The tide is turning on immigration reform. The Senate bill continues to move forward. Recent polls show 70% of Americans and 80% of Long Islanders supporting the bill. But we anticipate tough opposition in the weeks ahead, especially in the House. This is why we are asking people of faith and all people of good will on Long Island to join us in one or more “Good Samaritan actions to support immigration reform” between now and July 14th.
The Good Samaritan Bible story of the “outsider,” a despised Samaritan, who helped a Jewish victim when his own people passed him by, is well known to all. On the weekend of July 13-14th, the Gospel of the Good Samaritan will be featured in the Common Lectionary used by many Christian denominations – both Protestant and Catholic. The weekend before Americans celebrate Independence Day, filled with symbolism of how we are “a nation of immigrants.”
Given what will surely be powerful opposition to the Senate bill, we need your help. In the days leading up to Good Samaritan Sunday, please join us in one or more of these actions to support immigrants:
- On Tuesday, June 25th, be part of a national call-in to support the Senate immigration bill by calling Senator Schumer: 202-224-6542; Senator Gillibrand 202-224-4451 with this message: “As a person of faith, I urge you to support comprehensive immigration reform–one that ensures family unity, provides a path to citizenship, and maintains a secure border.”
- Sometime between July 3rd and July 14th, schedule a “Stop the Deportations” vigil at your congregation. This event takes only about 20 minutes. To access a detailed guide on how to hold the vigil, go to [put link here]. Our goal is to stop the deportation of all non-criminal immigrants while Congress is trying to fix our broken immigration laws.
- Insert a prayer for immigrants into your congregation’s service on either Independence Day weekend or the weekend of July 12th-14th. To access a sample prayer, go to our resources section on our website.
- If you are a member of a Christian congregation, ask your clergy to preach on the weekend of July 12th-14th the excellent “Good Samaritan Sermon to Support Immigrants” prepared by the Reverend Tom Goodhue, Executive Director of the Long Island Council of Churches.
- If you have not already done so, collect our interfaith letter of just immigration principles addressed to your member of Congress sometime between now and July 14th. We plan to meet with Congressman King in late July to present him with what are already 1,000 of these letters that have been collected. You can do the same for your member of Congress.
All of these materials can be found on the resources section of our website.