CaribWorldNews, BROOKLYN, NY, Tues. April 27, 2010: A group of New York churches will come together this afternoon in Brooklyn to pray for immigration reform now.
Churches United to Save and Heal, (CUSH), say they will reach across denominational lines to speak in a collective voice on `Comprehensive Immigration Reform.`
CUSH, whose mission is to reform churches, redeem lives, restore communities and to advocate on behalf of the collective interest of its membership and the larger community, will harness the support of clergy throughout metropolitan New York when they partner with Families For Freedom today to educate and mobilize the community around the hot button issue of immigration.
Families for Freedom is a New York-based multi-ethnic defense network by and for immigrants facing and fighting deportation, and a leading anti-deportation voice in the nationwide movement for immigrant rights.
FFF and CUSH will join together to hold a Community Forum on Immigration today, Tuesday, April 27, 2010 from 6-8 p.m. at the New Hope Christian Fellowship, 4615 Church Avenue, Brooklyn, NY 11203.
The focus of the community forum, organizers say, is to address the issues of ongoing deportations and immigration reform. The forum comes as immigration reform is being pushed to the fore front of the Obama administration top list of issues that must be dealt with in 2010, on the heels of a draconian law in Arizona that now makes compels police officers there to question a person about his or her immigration status if there is `reasonable suspicion` that person may be in the country illegally. It would also make it a crime under state law to be there illegally.
For CUSH & FFF, `the broken immigration system is a crisis for NYC`s black community,` a statement said.
A disproportionate number of those who face deportation in the city are long term legal permanent residents (with green cards) who have criminal convictions hail from the Caribbean and Latin America. Those groups most impacted are Dominicans, Jamaicans, Haitians, Guyanese and Trinidadians among others.
`It is time that we come together and do what we have been called to do, and that is to speak for those that are voiceless` said the Chairman of CUSH, Bishop Orlando Findlayter, who is also the Pastor of New Hope Christian Fellowship.
With over 200,000 immigrants and their allies marching on Washington, D.C.`s mall this past March 21st and in this mid-term election year it is critically important to mobilize the community for reform, CUSH said.
`For our communities, targeting by the criminal justice system is being compounded by targeting by the deportation system, emphasized Janis Rosheuvel, Executive Director of Families for Freedom. `We need reforms that address not only legalization as a solution for the millions that are un/under-documeted, but reforms that bring relief to those who have been in the U.S. for decades legally who have criminal convictions that make them deportable. Our communities are being torn apart by detention and deportation and our elected officials must take action today to stop this destruction.`