#NOT1MORE and Prayer for Families

April 4-6 pray for families to stay together

Call to stop deportations

by Bill Mefford on March 14, 2014

Stop Deportations

President Obama will only listen if you and I speak up.

We are approaching 2 million deportations, but are not anywhere closer to reforming the U.S.’s broken immigration system. Deportations have devastated communities and torn apart families. It is time to pray and act so that President Obama ends his policy of mass deportations.

We can end deportations. We really can.

Check out the video “President Obama: Yes You Can.” The video shows why and how we can end this devastating policy.

President Obama came into office wanting to prove to Republicans that through record deportations he could be trusted with enforcement. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, said just a few weeks ago, though, that despite deporting 2 million people President Obama still cannot be trusted.

To read more about geniune reform and call to stop barbaric practice:

Staff Position Open

We are currently looking to hire a legal assistant to work with Liz 3 days a week.  The work is challenging, but we can be flexible on days you work.  Spanish speakers are preferred.  We are accepting applications through April 1.  For a complete description of the position, click here:  JFON job description – legal assistant

End deportations, pass immigration reform

1100 Calls to End Deportations

Every day 1100 people are deported. The Obama Administration will reach 2 million deportations very soon. That’s 2 million people since 2009!

People of faith are urged to call 1-888-907-2053 to tell President Obama to stop deportations.

Can we get 1100 people to call President Obama?

Take action today to keep families together and create and lasting change for our immigrant brothers and sisters.  After you make the call, be sure to forward this email or a link to the action page (http://umc-gbcs.org/blog/take-action-1100-calls-to-president-obama-end-deportations).

The United Methodist Church affirms the worth, dignity, and inherent value and rights of all persons regardless of their nationality or legal status.” (Welcoming the Migrant to the US, #3281, 2012 Book of Resolutions)

The Church urges people of faith to “call the United States government to immediately cease all arrests, detainment, and deportations of undocumented immigrants, including children, solely based upon their immigration status until a fair and comprehensive immigration reform is passed.”

Link to GBCS website and sample script

Immigration reform battle centers on conservative Tea Party bloc

By Alexander Bolton and Russell Berman – 01/26/14 12:00 PM EST
The immigration reform debate in the House could boil down to a handful of influential Tea Party conservatives. Proponents and opponents of creating a pathway to citizenship for millions of illegal immigrants and other reforms have zeroed in on “peer leaders” in the House GOP. These conservatives include Reps. Jason Chaffetz (Utah), Trey Gowdy (S.C.), Justin Amash (Mich.), Renee Ellmers (N.C.) and Steve Scalise (La.).

While there are vocal factions on either side of the debate, the battle for immigration reform will be fought over a bloc of lawmakers who have stayed relatively quiet on the issue. Many of them will take their lead from conservative colleagues they respect more than House GOP leaders or big business groups.

Both sides are battling for 117 Republican votes because Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) has said he will only move legislation that has the support of a majority of the 233-member GOP conference.

To read more>> http://thehill.com/homenews/house/196427-the-gop-lawmakers-who-may-decide-fate-of-immigration-reform#.UuWdQKJfrHI.twitter


Your Calls Are Needed to Stop Cuts to Refugee Program

Call your members of Congress now!

As Congress gets nearer to a budget deal, it is likely that the Office of Refugee Resettlement will not receive the funding it needs, which would likely result in drastic cuts to services. Your Senators and Representatives need to hear from you that a funding increase is drastically needed to ensure that ORR can adequately welcome refugees, unaccompanied children and all of the populations under it’s care. Please prioritize making phone calls TODAY and throughout this week and spread the word.

You can help today … just by making a phone call!

To Learn More Click Here

Local Fast for Immigration Reform

Fast dates here: Grand Rapids activists push immigration reform

Matt Vande Bunte | mvandebu@mlive.com By Matt Vande Bunte | mvandebu@mlive.com The Grand Rapids Press Follow on Twitter on December 18, 2013 at  4:02 PM, updated December 18, 2013 at  5:17 PM

               immigration reform.JPG

Advocates of immigration reform displayed these signs at Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids during an International Migrants Day kickoff of a local fast for reform. Matt Vande Bunte | MLive.com

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – Lindsey Rosa says U.S. immigration laws hurt her family. Now, the Grand Rapids native is going hungry in a push for reforms.

Immigration advocates are promoting a rotating “Fast for Families,” asking people to go without food for a day and lobby congressmen for change. The West Michigan Coalition for Immigration Reform kicked off the local version of a national effort Wednesday, Dec. 18, at Fountain Street Church in Grand Rapids.

Click here to sign up for a fasting date.

“We’re asking for what we’ve always been asking for: humane immigration reform,” Rosa said. “As we go hungry for one day, we think about the suffering of individuals (separated from their families for years). We’ll keep going as long as people want to go.”

Rosa, 30, said she and her daughter were separated from her husband for two years as he was sent back to his native Honduras, and the emotional toil of that broke up their marriage. Wednesday, recognized by the United Nations as International Migrants Day, Rosa was one of about 25 people who gathered at the downtown church for an ecumenical service involving multiple faith traditions.

To read more: click here

Immigration reform an economic, religious imperative

Grand Rapids Mayor George Heartwell wants comprehensive immigration reform, and he wants it sooner rather than later.

In a guest column submitted to MLive Grand Rapids Press, Heartwell says immigration reform being held up in the U.S. House of Representatives is crucial for West Michigan’s economy.

Not only that, he said, but immigrants who move to our state join us in houses of worship. For these reasons and more, Heartwell advocates for immigration reform.

As new Americans strengthen our city, we need a better immigration process

By George Heartwell

Area business and faith leaders recently met in Grand Rapids to discuss the importance of immigration reform and what it means to the communities and economy of western Michigan.

The answer: A lot.

To read more:  http://www.mlive.com/opinion/grand-rapids/index.ssf/2013/12/immigration_reform_an_economic.html

10th Anniversary Celebration – Save the Date



Phone Scam targeting Immigrants

Beware of a scam that is happening in SE Michigan:

A man calls claiming to be an immigration officer and provides a badge number. He tells the person that they must post a bond to avoid being deported. He instructs the person to get a gift card from a bank and to give him the card number over the phone. If the person asks what the charges against him are, the “officer” says he can not release the information until the bond is paid. As soon as he has the gift card number, he hangs up. My client was asked for $10,000.

Fortunately, the person who reported this scam kept pushing for information and drove to the Farmington Hills Police Department while on the phone and the police spoke with this “officer”. FHPD told my client that they have received about 6 or 7 other complaints about this scam and are investigating. If there are that many complaints in one city, it may be happening elsewhere.

IT’S IMPORTANT TO REPORT:  If you are targeted or know of a scam –  be sure to report it.  The USCIS recently formally joined forces with Federal Trade Commission to investigate and prosecute people who target immigrants.

Go to www.uscir.gov/avoidscams

If you want to file anonymously just skip the first page asking for contact info.  If you can provide a safe contact, please do – it does help police follow-up on the matter and help stop the scammer.


Immigration reform can power U.S. economy

Former Republican Representative (R-MI) Spence Abraham and Carlos Gutierrez combined in an editorial in recent Detroit Free Press.  They are calling for Comprehensive Immigration Reform for these reasons:
Immigration reform is a secret weapon that can help unleash the full power of the U.S. economy. 

Except that it’s not really much of a secret. Study after study has shown what revamping our outdated immigration system can do. The CATO Institute estimates that comprehensive immigration reform would increase U.S. gross domestic product by $1.5 trillion over 10 years. The nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office believes that it would trim the federal deficit by $135 billion over the same time period.

To read more: