Daily Dispatch 8/2/2019
Update from the Catholic Campaign to End Child Detention
August 2, 2019
The Quixote Center joined the coalition that organized the Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children on July 18th. Below is the latest update from the campaign with action items included for the coming August Congressional recess.
Thank you for your support of the Catholic Day of Action for Immigrant Children on July 18.
Hundreds of Catholics came together in prayer and action that day, to say “Stop the Inhumanity, End Child Detention” of migrants. We flooded the White House with calls. And 71 Catholic sisters, priests, brothers and lay people in Washington, D.C. were arrested in prayerful, nonviolent civil disobedience, to tell our elected officials our message:
Catholics say: Stop the Inhumanity!
We deeply mourn the loss of the children who have died in U.S. custody on our southern border and we do not accept the inhumane and immoral treatment of immigrant children by our government.
We have received messages of support from Catholic Bishops America Magazine (7/19/19, Bishops Back Catholics Arrested at Capitol Protesting Treatment of Immigrants) and more than 530 Catholics have signed up online to join the campaign. We have earned over 100 media articles including in Nicaragua, Chile, France, UK, Germany, etc. including solidarity actions in Bolivia!
Impact on Migrant Children: includes convergence of actions by Jewish allies, United We Dream, etc.
- The Homestead, FL Child detention/influx facility has released about 1000 children mostly to families/sponsors, with 700 remaining; and we have reports that Homestead might be empty by the end of Aug.!
- The Carizzo Springs, TX child detention center is nearly empty and we are told will be closed within the week.
- The planned detention center at Fort Stills, OK has been suspended.
*At your weekly actions, please invite others to join the campaign by completing this form: Register to Join Catholic Action
*We will be putting together an online map to list and find local actions.
*We are planning our next national direct actions in NY/Newark in late Aug./early Sept. and in El Paso in early Oct.
Join us in gathering with Catholics across the country in continuous acts of prayer and taking more courageous risks to form an unrelenting demand to “Stop the Inhumanity” and “End Migrant Child Detention.” Each of us can stretch beyond our own comfort to align ourselves with the suffering of those detained. Each week, we can choose to be the ones who speak, act and make visible the Gospel imperative “Love Your Neighbor.” Think of how each week you and your community can increasingly take more risks.
We Start with Prayer
Here are three ways we invite Catholics to pray together:
- Monday Prayer: Every Monday, join us in a day of personal prayer, fasting and almsgiving on behalf of the children detained at the U.S. border. We encourage you to use our prayer card and pictures of the children who have died in U.S. custody and the images of migrants and refugees provided by the Justice for Immigrants Campaign’s “Migration Monday” project. (https://justiceforimmigrants.org/migrationmonday/)
- Parish Prayer: Plan to gather your local parish after weekend Masses to pray for five or ten minutes for the intention of the immigrant children. Share with your pastor our letter of invitation and use our suggested prayer. This gathering might be coordinated through the parish staff, pastor or lay leaders, or it might begin with a few friends gathering following eucharistic liturgy to pray together in remembrance and hope.
- Community Prayer Vigil: In whatever way is possible, perhaps on the same day each week, invite Catholics from across your city or town to gather in prayer and public witness, using our prayer service, the images of the children whose lives have been lost while detained, and “Catholics say: Stop the Inhumanity” signs.
Each week (usually Wednesday afternoon), you will receive suggested materials for prayer and action. Please encourage your family and friends to join us as we build toward larger actions in the coming weeks and months.
This coming week, we invite you to take two advocacy actions at the local level:
- Find and commit to attending a Town Hall meeting. Elected representatives are home for August recess and hosting town hall meetings to hear the concerns of the people they represent – that’s you! Enter your zip code in this website (https://townhallproject.com/) to find a town hall meeting near you. When you go, carry/wear large pictures of the children who have died in U.S. custody and deliver our message.
- Set up a meeting with your elected representative’s local office during the month of August to petition for action on behalf of the children detained. Follow instructions here at the following link: (https://maryknollogc.org/article/meeting-your-members-congress-locally)
- Carry pictures of the children who have died in U.S. custody and deliver our message to “end migrant child detention.” Give your representative a copy of the statement on the appalling conditions of child detention made by Catholic Cardinal Daniel N. DiNardo, President of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops, and Bishop Joe S. Vásquez of Austin, Chairman of the USCCB Committee on Migration Justice for Immigrants Statements
Thank you for your support, prayers, and action!
Graham’s Bill to Kill Asylum Passes out of Committee
Yesterday the Senate Judiciary Committee debated Senator Graham’s The Secure and Protect Act (S1494) – a proposal that would seriously undermine the asylum process, particularly impact children. We sent out information, with an action alert to contact members on the committee yesterday. The bill was passed out of committee on a party line vote. We will follow up with more detail as the bill moves to the floor in the senate following the August recess.