Call to Action: Sanctuary Cities

Toolkit for August Advocacy

methodist cross smallAs many of you know, there has been a recent backlash against our immigrant neighbors following a tragic shooting in San Francisco. Anti-immigrant legislation has already passed the House of Representatives, which would force local law enforcement officers to act as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials, breaking their hard-won trust with immigrant communities. If such legislation passes the Senate, it would reverse years of intentional, community-based policing efforts that are vital to public safety in neighborhoods across the country. We are working with the General Board of Church and Society (GBCS) and many other faith groups and legal service providers to educate legislators about the importance of practical—not harmful—solutions and legislation to support our immigrant neighbors.

Here is a helpful toolkit you can use for this advocacy.

And here’s some advice from NJFON Board member and GBCS Director of Civil and Human Rights Bill Mefford on ways to use the toolkit:

  1. Print out the letter in the toolkit.
  2. Get members of your Sunday school class, local Justice for Our Neighbors clinic, Wesley Foundation, United Methodist Women’s circle, friends and family to sign the letter.
  3. Then set up a table in the foyer of your church and invite members of your congregation to sign as well. (They will be more likely to sign once they see the other signatures on the letter!)
  4. Then you and one or more of your friends, take it to the nearest offices of both your senators. (You can find who they are and where their office is here.)
  5. When you drop off the letter, be sure to say:  “Hi, my name is [YOUR NAME], and I am a member of [Congregation/Group] in [City]. Many of our members signed these letters urging Senator [NAME] to oppose any legislation that would reduce trust between local police and immigrant communities. Will you please make sure the senator and staff who handle immigration see these letters?”
  6. Then, encourage 3-4 other congregations in your area to do this mail drop as well during August.

From Rob Rutland-Brown, Executive Director of National Justice For Our Neighbors