After the Immigration, Customs and Enforcement Raid on a Del Monte food factory in North Portland (near where we live), a lot of community organizing has been happening. There are still dozens of persons in the Tacoma WA detention facility. During the Unitarian Universalist General Assembly in Portland, I was joined downtown at the Mayor’s Office to show support for comprehensive immigration reform (along with Groundwork and DRUUMM activists). It was in part as a counter to a fundamentalist anti-immigration group protest.
Read on for a A Call to People of Faith from Portland Jobs with Justice.
Call to the People of Faith
The ICE roundup in Portland on Tuesday, June 12, and detention of the Fresh Del Monte workers suspected of being undocumented, produced situations which compel us to respond from our witness to justice and service and commitment to human and civil rights. Families were separated, legal issues have yet to be defined, and we know that economic hardships will be more evident with each passing day.
We ask that our homilies, sermons, prayers in worship services, masses, spiritual
gatherings, congregational meetings this weekend be dedicated to the people affected by the raids. We also ask that each community of faith begin reflecting on its theological, religious, ethical, and spiritual basis to decide what we ought to care about and what should be our fitting and urgent response. To see what other communions and religious groups are saying and doing, see Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon’s website: http://www.emoregon.org
Some of the options for response that are emerging include:
1) Sanctuary congregations. Presently, several congregations have declared
themselves sanctuary churches: Augustana Lutheran Church (ELCA) in Portland.
They have made public declarations and are ready to receive families in need and
respond in a variety of ways. If you would like further information, please call
(503) 203 4276, or go to: http://www.newsancturarymovement.org
2) Material support. Specials funds can be established or mission resources to help
pay for food, shelter, childcare etc., that families may need can be coordinated
with local community agencies or send a check to projects like El Programa
Hispano-Catholic Charities, and in the memo line put "raid relief". Checks can
be mailed to: 451 NW 1st St, Gresham, OR 97030 in Gresham
3) Pastoral and chaplain services. People in detention centers, like the one in
Tacoma, WA, and other in Oregon may be visited by clergy and chaplains. Also,
women, men, youth and children affected by the round-ups are needing emotional
and spiritual support.
4) Hospitality and refuge. Our buildings may receive families, individuals, or extend
space for community meetings, pastoral counseling, legal clinics, etc.
5) Accompaniment. A well-organized group of lawyers, community leaders, church
representatives, union people, among many others, monitored and observed the
ICE roundup in Portland. Since more raids will continue to occur throughout the
state of Oregon, we need people to become part of the teams. Call VOZ for
materials and training (503) 233 6787.
6) Educational and advocacy forums, trainings about related issues on immigration
reform and labor and what can be done are being offered by such statewide and
regional groups as the Rural Organization Project (503) 543 8417 http://www.rop.org ,
the Oregon Farm Worker Ministry (503) 990 0611, the Faith and Labor
Committee of Jobs with Justice (503) 236 5573. Both OFWM and the JWJ F&L
Committee offer worship resources and pulpit supply regarding labor issues,
including the Employee Free Choice Act. Also the National Farm Worker
Ministry http://www.nfwm.org, and Interfaith Worker Justice http://www.iwj.org provide
instructional and religious resources.
7) Resources: Legal Aid Services of Oregon (503) 981 5291, and the Oregon Law
Center (503) 981 0339, are prepared to handle labor and employment issues; and
immigration issues by Catholic Charities Immigration Legal Services (503) 542
2855, as well as the Immigration Counseling Service (503) 221 1689.
These are just a sampling of what our religious communities can do at this critical time.
Please share with your communities, your outreach, mission, and social justice
committees, and be intentional about responding on an ecumenical and interfaith basis, in collaboration with community organizations, civic groups, and local government where
Jobs with Justice Faith & Labor Committee