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FCNL Opposes Bill Limiting Access to Asylum

On June 14, the House Judiciary Committee is marking up a bill misnamed the Protection of Children Act (H.R. 495) which would make children and asylum seekers more vulnerable and decrease meaningful access to the asylum process. Read FCNL's statement of opposition for the record.

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Responding in peace, standing firm in justice: An interview with Dina El-Rifai

Ending discrimination

Dina El-Rifai is the public policy fellow in AFSC's Office of Public Policy and Advocacy in Washington, D.C. Dina helps develop and co-facilitate anti-Islamophobia trainings for allies with an intersectional, institutional, and racial framework. She also works with the Communities Against Islamophobia program to monitor federal legislation and writes media pieces with analysis and an alternative narrative that centers the impacted community and criticizes institutional and structural anti-Muslimism. The following interview is lightly edited from email correspondence. 

Emily McGrew (EM): What inspires your work?

Dina El-Rifai (DE-R): I came to this AFSC fellowship after having lived in Nashville, Tennessee for 12 years. Because Tennessee served as a testing ground for a lot of racist, xenophobic, anti-Muslim legislation, the environment I grew up in throughout my middle school, high school, and college years was largely impacted by the sorts of policies that would surface [nationally]. In 2010 and 2011, we saw a lot of mosque opposition and anti-shariah bills surface in Tennessee. 

I remember feeling a lot of fear and frustration as I was exposed to this level of anti-Muslim hatred and intolerance, and try to reconcile how an identity and country that I claim could inflict such violence onto me.   

Being exposed to this at a young age, as well as being an Egyptian-American who around the same time—in 2011 when the Arab Spring and the Egyptian revolution started—was seeing my people rise up against oppressive and dictatorial regimes, take to the streets with their demands, and push for social justice, my passion for social justice continued to grow.  

During the summer of 2013, I was in Egypt and witnessed the world around me bleeding as one of the world’s largest killings of demonstrators in a single day in recent history occurred, known as the Rab’aa Massacre. Close to 1,000 protesters were killed in a single day, and over 2,000 were killed in total. In summer of 2014, in America, we witnessed the Black Lives Matter movement spark in Ferguson. I joined protests in Ferguson in October of 2014, and days later, my uncle in Egypt was targeted and imprisoned as a political prisoner because of unjust and repressive Egyptian tactics that seek to essentially stifle opposition to the government by criminalizing practicing Muslims. 

From early in my life, because of my multifaceted identity and the way I experience and empathize with the world around me, I committed myself to resistance. This commitment is what motivated me to choose to look for opportunities to organize for social justice after graduating with a bachelor's in social work, and what ultimately led me to AFSC, whose values and rich revolutionary history resonated with me and inspired me. 

EM: How does your faith influence your work?

DE-R: I think this question can best be answered by one of my favorite verses from the Quran which says “those who tread the earth gently, when approached with ignorance, respond only in peace” (25:63).  That reflects how I live my life and what motivates my work. My faith teaches me that responding in peace does not mean passivity, but striving for justice. Despite the experiences that I’ve had as a Muslim American and the ignorance I’ve faced, I’m a strong believer in responding to ignorance with peace and fully acknowledge that peace cannot be separated from justice.  

There is much that my faith teaches me about standing for justice. Another favorite verse is “O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm in justice, witnesses for God, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, God is more worthy of both. So follow not personal inclination, lest you not be just ...” (4:135).  

EM: How do you feel about the state of the world now? What is your vision for the world 15 years in the future? 

DE-R: To be honest, the state of the world right now can really easily make one feel pretty helpless. From the 1,600 Palestinian political prisoners on hunger strike [note: this hunger striking prisoners won concessions and suspended their strike after our interview, on May 27. You can read more about it here.], to the calculated assaults on my Muslim community (here and abroad)—through weapons arms deals that perpetuate murderous war on terror policies; to our government’s incessant insistence on defending its discriminatory and racist Muslim ban (which was just struck down, again, by a federal appeals court, but is likely to be taken to the Supreme Court by the Trump administration); to the deliberate and disturbing targeting of undocumented immigrants trying to make lives for themselves and their families; to a justice system that in itself is a human rights violation in every way, including its neglect of serving justice for victims of sexual assault; to a society that doesn’t frame American deaths at the hands of domestic violence as honor killings … as you can see, I’m overwhelmed.  

My vision for the world in 15 years ... is to live in a world where criticizing your government isn’t met with questioning your loyalty, that instead we amplify these voices; to live in a world where white people in particular can take ownership of the transformative power of accountability and responsibility in a world that continues to be harmed by white supremacy; and to live in a world where we see the concept of shared security lived out in movements and policies; ... to live in a world where we all protect one another, and are working towards a shared goal of global security, in which one people’s security doesn’t impede on or violate another person’s security, humanity, or dignity.   

EM: Where do you find hope and inspiration right now? 

DE-R: People are waking up, and the people who have been woke (because they’ve long been brutalized by these systems of oppression since before Trump exposed them) are amplifying their voices and are owning their power in leading movements. For me, it’s a laborious task to be living as a Muslim right now, especially as a visible Muslim (wearing hijab). The target on your back can feel all-consuming.  

What gives me hope is that to honor the labor of being a Muslim woman in a post-9/11, Trump-era America is to uplift and honor a Muslim diaspora of Black and brown activists that draws on a global experience of resistance to white supremacy, militarization, and colonialism. As an American Muslim, I continue to find strength, courage, hope, and wisdom in Black Muslims who continue to lead and resist a system that doubly marginalizes and disenfranchises them.   

EM: Is there anything else you’d like people to know about the work you’re doing? 

DE-R: It’s been inspiring to be in D.C., our nation’s capital, and to see such strong and courageous leadership and organizing happening by Muslim women activists. What I find the most encouraging and uplifting is to see narrative-change work happening here, as Islamophobia is framed in a structural and institutional framework, understood as a product of broader systems of oppression, such as imperialism, white supremacy, colonialism, and militarism.  

As this narrative-change work is happening, as these political education trainings are unfolding and led by Muslim activists embedded in this work, we’ve also realized the importance of holding Muslim-only political education trainings in order to empower and equip the impacted Muslim communities with the knowledge and skills to understand the complexities of the systems that oppress us so that we are able to challenge them together.  

Emergency Training Call: Health Care

Join us to learn how you can influence health care decisions coming up in the next few weeks.

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Senate Moving Fast on Health Care

Don't sit this one out. Senators are moving fast to try and vote on a bill that cuts Medicaid by hundreds of billions of dollars -- an essential program that provides health care coverage for 69 MILLION people nationwide. This is an "all hands on deck" moment.

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Lobby Training at Montclair Meeting

FCNL seeks, through sustained engagement on the local and national level, to shape policy outcomes to better reflect the values of Friends around the country.

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47 Senators Say No to Weapons of Mass Starvation

FCNL applauds the 47 senators who voted today to block the sale of U.S. weapons to Saudi Arabia. The growing Senate opposition to this sale sends a strong signal that U.S. backing for the Saudi-led coalition’s indiscriminate killing of civilians and de-facto blockade in Yemen must end.

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Senators Raise Concern about Arms Deal with Nigeria

The Trump administration plans to sell weaponized aircraft to Nigeria. U.S. Senators raise concerns about human rights violations by the Nigerian military and urge Secretary of State Rex Tillerson to reconsider the decision.

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FCNL Welcomes 9th Circuit Decision Upholding Block of Muslim and Refugee Ban

As an organization committed to making the United States a more open, welcoming place, FCNL is heartened by the 9th Circuit's decision to maintain the block of President Trump's executive order barring refugees and individuals from six Muslim-majority countries.

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Medicaid Fact Sheet Sources

In our state Medicaid Fact Sheets, we explain how each state will be impacted by cuts to Medicaid. Below are the statistics referenced in each section:

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Short Stories on the President's Budget Proposal

The administration released a detailed budget in late May. The colorful and energy-filled rhetoric about infrastructure, economic development, and simplifying relationships with the federal government turns to grey when the budget numbers are applied.

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Tribal Justice

Amendments to the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) pointed to a bigger role for tribal police, courts and social agencies. Many of these agencies needed - and continue to need - technical assistance, coordination and backup from federal sources - in the Justice Department.

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Roads on Tribal Lands

In Indian Country - 160,000 miles of roads. Miles owned by the BIA - 29,000. Miles of BIA roads in "acceptable" condition -- less than 5000.

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Indian Health Care

Congress learned, in numerous hearings in the last two years, that short staffing, lack of housing for professional staff, short funding for equipment, buildings, and even basic utilities have added up over the years to an Indian Health Care system that is close to failure in some areas. Yet the need for local, accessible and culturally knowledgeable care is strong as ever. How will this budget respond?

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Indian Housing

The construction of housing in Indian Country has been so hampered by lack of funding and regulatory complexities that the need now seriously outstrips the demand. The Department of Housing and Urban Development found a need for 68,000 units to match current needs related to dilapidated and overcrowded housing on tribal lands.

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Indian Schools and Indian Education

The state of Indian education tells the story about the future of Indian nations. After years of abandonment, the federal government has begun to invest in infrastructure, teaching, language programs and other assets to convey and build hope and promise among Native youth. What's the story now?

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Economic Development in Indian Country

Economic development involves partnerships. Tribal leaders call on the federal government to join tribes at the table where they are forming economic development partnerships with state, local and private investors.

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We Need a YAF

Friends Journal - Mon, 2017-06-12 09:00

Creative commons from Flickr/zach_a

What four words do I not ever want to hear a member of a nominating committee say to me? “We need a YAF.” YAF stands for “young adult Friend” and is usually defined as ages 18 to 35 or 40, depending on the yearly meeting. Yes, I am a Friend under age 35. Yes, age is one type of diversity it’d be good to have on your committee. That doesn’t mean you skip discernment.

I remember a friend answering her phone while we were hanging out. She was angry when she hung up. She had served two terms on a committee and had reached its term limit. She could take a year off from committee service to recharge, or she could move to another committee. The person on the phone had told her, “We need a YAF for ____ committee, so we thought you could do that instead.”

I’ve heard from other folks my age that they feel the same half dozen YAFs are asked to sit on many committees at once. Beyond that being a recipe for burnout, they feel frustrated and tokenized.

Why do efforts at increasing the diversity of a committee easily devolve into tokenization? I believe it is because we have abandoned our theology of gifts. Faith and Practice of Baltimore Yearly Meeting says, “each of us has God-given gifts or talents, which we are obliged to develop and use to the glory of God. . . . We are obliged also to recognize the gifts of other Friends.” In 1 Corinthians 12, Paul asks, “Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all have gifts of healing? Do all speak in tongues? Do all interpret?” Hint: the answer he’s pointing toward is “no.”

Faith vs. Practice

When I found Quakers in 2009, I did a lot of reading and made friends with the clerk of a nearby meeting. My understanding of the nominations process was that I should expect someone from nominating committee to approach me at some point, having prayerfully discerned that God has a plan with a part for me in it, based on their recognition of my particular spiritual gifts. This turns out to be more of a theory. We have a disconnect between faith and practice.

Instead, what I found at one meeting was a “committee fair” like the student organization fairs on college campus. At each table, a representative of a committee pitched people passing by on why we should sign up for their committee. At others, I found that emailing a committee resulted in the clerk of the committee approaching and asking, “Hey, can I refer nominating committee to you about my committee?” The optimistic view here is “Oh good, you’re interested in what we’re doing!” The cynical view is “That’ll teach you to speak up.” I do prefer the optimistic view.

In either case, this is not a nominating committee full of people who have put in a particular effort to get to know everyone in the meeting so that they can properly discern who God is calling to what service. This is nominating committee matching up a list of names given to them to a list of job openings.

Last year I asked a Friend on the yearly meeting nominating committee why it was that I hadn’t been tapped until the clerk of the Advancement and Outreach Committee went to them and asked that I be nominated. I’d served on committees in two local meetings over the last five or six years. I thought this made it clear I was willing to serve. The answer was that they typically only bother to ask people who are already involved in some way with the yearly meeting—already on a committee or at least attending annual sessions. I only visited annual sessions that evening because I was coming to my first committee meeting with a yearly meeting level committee. Friends, I’m not sure whether the committee or the committee member is the chicken or the egg, but in any case, there’s a chicken-and-egg problem here. The pool of potential nominees has been artificially restricted to people whose employment situation can support taking several days off from work and paying several hundred dollars for the privilege of doing so. Given all that has been written about my generation’s employment difficulties, I think it should be obvious why the half-dozen YAFs present at YAF business meeting said they feel there are a half-dozen YAFs asked to fill far too many committee slots.

Even without economic barriers, limiting the pool to mostly people who are already serving means never getting a break and being asked to serve more than might be sustainable. That problem isn’t limited demographically. Overwork is a problem.

Getting at the Roots

There are several contributing factors. The most talked about is the pressure to staff an ever-increasing number of committees. Another is about welcome and timing. And then there are the good-intentioned diversity efforts.

Quantity and Quality

Over time, as new concerns arise, meetings add new committees. Those committees hang around. They must all be fully staffed. They are rarely laid down, even as the meeting’s membership and attendance shrink. Instead, individual Friends are asked to serve on two or three committees, to ensure each committee gets its full headcount. This is a recipe for burnout.

I know this is not a unique problem for Baltimore Yearly Meeting Friends. The other BYM (Britain Yearly Meeting) has it too! In his 2014 Swarthmore Lecture, Ben Pink Dandelion discusses many issues facing Quakers today, including recognizing gifts and the difficulty of staffing all open committee slots.

This pressure to come up with a list of names that is possibly longer than the list of adults in active attendance negatively impacts the discernment process. Perhaps a different stage of discernments needs to happen first. What is the meeting being led to do? Is it still being led to all the activities in which it has historically participated? You know the saying: if everything’s a priority, nothing is. And having such a long list of service positions to staff must be overwhelming and exhausting. How much energy does it leave for the important prerequisite of getting to know everyone in the meeting sufficiently well that their gifts can be discerned? I would submit the answer is “not enough,” since the task of finding people often is delegated to the committees themselves.

Welcome and Timing

We hear many jokes about committee service. A card game was made about committee service called “Unable, Unwilling,” where the aim is to dodge committee service. We joke about people being scared away by attempts to put them on a committee after their second visit.

By all means, wait more than two weeks to get someone on a committee. Don’t wait so long, though, that the person frustratedly goes to a committee saying, “Oh for crying out loud, will you just let me help?” Sound funny? I’m sure many meetings have experienced an IT professional saying, “Oh please, just let me fix the email/website/wifi” due to frustration about its insufficiency. Or perhaps their frustration is that they know how to fix the window that won’t stay up. Or they have a leading, and the social witness committee is too busy with other ones to look into it. Or they are led to do a book discussion around Thomas Kelly, but the religious education committee is dealing with curriculum. Yes, this frustration can bubble up as regards many committees.

It’s not uncommon to talk in other groups about how getting people plugged into service is a way to make them feel involved and really part of the community. Similarly, it can be hard for individuals to judge when their contributions will be viewed as coming from an invested part of the community versus an interloper. Letting them know their contributions are wanted and valid is part of welcoming. I submit that after three to six months of regular attendance, a person is likely to feel sufficiently committed to the meeting to entertain the suggestion of service.

If a regular practice was made of meeting with people in this category to discern their spiritual gifts, we might find we have more people willing to serve and a better idea of where their gifts are most needed. There is no reason why clearness committees should be saved only for membership, weddings, and when someone is having a hard time making a major life decision. Get someone from nominating committee (and perhaps one or two others Friends) to sit down with the not-so-newcomer over their favorite hot beverage and start discerning the person’s leadings. Maybe they’re not being called to service yet. Fine. Check back in a year. Maybe they actually have some leadings, though.

If your meeting has such a high rate of growth that sitting down with each new person who has managed to stick around for three months would be burdensome, I salute you and wish to know how you’ve managed that. You could teach the outreach committee of every other meeting a lesson.


I was pressured, as a YAF on a committee, to come up with names of other YAFs who could serve on this same committee. I tried to think about who I know whose regular occupations or hobbies suggested they had the talents needed by the committee. My list was far shorter than the list of all Quakers near my age I knew. One Friend told me her concern would be that she and I have the same weaknesses, and so she would not be rounding out the committee’s collection of gifts, but instead contributing to lopsidedness. I conveyed this sense to the clerk of the committee, who suggested I go back and tell her that’s fine since what we really need is a larger YAF presence on the committee, and so her perspective as a young person was enough. I did not do so. I did not wish to insult my friend that way. Being a warm body that has not yet walked this earth 40 years does not trump her gifts.

The same, of course, goes for any other type of diversity. Failing to look beyond someone’s age, race, sexual orientation, or any other demographic category to see their gifts is insulting.

The desire to be more intentional and inclusive about who is serving on committees is a good one. This means doing much more than adding a quota though. Individuals must be treated as individuals. Be ready to name the gifts a candidate brings. That means doing the hard work laid out above to really get to know people and their gifts.

I think we’re up to it.

The post We Need a YAF appeared first on Friends Journal.

FCNL Condemns ACT for America Anti-Muslim Protests

As the Islamophobic hate group ACT for America organizes anti-Muslim protests to be held across the country on June 10th, FCNL condemns this demonstration of religious bias and urges local communities to reaffirm their commitment to welcoming people of all faiths and backgrounds.

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Stand next to us and push: An interview with Ingrid Latorre about the Sanctuary movement

Defending immigrant rights Ending discrimination Sanctuary Everywhere

I spoke with Ingrid Latorre soon after she was granted a temporary stay of deportation after being taken in Sanctuary by the Mountain View Friends Meeting in Denver. Jenn Piper, AFSC’s Interfaith Immigrant Organizer joined us to translate and added her perspective as well. - Lucy

Take Action: Tell ICE to keep Ingrid home.

Lucy Duncan: Ingrid, thank you very much, it's wonderful to meet you. It's been very inspiring to watch your journey and your courage in the face of your struggles and in the last few weeks.

I know that you have told this story a number of times, but just for the purpose of this interview and considering the situation now, Ingrid, could you please tell the story briefly of what led you to enter Sanctuary at Mountain View Friends Meeting?

Ingrid Latorre: Really I took Sanctuary because all of the other options were being denied to me by Immigration. I took Sanctuary in order to continue fighting for justice in my case. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had what they call a voluntary departure, and then I asked for a stay in order to try and reopen my criminal case where I had received poor legal advice, and immigration denied that stay, twice, and the Quakers had been accompanying me during the two times they denied my stay and they offered me Sanctuary and that was a chance to keep fighting my legal case and to try and get justice. It was also the only way to keep my family together, to keep my two boys and my partner and I together in the United States while I fight my case.

Lucy: And what was the impact on you and your family, of being in sanctuary? And how did the community care for you?

Ingrid: It was an experience that was both beautiful and sad. It was sad because my partner and my oldest son stayed in our family home and myself and my youngest son came to live in Sanctuary and so we were somewhat separated by the experience. But it was also beautiful because I felt very protected and safe in Sanctuary. Every day, people came to visit us, and play with my younger son and talk with me, and stay the night in case immigration should come to the church. I felt very supported by the community.

Lucy: Ingrid, you received a temporary stay of removal until August. I know Arturo was picked up, but then received a stay, and also Jeanette has received a stay. It seems as though...and why do you think that ICE is willing to grant that for each of you? What do you think were the circumstances that made it possible for that to happen?

Ingrid: So the three cases are very different and very distinct. In my case, I'm really pursuing a legal strategy that would allow me to reopen my original case and change the plea, which would then allow me to reopen my immigration case. In the case of Jeanette and Arturo, because Arturo doesn't have any convictions, and Jeanette's are misdemeanors, Senator Bennett introduced a private bill for each of them, they were part of the last group of people who can access a stay through a private bill. I was hoping to be included and to have a private bill as well in my case, but that didn't happen, and I can't be upset or jealous about that. I feel very grateful to have the two months that I do have, to be able to attend my court on July 7th, and I hope that I'll win my case that day. If I win my case that day, if I'm able to reopen my criminal case, then I can continue with more time here to reopen my immigration case. But each case is very distinct and I don't know if every person who enters sanctuary will end up with a stay of deportation or not.

Lucy: Are there elements of the way that's it's very public that are supportive, do you think the media prominence has an influence on what happens?

Ingrid: It can go either way, the press attention in your case, it can help you or hurt you. And each case is very different. In the case of Jeanette, she's a long-term activist who's very comfortable with the media and being very assertive in her case. In my case, both because of who I am, my own personality, and the sensitivity of my case, with me having to go to court, and my lack of experience before Sanctuary with the media, it was kind of a quieter approach. We did some media work, but it was much more sporadic and had a softer tone to it. The press is helpful with organizing the immigrant and the faith communities, they become engaged because of what they see on the news or they become more involved in supporting our cases and supporting changes.

Lucy: So last week, Haris was deported. I know a little about the story, and the arrest and detention of undocumented people has risen 38% since Trump became President. What do you think is needed to interrupt these deportations? Piper was talking earlier about the regression from all of the policy wins in the Obama administration. What do you think it's going to take to shift things now?

Ingrid: What we really need is the Congress people and the Senators to do their job and do the hard work of figuring out an amnesty and immigration reform program that would allow all people who are undocumented in the United States, all 11 million, to get on a path to citizenship, but for that to happen, we really need better unity and more people within the country pushing for that, and being united between all the immigrant communities and all the communities that were born here in the U.S. to work together and to push for that, because otherwise it's not happening. It's not looking very hopeful at this moment with the Congress that we have and the amount of pressure that we have from communities is not enough yet to get there.

Jennifer Piper: I think it's also going to require the immigrant community to get organized at the neighborhood level in defense communities and be super ready to push hard and to interrupt what's happening in their neighborhoods, supported by really strong groups of allies who are ready to do that work and to call for reform for all 11 million and not be dividing and labeling the immigrant community into deserving and undeserving, but to really push for a more just system. And I think the other thing is going to require support for general labor strikes by immigrants and their allies, to cause the sort of moral and economic crisis that's needed for change, if we're going to get there in the short term and not in another 20 years, it's going to require resistance across all facets of our society.

Lucy: Thank you, that's very powerful. It's interesting, because it seems like we're at a very precarious moment with the shifts in the administration and the massive criminalization of immigrants. It's also reminiscent of the other times in history, like when the Fugitive Slave Act was passed, there was a sense that free Blacks at the time felt a little bit more safe and a little bit more protected, but when the Fugitive Slave Act happened, there was mass criminalization and they weren't safe anywhere, and so it radicalized the movement, it radicalized the white progressive supporters, and they stopped thinking of gradual change and they started fighting for immediate emancipation and the abolition of slavery. I wonder about Trump, there's this other piece where he's vastly exposing the system, which some people didn't even notice, or ignored under Obama, even though he was deporting so many people. So the question is, what are your thoughts about the possibilities for deeper change? What you're talking about in terms of much more massive resistance is one of them, but what is your sense of the possibilities for deeper change in the migrant rights movement at this time?

Ingrid: I think it's time for us to act, and to live without fear. We need to be really be in the streets doing strikes, hunger strikes and labor strikes and lifting up our voices. I don't think that hiding will save us. We have to speak out and we have to get a change, not only in these policies, but also in this administration. We have to see this President go, he's someone who's just not ethical.

Lucy: What are your hopes? I hear about expanding the kinds of activism that is happening with economic strikes and hunger strikes and massive resistance, but if there's more a vision for an expanded Sanctuary movement, what would it look like? And not only for the migrant community, but beyond that, and what might it accomplish for us all?

Ingrid: My hope would be that the movement would expand beyond Denver and beyond the places where it is already to as many places as possible. And not just to have allied churches, but to have many more immigrants involved in leading the movement. And sometimes that's a difficult thing, but I've been trying to say to people that it's never too late to get involved, to come to a meeting, to get involved with Not One More or another organization and make your voice heard and be a part of changing things. And I try to really refer people to the meetings I know are going on and to invite people to get involved.

Jenn Piper: I think we're at a juncture where we have to decide what it is we're going to do. A lot of that depends on what the immigrant community is going to ask from us, and I think they're still figuring that out to a large degree, but are we going to invest the time and the energy into creating more networks and more support earlier on, in sort of this rapid response to immigration enforcement and really exposing what that looks like in our communities and our schools, or are we going to expand the church Sanctuary movement with the idea of really overwhelming the system and making it impossible for people to get away from the consequences, both economic and human, of the system that we have. I think that we have to make a choice and we need to be strategic about it.

If all 400 congregations who have signed up to say that they would definitely do Sanctuary did it, that would have an enormous impact, to have 400 immigrants around the country in resistance, and have their voices amplified by the congregations they're working with, would be pretty inescapable for the larger populace, and I think people would have to start making a choice about where they stand. I think if we're not going to do that, then what are we doing to support the other forms of resistance that Ingrid was just talking about?

Lucy: What would you ask of allies in the fight for migrant justice? And not just to do, but how to be? I think it's important that people hear this again and again, what's the best role to play for an ally?

Ingrid: That people get involved and work harder next to us, so we don't feel so isolated, so alone.

Piper: What I would ask from allies is to be really conscious of the privilege of time. There are communities that are ideologically diverse and actually do need time to make a decision together and to hear one another, and then there are communities that aren't, that are all on the same page, that are uncomfortable with acting without knowing everything or are uncomfortable acting in an area that is new to them, or to us. What I would ask of allies is to get used to, and to search out being uncomfortable every day. Where we're really learning and transforming ourselves and our communities is in that place of uncomfortablility. We need to live into a place where we don't know the answers, walking alongside people who are in a system where there are no answers. And I think in terms of transformed policies, like what Ingrid said, in terms of being able to honor, i think that citizenship is tricky, because it's been denied to Native people and all kinds of people over the course of our history, but it's one of the ways we confer human rights on people in the US, is by affording them citizenship and through that, access to human rights and dignity. I think that that's one piece of it. I think there's a much bigger piece that's looking at how do we disarm capitalism? If we're not going to do that, how we ensure that people have the same rights as goods and as money to cross borders and to move freely about the world, if we're going to have this very competitive, Darwinian competition of the fittest, in the capitalist vision, then we should also allow the people who are involved the same amount of freedom to move and to compete and to follow the resources. So I think at a much larger systemic level, we have to look at: what is the economy we've created, and how do we enforce second class citizenship around the globe by denying some people the right to move and to follow the resources that sustain them or keep them relatively safe, or provide them opportunity.

Lucy: What would the community where migrant justice was a lived reality look like? What would that vision include? Obviously not being threatened by ICE and by deportation, but what else might it include for a community that's really based on justice for migrants and for everyone?

Ingrid: It's almost hard to imagine, that it seems so far away, that vision, but I think that a lot of it would be just feeling free to walk about and to move about wherever you are without always looking over your shoulder to see if there's a police officer or immigration officer coming to your house or pulling you over in your car or when you're walking down the street. To have that freedom, to go to the store and to the park and not be afraid.

Lucy: Thank you. The last question that I have is, what gives you courage? What gives you hope?

Ingrid: What gives me hope is my family. They're really what inspires me to struggle and to fight, to stay together.

Piper: What gives me hope is seeing people willing to have hard conversations. And people both from the ally and immigrant communities’ willingness to speak out and to be vulnerable and to push.

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Keep these families together: Denver Quakers provide Sanctuary 

FCNL Welcomes SUPER Act to Reduce Climate Pollutants

On June 8th, Rep. Scott Peters (D, CA-52), Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R, FL-26), and six other members introduced the bipartisan SUPER Act, which seeks to reduce short-lived climate pollutants like black carbon, methane, and hydro-fluorocarbons (HFCs).

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