A project of the Center for Community Change

Immigrant Rights Advocates, Children and Families, and the Faith Community Held a Prayer for Justice at the Supreme Court

For Immediate Release: Friday, December 11, 2015

Contact: Carlos Vogel, 202-239-2133, cvogel@cccaction.org

María José Sandoval, 301-717-4492, msandoval@wearecasa.org

Children Highlighted the Importance of SCOTUS to Hear DAPA & DACA+ Case

(WASHINGTON) —Today, the Fair Immigration Reform Movement (FIRM), CASA, CARECEN, Carpenters Local 101, Church World Service, Center for Community Change Action, Bread for the World, Unitarian Universalist Church of Arlington, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ), Heat & Frost Insulators & Allied Workers Local 24, Ironworkers International and Local 16 Baltimore, LiUNA,Maryland, Pipe Trades/Sprinkler Fitters Locals 602 and 669, Plaster and Cement Masons Local 891, Plumbers and Gas Fitters Local 5, and United Church of Christ, held a “Prayer for Justice” and news conference in front of the Supreme Court to highlight the importance of the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the case regarding President Obama’s executive order to expand DACA and implement DAPA.

Directly impacted children told their stories, with some facing the holidays not knowing whether their mom or dad will be with them much longer due to the threat of deportation.

“I think the Supreme Court should uphold DAPA because every holiday I think about my mom and dad being deported,” said 8-year-old Emilio Martinez, son of CASA in Action board member Isabel Aguilar. “The father of a very good friend of mine was deported and he qualified for DAPA, so I feel like that could happen to my parents and I am really scared for that. I want the Supreme Court to uphold DAPA so I don’t have to be scared.”

“My parents mean everything to me,” stated Eddy Ortega, a first grader at John Ruhrah Elementary School in Baltimore. “This Christmas I am hoping that the justices, all of them, will see my family.  Remember my family.  When you enjoy time with family this month, I am hoping you will remember me. And think about me.  And vote for me.”

“We’re fighting for DAPA so they won’t take my parents away,” said Heather Piña, an 8-year-old New Carrolton Elementary School student.  “I will be very scared if they take my parents away. This Christmas I am wishing for justice so that I can be certain that my parents will always be with me.”

“Today faith leaders from multiple traditions including Christian, Jewish and Muslim joined the voices of children who still fear being separated from their parents,” stated Rev. Dr. Sharon Stanley-Rea, Director of Refugee & Immigration Ministries, Christian Church (Disciples of Christ). “It has been too long that Deferred Action for Parents of Americans has been tied up in courts. We are praying that the highest court in this land will see the face of these children and do what is right, take up DAPA now and set our country back on a moral path by keeping families together and welcoming immigrants.”

The Prayer for Justice kicked off the “Give the Gift of Family” social media campaign to highlight the important of the Supreme Court agreeing to hear the case regarding President Obama’s executive order to expand DACA and implement DAPA.

Today’s Prayer for Justice was the first of a series of monthly prayer vigils, organized by various groups throughout the immigrant rights movement. It serves as a reminder not only to the Supreme Court justices, but to all lawmakers to see that anti-immigrant policies have real effects on millions of families who have sacrificed so much to make better lives for themselves in their beloved adopted country of America.

“We will be getting to know this corner very well over the next few months as we return, again and again, until justice is won for families,” said Gustavo Torres, Executive Director of CASA in Action. “Political maneuvering has slowed down progress but we depend on the justices to ensure that justice delayed is NOT justice denied because when politics is so irrevocably broken in this country, it is up to the Supreme Court to restore sanity.”

The “Give the Gift of Family” social media campaign will feature children of undocumented immigrants asking the public to join them in the fight for DAPA and DACA+.

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