ACTION AND SOLIDARITY
While the occasion of the annual Voice of the Voiceless has permitted Annunciation House to collect invaluable funds for the year’s work ahead, the most central objective of the event has been to bolster awareness and encourage advocacy on behalf of the poor in migration. The event always includes a call to solidarity and offers means by which you, your family, your faith community and other kinds of group can take action. This year is no different—and the urgency in seeking justice for immigrants is as poignant as ever. We hope the following ideas are helpful, and we encourage you to share other suggestions with us in the enclosed response card.
Write to Congress for Immigration Reform
Write letters to Congress encouraging them to support comprehensive, dignified immigration policies. Reform of our current policies is overdue, and reform again will be considered under this new administration. Be specific about key points and principles of the reform you are seeking. Also write to support Senators and Representatives who have positively supported or impacted comprehensive immigration reform. Remember that hand-written letters are good, and that letters take up to take two weeks to get into the congressional offices. See: https://writerep.house.gov/writerep/welcome.shtml, and http://www.senate.gov/general/contact_information/senators_cfm.cfm
Urge Congressional Support for the DREAM Act
The Development, Relief and Education for Alien Minors Act (DREAM Act) is a long anticipated immigration bill, recently re-introduced in the US Congress, that will provide millions of immigrant children who graduate from U.S. high schools the opportunity to receive U.S. Residency and obtain funding for higher education after years of being left in the shadows. This legislation has bi-partisan support and stands an excellent chance of being incorporated into comprehensive immigration reform. Learn more about this legislation, and write to your Congressional representatives to seek support for this bill. For more information, see: The Dream Act of 2009, see: and National Immigration Law Center.
Talk to Local Church Leaders
As you lobby Congress, consider also "lobbying" local bishops and other church leaders. While the United States Catholic Conference of Bishops has spoken definitively about immigration reform and the dignity of the immigrants, local dioceses and their representatives vary widely in the ways in which they discuss and act on the issue. Encourage your faith leaders—both ordained and lay—to take an active and vocal stand on immigration.
Ask Your Faith Leader to Preach about Immigration
It’s crucial in today’s context for a connection to be made between our faith, our church’s social teachings, and the reality experienced by immigrants in our country. Approach your pastor or faith leader and ask him or her to connect the issue of immigration and scripture or holy texts. The USCCB offers ideas related to this.
Form a Local Study Group
Form a local study group committed to the immigration issue. Such a group could research both national and local efforts to bring about comprehensive immigration reform. This group also could include study, reflection, and prayer as a means to affirm our solidarity and challenge us to remain active and committed. The Latin American Working Group is only one group that could offer direction.
Volunteer at Annunciation House
More than ever, we need of volunteers who are committed to serve in one of our houses of hospitality. Volunteers can commit for one year of service or can participate in our 10-week summer internship program. Serving as a volunteer is an act of solidarity and accompaniment is a powerful witness. Contact our Volunteer Coordinator: firstname.lastname@example.org
Participate in one of Annunciation House’s Border Awareness Experience
Annunciation House offers nearly 20 immersion experiences annually to university, civic, and church groups who come to the border to learn about the reality experienced by those in migration. Such experiences include stays in our houses of hospitality , visits to numerous advocacy groups, and reflection. Contact our BAE coordinator for more information.
Learn More and Connect to Other Immigrant Advocates:
Latin American Working Group
North America Congress on Latin America
Network, National Catholic Social Justice Lobby
USCCB Justice for Immigrants Campaign