process is violated as immigrants brought into police custody are transferred to ICE custody before conviction.
·         These policies have no mechanisms to prevent or monitor racial profiling.
·         And they undermine Mayor Nutter’s executive order of non-inquiry.  

Although the primary call is for Philadelphia residents to sign, others concerned about these policies can also continue to add their names by signing an online petition at www.ipetitions.com/petition/safecommunities.

Call to Action from the New Sanctuary Movement of Philadelphia
What:   Philadelphia Community Forum with the Deputy Mayor in charge of police affairs!
When:  Sunday, June 27th, at 2pm
Where:  Event to be held at Annunciation Catholic Church / 1511 S. 10th St. / Philadelphia
New Sanctuary Movement, in conjunction with JUNTOS and the Philadelphia Storytelling Project, is organizing an important forum to share testimony with city officials concerning collaborations between the Philadelphia police department and ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) officials and the impact on undocumented people in our communities.   NSM has a verbal commitment from the deputy mayor to attend, and is working on a commitment from the Philadelphia District Attorney, as well.  We need to show Deputy Mayor Seth Williams and other public officials that these issues are concerns for undocumented and documented community members alike.  The goal is to have 400 people turn out for this event.   Central Baptist Church will be represented in the audience  – and we hope a good group of us will consider attending as a show of support for local immigration reform!  Watch for further details by email and in the Sunday bulletins.

1 comment:

  1. Ooooops! Ron and Betsy Morgan should also be in the list of CBC folks who attend the Philadephia rally on May 26th. Sorry -