Direct service partnership requires the input and voice of your entire community. Whether you are an immigrant congregation or mostly non-immigrant congregation, working with people and organizations representing the breadth of diversity in your community is the best way to establish the resources and needs that exist. Below are examples of activities and programs for you to consider. More resources to help with creating direct service programs can be found on the denominational resource page.
Find allies in your state. Find out the name and contact information for immigrant churches in your local area, seek out immigrant and civil rights based non-profit organizations, and contact the state council of churches.
Learn about and support proposed legislation that would provide in-state tuition for immigrant students as well as other pro-immigrant bills. Monitor the website for your state legislature for immigration legislation.
Keep track of state immigration legislation, and check our blog for immigration advocacy updates.
Consider holding a series of workshops or events that educate people in your community about their legal rights, how to prepare for a raid, or the impacts of local immigration laws and ordinances.
Advocate for immigrant women in the US to have recourse when facing domestic violence or other forms of violence without fear of detention and deportation. [addenda to the Violence Against Women Act, other advocacy efforts.]
Advocate for the right of immigrant women to retain custody of their children. Hundreds of women are losing permanent custody due to detention and deportation. See Colorlines, Shattered Families, http://arc.org/shatteredfamilies
Advocate to end detention and deportation of immigrants in the US and instead work for just immigration reform that will fix a broken immigration system and offer pathways to citizenship for ALL immigrants, not only DREAM students. Advocate for expedited processing of immigration applications to affirm family unity.
Urge an end to the use of private companies for detention. Join the National Private Prison Divestment campaign. http://prisondivestment.wordpress.com/
Evaluate the possibility of starting a legal clinic, detention visitation program, or coordinating citizenship classes.
○ For more information contact Anna Campbell, National Network Coordinator, Access to Justice who works in partnership with the Presbyterian Church
(U.S.A.) and the Lutheran Church on detention issues. 410-230-2838 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
○ Coordinate citizenship and civic classes for refugees and immigrants preparing to become US citizens. US Citizenship and Immigration Services has
developed a tool kit that your congregation can use to assist individuals preparing to naturalize. For more information visit