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, August 25, 2010

Cambodian Deportations in Philadelphia - Day of Action!

Invitation from the Cambodian Association of  South Philadelphia

Where: Independence Mall, Philadelphia - Market Street between 5th and 6th Streets
When: Monday Aug 30th / 4-7PM
4-5PM: Information Booths, Educational Materials, Short Fim Screenings
5PM: Special Performance by AZI, Philly's own Cambodian-American Hip Hop Group
530-630PM: Speakers - Family Members, Community Leaders, Philly and DC Advocates
We are raising awareness of the climate of fear and paranoia that Immigration & Customs Enforcement (ICE) has created in Cambodian-American communities across the United States, AND to call attention to the 47 Fathers, Husbands, Brothers, and Community Leaders recently torn apart from their families, to be deported at the end of August, and in September.  
These Refugees have been residents in America since before they were 12 years old, have been living here for 20-25 years, and have very few memories of Cambodia, the country they fled with their families to escape genocide, war and trauma. Many are unfamiliar with the language and culture of Cambodian society. Unjustly deporting these Refugees will drive them and their U.S. Citizen families into poverty.

Since the passage of the Antiterrorism and Effective Death Penalty Act (AEDPA) and the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act (IIRAIRA), both in 1996, detention and deportations have increased exponentially.  These laws replaced a discretionary system with mandatory detention and deportation, expanded the grounds of Deportation to include minor offenses, and systematically denies individuals of their human and civil right to due process.  The 1996 laws are also retroactive. All 47 Khmer-American Refugee detainees have already served time for past crimes. However under current immigration law they are "Criminal Aliens" and are deportable.  This is inhumane and unjust.  Double punishment is wrong!

The community is stepping up and demanding CHANGE! It is 2010, and detentions and deportations are dramatically increasing. We must act NOW for LOVE, JUSTICE, and FAMILY UNITY!