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.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Britain Needs a Dream Act. . . and More!!

An article in the New York Times on Sunday, August 21, tells the agonizing story of a young man brought to Britain from Angola as a child by his father who was seeking political asylum. When his father's petition was refused, he hanged himself while in detention, knowing that British law would not allow an orphan to be deported if there were no relatives to receive him in his country of origin. Church people took in the young man and cared for him. But now, at age 19, under changing law, he is about to be deported, rather than receiving citizenship as expected. He has no criminal record and has been doing well in school, preparing to be an engineer. What makes the situation even more tragic is that 7 out of 11 British detention centers are outsourced to private contractors who, in this case, ignored signs of the father's depression and imminent suicide. Read the article: www.nytimes.com/2011/08/21/world/europe/21antonio.html?_r=1&hp

Friday, August 19, 2011

Good News From Washington

President Obama announced on Thursday that his administration "would suspend deportation proceedings against many illegal immigrants who pose no threat to national security or public safety." This is, in effect, a case-by-case enactment of the Dream Act, meaning relief for "young people who are in the country illegally but pose no threat," as well as assisting persons facing deportation on the basis of minor traffic violations. In addition, the policy would "help illegal immigrants with family members in the United States," including "partners of lesbian, gay and bisexual people." It is expected that "the government will review 300,000 cases of people in deportation proceedings to identify those who might qualify for relief." Read the article: www.nytimes.com/2011/08/19/us/19immig.html?_r=1&scp=2&sq=Dream%20Act&st=cse

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Pushback Against Immigration Laws

Two recent articles in the New York Times report that both religious and political leaders are pushing back against draconian immigration policies.

In response to the recent declaration that agreements between ICE and local law enforcement are null and void because no agreement is necessary, Boston Mayor Thomas Menino has gone on record as saying, "Secure communities is negatively impacting public safety." Police Commissioner Edward Davis has joined him in his opposition. Read the article: www.nytimes.com/2011/08/13/us/politics/13secure.html?scp=1&sq=Resistance%20Widens%20to%20Obama%20Initiative&st=cse

In Alabama, an Episcopal Bishop, a Methodist Bishop, and a Roman Catholic Archbishop have openly declared that immigration enforcement in Alabama "makes it a crime to follow God's command to be Good Samaritans." They are both suing the state and vowing to break the law if necessary. Read the article: www.nytimes.com/2011/08/14/us/14immig.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Alabama%20Law%20Criminalizes%20Samaritans&st=cse

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Immigrants and Allies March in Philadelphia

Walk A Mile in Our Shoes:  Immigrants and Allies March Through Center City Philadelphia
When: Wednesday 24th of August, 3 to 5 pm
Where: Meet in Love Park at the LOVE statue at 3 pm

Immigrants and allies will march together through Center City to show that we are united in our struggle to make Philadelphia a more just and welcoming city for immigrants. We ask our city officials to walk a mile in our shoes,  to understand the immigrant experience, and to stop unjust deportations and the separation of hard-working families and communities!  We will march from Love Park to the Liberty Bell, returning to City Hall by 5pm.  Using the model of the Via Crusis / Stations of the Cross, we will be making stops along the way to reflect with testimonies, songs, and prayers on the suffering of immigrants in Philadelphia.  See complete route map below. For more information, email nsmphiladelphia@gmail.com

Sunday, August 7, 2011

Secure Communities is not a Matter of Choice

An article in the New York Times on Saturday, reported that the federal government has attempted to reduce confusion about Secure Communities by dropping agreements between local police forces and ICE, relying instead on FBI records. This means that individual jurisdictions may NOT drop out of the program. Read the whole article: http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/06/us/06immig.html?scp=1&sq=Secure%20Communities&st=cse

Pennsylvania Compact


FEDERAL SOLUTIONS Immigration is a federal policy issue between the U.S. government and other countries—not Pennsylvania and other countries. We urge Pennsylvania’s congressional delegation, and others, to lead efforts to ensure smart and effective enforcement of federal laws that protect our national borders. We urge state leaders to adopt reasonable policies addressing immigrants in Pennsylvania.

LAW ENFORCEMENT We respect the rule of law and support law enforcement’s professional judgment and discretion. Local law enforcement resources should focus on criminal activities, not civil violations of federal code.

FAMILIES Strong families are the foundation of successful communities. We oppose policies that unnecessarily separate families. We champion policies that support families and improve the health, education and well-being of all Pennsylvania residents.

ECONOMY Pennsylvania is best served by a well balanced free market that maximizes individual freedom and opportunity. We acknowledge the economic role immigrants play as workers and taxpayers. Pennsylvania has the third oldest population in the nation and many young immigrant families have replenished our workforce and have acted as caretakers for our elderly and children. Pennsylvania’s immigration policies must be fair and friendly both to businesses and workers who choose to establish themselves here, in order to strengthen our economic role nationally and globally.

A FREE AND WELCOMING SOCIETY The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania has attracted diverse groups of people from many nations and various walks of life, all seeking liberty and prosperity. It was in this spirit that the United States of America was founded – in Pennsylvania. We must adopt a humane approach to this reality, reflecting our unique culture, history and spirit of inclusion—as envisioned by our founder William Penn. The way that we treat newcomers sends a message about our state to the rest of the world.

Pennsylvania Compact