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.

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Reality Check - How long do immigrant families wait in line?

Let's say you're an immigrant who has successfully become a U.S. Citizen and you want to sponsor your unmarried, adult son or daughter  to come to the U.S.  Good news --You fall into the FIRST PREFERENCE category for one of the 226,000 family-sponsored visas available annually under the Immigration and Nationality Act! 

Bad news -- So what does that really mean?  If you're from Mexico, it will be about an 18 year long wait.  From the Phillipines, 15 years.  Other countries, maybe 7 years.

Check out this article and the accompanying graphic for a breakdown of the current wait times for family-sponsored visas and employment-based visas. 

It’s no secret that applying for residence in the United States can be a complicated process. Even when all the paperwork is in, there’s still a long wait involved, a wait that is determined by a complicated equation that balances the demand and supply of employment and family-unification visas the U.S. grants. As a result, some applicants have been waiting in line for more than 10 years, others for more than 20 years, according to the State Department’s most recent count.

Read entire article at  http://colorlines.com/archives/2011/07/visa.html

Friday, July 8, 2011

Sowing Seeds of Justice in Philadelphia

Sowing Seeds of Hope and Justice for Immigrants
A Prayerful Gathering at City Hall on 15th Street on Tuesday, July 12th, from 4pm to 4:30pm, followed by brief visits to offices of the Mayor and District Attorney

Inch by inch. Row by row. Gonna make this garden grow! 
All it takes is a rake and a hoe, and a piece of fertile ground.
Inch by inch. Row by row. Someone bless these seeds I sow!  
Someone keep them safe below, until the rains come tumbling down.

On June 29th, a small group from the New Sanctuary Movement hand delivered the first set of our collection of hand-written letters addressed to the mayor and the district attorney, urging the end of collaboration between Philadelphia police and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. Although we did not meet with Mayor Nutter and District Attorney Williams personally, we left the letters at their offices along with a message that we would be back with more! 
On Tuesday, July 12th, we're planning a second larger, more public delivery with our NSM congregations and members. We'll gather at 4pm outside City Hall (15th Street side) for brief reflections and prayers led by some of our NSM congregations before walking together to deliver letters at the mayor's and DA's offices. We'll distribute the letters we have collected along with seeds for each participant to carry in our procession as a prayerful action symbolizing our work together to cultivate a city of hope and justice for immigrants.
  •  Bring garden tools (rake, hoe, shovel, watering can) to carry in the procession!  We want to show Philadelphia we're counting on a harvest of justice.
  • Bring your personal letters for the District Attorney and the Mayor on July 12th if you haven't already turned those in. For more information about the letter writing campaign and how you can participate, email NSM at nsmintern@gmail.com.