After leaders of OTOC's Immigration Action Team challenged Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer to ensure that immigrants stopped by OPD officers receive fair treatment, OPD issued an official bulletin to all officers informing them that the matricula consular could be accepted as valid identification. (The matricula consular is an identification card issued by consulates verifying the place of residence for foreign nationals.) Photo shows leaders in early encounter with Chief Schmaderer.
OTOC leaders also met with the head of Douglas County Corrections and the regional director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) about ways to reduce the number of immigrants with small children being detained in Douglas County jails while they await deportation hearings. ICE has now implemented a new release program which allows up to 100 persons who would otherwise be detained to return home to their families while they await their hearings.
With the promise of the California DREAM Act still a year away, COPA leaders launched a 2012 campaign to bring financial help to undocumented college students in their community. $150,000 raised from businesses leveraged an additional $150,000 from UC Santa Cruz, allowing COPA and its partners to provide $300,000 in assistance in advance of the law.
As energizing as the West side gathering was, what made it truly remarkable was that it emerged from hundreds of similar stories shared during "house meetings," or small group conversations, organized by Sacred Heart and COPS/Metro during Lent. Parishioners met in the church hall after Masses, knocked on doors around the neighborhood for six straight Saturdays, and hosted neighbors in their homes to understand the pressures on the families and to find people willing to act. Weeks of training, conversations, deliberation and preparation came before the meeting with Chief McManus...."Read more
The event was organized by El Paso Interreligious Sponsoring Organization, a non-partisan group..."Read more
After mass, Sacred Heart Parish sponsored an assembly on immigration to highlight the impact of anti-immigrant laws on families that create fear, vulnerable citizens and concerns of violations of human rights."Read more
by Leah Mundell, Roxana de Niz, Rom Coles, & Gerald Wood; "Interfaith Council Works for Civility," Arizona Daily Sun
by Jeannie Kever, "A Call to Action on Immigration: Local Religious Leaders Hopeful for Reform, Despite Political Climate," Houston ChronicleRead more
In San Antonio, COPS/ Metro Alliance succeeded in getting their city council to adopt a resolution opposing Arizona's immigration law and communicating to Texas state legislators that such a law would not be tolerated in San Antonio.Read more