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Clergy: Our work is still urgently needed at the Border!

Clergy: Our work is still urgently needed at the Border!

Last summer, the news was filled with stories about the thousands of unaccompanied children coming across the US border, fleeing violence and poverty in Central America. Inspired to make a difference, more than twenty ministers joined us in Tucson for our first Clergy Border Witness that fall.

The publicity has faded since last summer, but the reality remains unchanged — and desperate. Children and families are still being deported, regardless of the deepening peril they face in their home countries. Our border has become a militarized zone, and violence has increased as our government pressures Mexico to turn back migrants no matter what their ages or circumstances.

This continuing crisis cries out for a response from people of faith. Please join us this November 2-7, to bear witness to the continuing human rights abuses on the US Mexico Border. UUA President Peter Morales, UUMA Executive Director Don Southworth, and Director of the UU College of Social Justice Kathleen McTigue will lead this delegation

Volunteer to help women and children in detention

Volunteer to help women and children in detention

As a human rights lawyer and a mother of a toddler, I was personally struck by what I saw on my visit to Karnes detention center in Karnes City, Texas, last month. Refugee women and children, who have come to the United States seeking asylum, are being held in jail-like conditions.

Many of you have asked how can you help these families. We invite you now to volunteer with the Refugee and Immigration Center for Education and Legal Services (RAICES), a UUSC partner, and help detained women and children secure asylum in the United States.

Immigration Justice Stalled: How can we help keep families together?

Immigration Justice Stalled: How can we help keep families together?

On April 23, Standing on the Side of Love, along with our partners at the UU College of Social Justice and the UU Service Committee, hosted a webinar called Immigration Justice Stalled.  It was a powerful time of building community together, as Unitarian Universalists and our partners on both sides of the Mexico/U.S. border shared their stories, including allies and people directly affected by our broken immigration system.

Due to tech difficulties, the webinar is in two parts, access Part One here, and Part Two here.

Join the Border Justice Education Program: May 21-26th, 2015

Join the Border Justice Education Program: May 21-26th, 2015

This new year marked a time of hope and anxiety for those of us dedicated to the immigrant rights struggle – both for people and families whose lives are deeply impacted by U.S. immigration policy, and for those of us committed as allies. In February we learned that President Obama’s executive order on immigration, which would allow up to 5 million undocumented immigrants to stay with their families in the U.S., was threatened threatened by a court ruling of a Federal District Court in Brownsville, Texas, and was temporarily stopped.

After many years working with No More Deaths - a humanitarian aid and social justice organization on the U.S./Mexico border, and a ministry of the UU Church of Tucson, Arizona – I always ask what these developments will mean for the death and suffering occurring at our border. While working with people being deported to Mexico, I have heard the stories of many parents aching, and risking everything, to return to their children in the U.S. I have also met hundreds of Central Americans fleeing both gang and government violence. No matter what relief comes for parents and young people currently in the U.S. without papers, the devastating and deadly effects at the border will continue as long as the border is treated as a “security” issue rather than a human rights issue.

Reflections from the Border

Reflections from the Border

This email is part of our Voting Rights Campaign blog series. Today Jennifer Toth, Campaign Manager of Standing on the Side of Love, chats with Monica Dobbins and Bob LaVallee, seminary students from Meadville-Lombard Theological School. Jen, Monica & Bob just traveled to the U.S./Mexico border on a Border Trip sponsored by Standing on the Side of Love (SSL) and the UU College of Social Justice. With the mid-term elections just a week away, and just returning from their trip, they share what calls them to take action for justice. Click here to see more about the Campaign.

SSL: First, I would love to hear from you what called you to join this trip, Monica and Bob, what you hope you will get out of it, and where we go next.

Monica: I saw an announcement for the trip in a church newsletter, and saw that there were scholarships available for seminarians, so I thought I would apply! I’m in my first year at Meadville-Lombard Theological School and being a student, I knew I would need additional funds to pay for the trip, so I started a GoFundMe account. People all throughout my congregation, Unitarian Universalist Church of Birmingham chipped in, five or ten dollars here or there, and in the end, they paid for all my expenses. So I came to this journey with the support of my whole congregation, and I’m here really representing them.