Immigration Resources


Articles and Websites/Articulos y Sitios de Internet

Films and Documentaries/Peliculas y documentales

The Visitor
Feature Film - Immigrant Detention / 104 min / Auditorium
Worlds collide when a professor comes home to find a Syrian immigrant and his Senegalese girlfriend living in his New York apartment. (Discussion with Detention Watch Network representative around immigration detention issues.)

Which Way Home
[Academy Award Nominee] Documentary - Child Migrants / 90 min / Rm. 204 A/B
The story of several unaccompanied child migrants, as they journey through Mexico to the US on a freight train.

Return to El Salvador
Documentary- US Foreign Policy / 68 min / Rm. 205-206
Intricate geo-political systems impact individuals and communities in both El Salvador and the US through the recurring effects of a past civil war.

Made in L.A.
[Emmy Award Winning] Feature Documentary- Labor Abuse / 70 min / Rm. 204A-B
Three Latinas working in L.A. sweatshops unite in a struggle to secure basic labor protections.

Immigrant Nation (Q&A with Director, Esaú Melendez)
Feature Documentary- Modern Struggles / 96 min /
Auditorium
Elvira Arellano, a single mother and pro-immigrant community leader, resists her own deportation in Chicago.

Papers
Documentary- Undocumented Youth / 95 min /
Rm. 205-206
Immigrant youth living in the U.S. find their futures and dreams restricted when they come of age without legal status. (Discussion with CCDA CEO, Noel Castellanos, around the DREAM Act.)

Crossing Arizona
Documentary- US/Mexico Border / 75 min / Rm. 205-206
Illegal immigration issues are explored through the perspectives of locals on both sides of the Arizona/Sonora border.


Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Definition

Comprehensive immigration reform is a systematic overhaul of the United States' immigration laws. It aims to bring people out of the shadows into full participation in society, to restore the rule of law to a broken system, unite families and ensure fair treatment of all workers now and in the future.

Facts

It is estimated that there are 11-12 million undocumented immigrants living in the United States. Around 40% entered the United States lawfully with a visa, but stayed after their visa expired.1 -The primary reason people migrate to the United States are to improve economic situation, to reunite with family members or to escape persecution in their home country.

For most undocumented immigrants, there is no legal way for them to become residents or citizens once they have entered the United States. For many who attempt to immigrate the "legal way", the backlog and wait time can be up to 22 years.

A third of the children of undocumented immigrants and a fifth of adult undocumented immigrants live in poverty. This is nearly double the poverty rate for children of U.S. -born parents (18%) or for U.S. -born adults (10%).2 -Arizona has implemented its own state immigration law, SB 1070, which gives law enforcement officials broad authority to arrest and detain those they suspect of being undocumented immigrants. Five states -Minnesota, South Carolina, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island -have introduced similar legislation, and several others plan to follow suit.

Theological Principles

All people, regardless of national origin or citizenship statues are made in the "image of God" and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect (Genesis 1:26-27, 9:6).

Christians have an undeniable responsibility to love and show compassion for the stranger among us (Deuteronomy 10:18-19, Leviticus 19:33-34, Matthew 25:31-46).

Immigrants are our neighbors, both literally and figuratively, and we are to love our neighbors as ourselves and show mercy to neighbors in need (Leviticus 19:18, Mark 12:31, Luke 10:25-37).

 

We believe in the rule of law, but we also believe that we are to oppose unjust laws and systems that harm and oppress people made in God's image, especially the vulnerable (Isaiah 10:1-4, Jeremiah 7:1-7, Acts 5:29, Romans 13:1-7).

Policy Solutions

The biblical principles above compel us to support immigration reform legislation that includes the following elements:

Reforms in our family-based immigration system that reduce waiting times for separate families to be reunited; -A process for immigrants and their families already in the U.S. to earn citizenship upon satisfaction of specific criteria (such as payment of back taxes and making efforts to learn English); -An expansion of legal avenues for workers and families to enter our country and work in a safe and legal manner with their rights and due process fully protected; -Examining solutions to address the root causes of migration, such as economic disparities between sending and receiving nations.

Enforcement initiatives that are consistent with humanitarian values.

DREAM ACT

Nearly 65,000 undocumented students graduate each year from US high schools with a diploma but without citizenship papers, the ability to work, or a chance at a college education. Many came to the US at a very young age and because their parents are undocumented, they have no legal avenue to become residents or citizens. The Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors Act (S. 729), better known as the DREAM Act, would provide certain undocumented immigrant students who graduate from high schools the opportunity to earn their residency and eventual citizenship while contributing to society.

Resources

Christians for Comprehensive Immigration Reform

Immigration Policy Center

DREAM ACT Portal

Conservatives for Comprehensive Immigration Reform (CfCIR)

Christians at the Border: Immigration, the Church and the Bible by M. Daniel Carroll R. (Baker Academic, 2008)

We ARE Americans: Undocumented Students Pursuing the American Dream by William Perez (Stylus, 2009)

Welcoming the Stranger: Justice, Compassion and Truth in the Immigration Debate by Matthew Soerens and Jenny Hwang (InterVarsity Press, 2009)

 

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1 Estimates of the Unauthorized Immigrant Population in the United States

2 A Portrait of Unauthorized Immigrants in the United States, Pew Hispanic Center

SOURCE: CCDA -Christian Community Development Association